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Differences Between Silver Rounds And Coins

Episode 10: Uploaded on, June 12, 2013

the coin explorer

Steven Cochran

The Coin Explorer Takes Inquiries From The Audience And Answers Questions About The Fundamental Differences Between Silver Coins And Silver Rounds. He Also Provides Insight On "Cleaning" Coins.


Video Transcript

It's a Coin Explorer Q and A!

Welcome to "The Coin Explorer". I'm your host, Steven Cochran.

Today we're going to explain the difference between silver coins and silver rounds. Here we have two of the best-selling items at Gainesville Coins: the American Silver Eagle one ounce bullion coin, and the Buffalo design one ounce generic silver round. The most common question I hear is, "What is the difference between a silver coin and a silver round?" The short answer is, a silver coin is legal tender, and a silver round is not. But, that's not very informative, is it? Let's go into the answer in a little bit more detail.

A silver coin is issued by a government, and has a denomination, or "face value." Here is the one dollar denomination of the Silver Eagle. This means that the coin is considered legal tender, and the government guarantees the purity and weight of the coin by law. This is reassuring to investors and collectors. It also means that the government can prosecute anyone making fakes under international counterfeiting laws, which are much more serious than trademark or copyright laws.

Silver rounds are the same shape as coins, but do not carry a face value and are not legal tender. They are struck at private mints, for private clients or for general resale, such as this round from Engelhard. In addition to modern silver rounds, vintage commemorative and promotional rounds are still found on the market, like this one for Del Frisco, as well as medallions such as this one of President John Quincy Adams. There are even silver rounds of cartoon characters.

One of the advantages of silver rounds are lower premiums. Silver rounds allow you to stack more silver for your dollar. If you buy from a reputable distributor such as Gainesville Coins, you can be assured of the quality and purity of the rounds you buy.

Silver rounds are generally purchased for their metal content, but the thousands of designs available mean that you can usually find something appealing, or related to your interests. Silver rounds that revive the classic U.S. coin designs in one ounce form, such as the Mercury Dime, Buffalo Nickel or Morgan design are very popular.

Another common question we get is, "Should I clean this old coin?" The answer, especially with old coins, is NO. Even modern coins should not be cleaned, unless you make sure they are not a rare or uncommon date. Coins that have been cleaned or "dipped"to make them shiny again lose most, if not all their numismatic value.

Always check a price guide such as the "Red Book for U.S. Coins" or the "Standard Catalog of World Coins", or an online price guide such as the one at or

I hope you've enjoyed our show today, and maybe even learned something. "The Coin Explorer" is part of the Gainesville Coins family, and we hope you'll like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter. Also be sure to follow the Gainesville Coins company blog, where I give away a classic silver art round every month in our "Spot On!" Silver contest! Until next time, this is The Coin Explorer reminding you that: It's all about the shinies!

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