Buy Silver Art Bars and Rounds
Before Sterling Silver Bars
For centuries, sterling silver was the traditional alloy standard used by the British Empire. The origins of this .925 fine silver alloy, usually balanced with 7.5% of copper by weight, trace back to at least medieval Europe, and possibly even earlier. To this day, the name evokes the currency of Great Britain, the pound sterling. It hints back to a time when currencies once referred to a specific weight of gold or silver.
During the Victorian Era and the "age of industrialization" in the 19th century, silver flatware became a popular form of art and decoration on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean. It was traditionally in the sterling silver 925 standard. The practice of having entire dining sets made of sterling silver became a fashionable display of wealth and status.
Sterling silver likewise played an important role in the history of metallurgy in Colonial America. Paul Revere was renowned as a silversmith during and after the American Revolution. In a small number of foundries and workshops today, the pre-industrial tradition of skilled artisans hammering and casting sterling silver into unique pieces and shapes for all sorts of functions or decorations carries on.
All around the world, especially between the 17th and the 19th century, we find different cultures using sterling silver for ceremonial versions of items that are also functional, like pots, spoons, bowls, cups, napkin rings, etc. Sterling silver is more durable and sturdy than the .999 fine silver used for investment-grade bullion, making it perfect for these purposes.
Aside from flatware or similar items that have been saved, sterling silver is has occasionally been used for various collectibles and silver bars over the past few decades. The .925 fine standard is usually chosen for antique-finish items, which tend to augment the natural hue of the 92.5% pure alloy. It has also often used to cast personalized mementos for anniversaries, weddings, birthdays, bar mitzvahs, or other big occasions. Such collectibles are generally considered silver art bars on the secondary market.
Sterling Silver Art Bars And Silver Rounds
Art bars and rounds are usually made by private refineries to commemorate a special occasion or personality, and have no legal tender value associated with them. Silver art bars are typically purchased for the appeal of their aesthetics and the intrinsic value of their fine silver content. The most common size rounds and bars are 1 troy ounce, but you may occasionally find larger 2 oz rounds and smaller fractional sizes, as well.
History Of Silver Art Bars And Rounds
Silver rounds and art bars are a relatively recent development. The U.S. Mint ceased minting silver coins in 1964 due to the rising cost of raw silver. This led to an acceleration of the hoarding and melting of the silver coinage that remained in circulation, and left citizens with no ready way to hold silver as an inflation hedge. Subsequently, private companies responded to the unmet demand, entering the precious metals market by making collectible silver bars and silver rounds.
Led by the Foster Company in 1969, many private mints and refineries began marketing collectible silver art bars, art rounds, and medals to the public, depicting almost every conceivable subject under the sun. Many of these collectibles ended up going into the melting pot when silver prices spiked in 1979, leaving just a limited number available for present-day collectors. Silver rounds and well-crafted silver bars enjoy a thriving market today as people look to them not only as a means for accumulating silver bullion, but for their aesthetic value as well. Many of these art bars and rounds are struck in sterling silver for an added artistic effect.
Themes And Designs Found On Art Bars And Rounds
An almost limitless number of topics and motifs are featured on silver art bars and rounds, ranging from those that are historical in nature to those that have a more contemporary theme. An especially popular topic is any of the various causes for special celebration, such as weddings, newborn children, graduations, birthdays, holidays, or any other meaningful anniversary. Many of these kinds of commemorative art bars leave a blank space in the middle for the recipient’s name to be custom engraved, adding a personal touch to the bullion item.
More specific themes such as corporate promotions, historical milestones, and famous events can also be featured on art rounds and bars. This is a great way for precious metal investors to add something desirable to their silver stack without paying a high premium. It also makes these rounds or bars an ideal personalized gift for friends and loved ones. Check out all of the different designs on our silver bars and silver rounds at Gainesville Coins!