Miscellaneous Silver Articles

Silver is being avidly sought by people all around the world, from the sophisticated modern cities of Germany to the rough industrial frontier of China, from the baking heat of the Australian outback to the volcano-dotted snowfields of Iceland. With so much interest in the precious metal, prompted both by its unprecedented availability and the fears of people about the future of the global economy (which, admittedly, does have its shaky spots), educating yourself about silver, its many forms, weights, and peculiarities, is a great first step to breaking into this exciting experience.

Our website is a thoroughgoing guide to the many fascinating coins, rounds, and bars you can buy today, as well as such topics as how to judge the quality of a coin, what types of silver are best to buy for certain purposes, what the differences between proofs, bullion, and junk silver are, whether or not you should take physical possession of your riches, and much more. Read on, learn, and begin building the foundation of your own treasure trove today!

Silver Investment

With so many people hankering to obtain silver, and the world’s production continuing on an essentially even keel, with no new major lodes recently discovered, there is a good chance that the price of silver will rise – perhaps skyrocket – in the near future.

This is particularly true for two reasons. The first is that silver, unlike gold, has widespread practical applications in electronics, cutting edge medical technology, and aerospace engineering, due to its extreme conductivity and resistance to all types of oxidation and corrosion. This means that demand will not shrivel away even if the general public loses interest in its silver buying binge at some point in the future.

The other reason is that several large banks in the United States are actively working to depress silver prices in order to make a fortune selling short on contracts. They are still carrying out these schemes, but the commodities commission is investigating with intent to break their stranglehold on the market. If this attempt succeeds, the “released” price of silver may shoot up to a much higher equilibrium.

Whether you are looking to make a profit from buying and selling silver purely as a metal, or want to invest in rare, collectible coins whose numismatic value will rise regardless of changes in silver’s spot price, our articles will give you solid advice on which types of silver you should be seeking out in order to succeed with your financial plans. Not all silver is created equal for investment purposes, and our site will give you a clear notion of which bullion will fit your particular investment strategy.

Is silver a good investment
Gold vs silver

Silver Mints

There are a large number of different mints operating in the world today, not only making coins for their own country’s use, but producing a river of silver bullion coins for the international precious metals market as well. Selling silver coins is big business, thanks to the frenzied avidity of precious metals fans, and you can find dozens of different designs

Each mint tends to produce signature series of coins, often with a national theme, such as the Chinese Silver Panda or the Australian Kangaroo. In order to make these coins more attractive to collectors, different, highly detailed artistic images appear on the reverse of these coins every year, making each annual release unique and collectible. Many mints also produce special variants of these coins, such as colorized versions, glass bead additions, inset gems, and extraordinarily large variants – some of which are so vast that the term “coin” would appear to apply to them only loosely.

Sorting through the production of these mints, which range from Canada, Great Britain, and the United States to China, Russia, and Kazakhstan, can be a daunting proposition. Therefore, our site provides a panoply of reviews, descriptions, and interesting notes on these mints and their coin series, both common and rare, allowing you to form a better judgment of what you want to include in your collection.

• Read more about government mints and private mints.

Silver Certificates

Buying silver is a complex matter involving many decisions, and one of the choices you will need to make is whether to take physical possession of your silver, or leave it stored at a remote location and just accept a silver certificate, or printed “deed” to the silver,

Physical possession offers the advantage of having the silver under your direct control, eliminating the possibilities of other people absconding with it, or of being unable to reach it in an emergency situation. On the other hand, it is dense and heavy, making transporting it difficult (if you move, for example), and costing you shipping charges. Physical silver is always somewhat less liquid than silver certificates, also, since transportation is also an issue when you are trying to sell it someone else.

Silver certificates offer you a lightweight, convenient means of holding ownership to your silver in a form you could carry with you at all times, if desired. Silver certificates can also be bought and sold very easily, ensuring high liquidity. On the other hand, they are also far more perishable than silver. Fire, water, and even wind can deprive you of all proof of ownership in a moment. They also mean that you must place your whole trust in the people who are storing your silver for you, as well as paying fees regularly for the privilege of storing it in their facility.

The knotty debate over which method of keeping your silver is better is tackled head-on on our site, with articles that give detailed information and advice which will help you make an informed decision that is right for you.

Check out our full article about silver certificates here.

Buying Silver from the Government

Different governments around the world have different approaches to selling silver and gold bullion coins to the general public. Gaining a general understanding of how this is handled by these states will increase your grasp of the market you are buying into, and help you to make more informed decisions.

The United States Mint sells coins only to authorized dealers who are subject to a rigorous set of requirements, including five years’ experience in the coin field, ten million dollars of capital, and several other details. The reason why the U.S. Mint does not sell to the public is to avoid a furor over the supposed interference of government in the free market which this would represent.

Thus, it sells the coins essentially a hair’s breadth above cost and lets private companies such as the American Precious Metals Exchange (APMEX) worry about actual distribution to the public. This gets the silver to the public while reducing the opprobrium that the Mint would otherwise be laden with.

Other mints, however, are not as constrained by public opinion, or the same intense determination to find anti-private enterprise schemes in every government action that American citizens seem to manifest. These mints, such as the Perth Mint and the Royal Mint in England, include online catalog pages where credit card orders can be placed for coins and other bullion products.

These mint “web stores” only sell the most recent coins, generally, but they are a good source for collectors nevertheless, especially those who want to obtain literally mint quality proofs, fresh from the coining machine and totally unmarked.

Guide to Buying Silver

Silver comes in many forms, including coins, bars, and grain, and in many weights. Each type of silver, as defined both by how it is struck (or not struck) and by its weight, has a specific range of uses within the precious metals world. You should learn the basics of which types are best for which purposes – something that you can do with the detailed articles that abound on our website.

Spot price refers to the current price of silver on the buyer’s market. Usually investment bullion is sold for a small premium over spot.

• Read more about buying silver at spot price
• Learn how to buy silver at cost price
• Find out what weights is silver sold in?
• A guide for how to buy silver with a credit card or by using Paypal
• If you want to buy silver at bulk prices, then read here about how to buy silver at wholesale
• Information about buying silver with free shipping and whether or not it is possible.
• Check out the best types of silver to buy, based on whatever your needs are.

Silver grain, which has also been dubbed silver shot, is made up of silver pellets which are usually manufactured by spraying molten silver into cold water, causing it to harden into small, irregular silver nuggets. This grain is then bagged and sold in various weights, some of them quite heavy.

• Continue reading about silver grain

Silver shot is cheaper than other types of silver, and has the advantage that it is already broken up into small amounts – which would be useful for everyday purchases in a doomsday scenario where silver becomes a sole form of barter currency.

It suffers from a drastic flaw, however – assaying it, and thus proving that it is real silver, is nightmarishly difficult. For this reason, it is mostly bought by industrial silver users and makers of jewelry, and it has a very low resale value because of the ease with which it could be undetectably alloyed with base metals, then palmed off as genuine silver.

Silver bars come in all shapes and sizes, including fractional silver bars as small as 1 gram (1/31 of an ounce) from the days of the Hunt brothers’ silver speculation. Typical silver bars are 1 troy ounce, and many of the modern ones are beautifully struck and finished with the same deep gloss as proof coins. Bars of 10 ounces, 25 ounces, 50 ounces, 100 ounces, and even 1,000 ounces are not uncommon.

They are convenient to stack and are a good way to hedge against inflation. Note that they will never acquire collectible or numismatic value, however, and should be bought only as an inflation hedge or as a basic spot price or commodity value investment.

Silver rounds are basically privately-struck silver “coins” without a monetary face value. Both banks and private mints produce these rounds, with one troy ounce being most standard. Fractional rounds in 1/10 ounce, ¼ ounce, and ½ ounce sizes are also very common. For investment purposes, they closely resemble silver bars.

Silver bullion coins are officially struck .999 silver coins produced by a government mint. These coins are generally made to be highly collectible, with unique annual designs, special series and commemoratives, and so forth. Fractional silver bullion coins are very rare today. Most are 1 troy ounce, with a fair number ranging from 5 ounces up to 10 ounces, 20 ounces, 1 kilogram, 100 ounces, or more. They possess a numismatic value in addition to their spot value, and this may grow to be considerable if the coins are well received or very rare.

Silver proof coins are peak-quality silver bullion coins minted with a number of special features. They are designed to be “ultra-collectible” versions of the ordinary bullion coins, with double striking providing exceptionally high, crisp relief on the coin’s imagery, and special finishing effects such as gloss, frosting, and many other gradations.

Maintaining Coins

Learning how to clean, store and generally take care of a coin collection is absolutely essential, especially when dealing with numismatically significant coins. Making even a small mistake with your coins can reduce their value by vast amounts, so make sure you are up to speed with all the most important information.

Start off by learning how to properly clean coins in our coin cleaning guide.