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A silver "round" is silver bullion that is shaped like a coin. Think of them as a "round" silver bar. Due to their shape, people who are new to buying silver can often mistake silver rounds for silver coins. The easiest way to tell the difference between the two is to look for the face value (denomination). Rounds are not government-minted legal tender, and so cannot display a face value.
Buying Silver Rounds Online
Silver bullion rounds are a very popular way to purchase silver. They have much lower premiums than silver bullion coins of the same weight. This is because they don't have seigniorage fees added to the price as silver coins do. You get more silver for your investment dollar by buying silver rounds vs. silver coins.
Silver Coins vs. Silver Rounds
Government-made silver bullion coins display a denomination, and their weight and purity. The denomination makes them legal tender. Being legal tender gives them the guarantee of the "full faith and credit' of the government. Silver rounds are made by private refineries and mints and have no face value. They only display their purity and weight.
The Difference Between Silver Bars and Silver Rounds
While silver rounds cost about the same as generic silver bars, they are easier to store. .999 fine silver rounds are close in size to American Silver Eagles. This lets them fit in the same size 20-coin mint tubes for secure storage -- a plus for silver rounds versus silver bars. Stacking 1 troy oz silver bars can be awkward, and larger silver bars are, of course, not divisible.
Types of Silver Rounds
Silver rounds offer untold thousands of different designs. Makers of silver rounds can create any design they want, as long as they don't violate trademark or copyright law. Legal tender collectible coins, in contrast, can only bear government-approved designs.
Most modern silver round designs fall into one of these categories:
- Replicas of classic coin designs;
- Religious and holiday designs; and
- military/historical designs.
Classic Design Silver Rounds
"Classic" design silver rounds re-use the designs from famous coins of the past. The original coin's denomination is removed, and the word COPY added. Nostalgia makes classic design silver rounds some of the most popular designs.
Based on James Earle Fraser's 1913-1938 Buffalo Nickel design. The images of a Native American and bison made the Buffalo Nickel one of America's favorite coins. The Buffalo design may be the most popular silver round in the world.
Replica of the 1878-1921 Morgan silver dollar. The Morgan Dollar is the most-collected silver coin in America. If the Silver Buffalo is the world's most popular silver round, the Morgan Round is a close second.
Based on the "Winged Liberty Head" design that appeared on the U.S. dime from 1916 to 1945. At the time, this version of Lady Liberty, designed by A.A. Weinman, was mistaken for the Roman god Mercury.
Another classic coin design by A.A. Weinman, used on U.S. half dollars from 1916 to 1947. Few would confuse this silver round with a silver half dollar. But, some might think it was an American Silver Eagle bullion coin, due to its similar size and design.
Based on the last circulating silver dollar in the US. This short-lived Anthony de Francisci design circulated between 1921 and 1935.
Religious/Holiday Silver Round Designs
Holiday silver bars and silver rounds were popular in the 1960s and 1970s. They were available for everything from graduations to births, to Valentine's Day. Today, holiday silver rounds mostly celebrate Christmas. Religious silver rounds such as the Ichthus are popular all year, not only at Easter or Christmas.
The Silver Ichthus is a popular religious silver round. It features the ancient Christian fish symbol and its meaning on the front (obverse). The Scripture of John 3:16 inscribed on the reverse. A Gainesville Coins exclusive design.
The Guardian Angel is actually a $1 legal tender coin of the island nation of Niue. It appears with the silver religious rounds, so it can be easily found. It features a Guardian Angel sheltering a worried young boy in its wings.
The Lamb of God is another Gainesville Coins exclusive. This silver round is loaded with traditional Christian symbolism. It is especially popular around the Easter Holiday.
Silver rounds depicting the Nativity are a Christmas favorite. Our exclusive "In The Hands Of The Father" silver round presents a new take on the birth of Christ. It features an intimate Nativity scene of Joseph holding the infant Jesus as Mary sleeps. The reverse image shows Joseph leading the donkey that Mary rides on, on the way to Bethlehem.
Christmas silver rounds come in many designs. One of the most popular is the Santa Claus silver round. Most of these holiday rounds are dated, adding to their appeal as holiday mementos.
Sterling Silver Art Medals (Rounds)
The 1970s were the heyday of the sterling silver commemorative "art medallion." Now known as "vintage art rounds," they were sold in thematic sets by producers such as the Franklin Mint. Popular subjects included historical events and U.S. Presidents. These sterling rounds were made in extremely high relief with an antiqued finish.
They were sold for their artistic value, instead of their bullion value. This contrasts with modern commemorative silver rounds, where silver purity is more critical.
Modern Commemorative Silver Rounds
Modern commemorative silver rounds are struck from .999 fine silver. People buying silver rounds today focus on bullion first, artistry second. Modern commemorative silver rounds focus on important historical events and military themes.
Military themes have always been popular subjects for silver rounds. This includes soldiers, ships, planes, and tanks, and the battles where they fought. Gainesville Coins' PATRIOT series of commemorative silver rounds are a perfect example. They feature iconic weapons of the American Revolution, World War I, and World War II.
Historical silver rounds can also focus on non-military events. A popular subject in 2019 was the 50th anniversary of the first Moon landing.
Private Mint Silver Rounds Designs
All silver rounds are made by private mints. (Government-produced silver rounds are called medals.) Most of these mints also produce self-branded rounds. These rounds serve as a promotional tool as well as encouraging brand loyalty. Private mints that sell branded silver rounds include:
The Trident Mint's motto is "premium quality at a generic price." Their flagship products feature the god Poseidon rising from a stormy sea. The three-pronged Trident logo appears on their poured silver bars.
Mason Mint produces unique designs like the PATRIOT and the Apollo 11 silver rounds. Mason Mint's first silver round was based on the founder's Scandinavian heritage.
The Engelhard Prospector silver round was one of the first branded designs by a refiner. It remains popular among vintage silver round collectors today.
Buy Silver Rounds
Buying silver rounds gives you more silver for your dollar than buying silver coins. Buying your silver rounds from Gainesville Coins makes even more sense. Whether you're buying 1 ounce or 10,000 ounces, Gainesville Coins makes purchasing silver rounds simple. There is no minimum order limit at Gainesville Coins, and bulk orders are a breeze. We also offer the most popular legal tender silver coins, as well as silver bullion bars from 1 ounce to 100 ounces.