APMEX Silver Bars

Obviously, the best place to buy APMEX silver bars is APMEX (the American Precious Metals Exchange) website itself. Although there may be other sources which have acquired APMEX bars and are offering them to the general public, those bought straight from the source already have a very attractively low premium over spot, which is unlikely to be bettered anywhere else.

Furthermore, buying silver bars directly from APMEX is a rock solid guarantee of their purity and genuineness. APMEX is an impeccably honest company, so buying one of their silver bars assures you that it really is the advertised number of ounces in .999 fine silver. More than likely, any other dealer offering APMEX bars would be furnishing the genuine product as well, but there is no reason not to go with the bars’ creators and eliminate even a slight chance of being cheated.

Buying from APMEX is cheapest if you pay via personal check, cashier’s check, or bank wire (wire transfer). However, unlikely some of the “snootier” gold and silver sellers, APMEX will accept credit cards as well, though you will pay a higher premium over spot if you opt for this payment method to help counterbalance the additional risk that accepting such payments entails for the firm.

Generally speaking, you will pay 3% more for silver purchased using a credit card, or 103% of the check or wire price. This is not an immense difference, so credit card purchases are a viable option, though of course it is a completely individual decision depending on how tightly you want to budget your acquisitions, what payment methods are available, and what the cost of other services (such as a wire transfer) are in comparison to “putting it on plastic”.

Buying in volume makes good sense if you can afford to, since you will be granted a discount on the bars based on how many you purchase. It will also save on overall postage costs – even if the single box your large order is shipped in is higher price than a smaller box, it will be cheaper in the long run than accomplishing the same with five or ten separate purchases. The minimum order from APMEX is currently $50 for American customers and $1,500 for those silver buyers located elsewhere in the world.

APMEX bars are shipped by registered mail, UPS, or Federal Express, in plain, understated boxes, which draw no attention to them and are the best protection for you investment. They are also automatically insured to their full value, using APMEX’s own insurance to bypass the $5,000 insurance coverage limit offered by the USPS. The acronym APMEX is used to conceal what the contents really are for additional security.

You should make sure to be on hand to take delivery as well, and do not change the shipping conditions so that the boxes will simply be left on the step. Once the box has left the hands of the delivery service, APMEX is no longer liable for insurance coverage, which only makes sense but is something that you should bear in mind when a box full of silver is soon to arrive.

The Qualities of APMEX Silver Bars

APMEX silver bars are not the crude, obviously poured bars of the early and middle twentieth century, such as some of the highly unappealing products offered by Johnson Matthey during that period. Instead, they are thoroughly contemporary creations, “struck” to the same level of quality as many government-issued bullion coins, albeit in a different configuration.

APMEX silver bars are made of .999 fine silver (that is, 99.9% pure silver, with the remaining trace being the inevitable copper). They are beautifully sculpted and decorated, featuring a rectangular form with rounded corners and given a “deep mirror” finish that is intended to replicate the surface of a proof coin, which are generally made with a similar mirror finish to differentiate them from ordinary bullion coins. This helps to make the bars singularly attractive, though they remain non-collectible.

Like all silver bars, the APMEX bars are sold for only a narrow premium above spot – a premium which is unlikely to expand much in the future. These silver bars are meant mainly to serve as an inflation hedge, retaining their basic melt value regardless of how the value of paper money fluctuates.

However, if the price of silver should suddenly jump at some point in the future (a subject for a later article), then they might also end up being useful as an investment, allowing a one-time resale at a comfortable, or even enormous profit. The very low premium above spot on all of these bars, regardless of size, makes them a very tempting proposition for the silver investor.

APMEX silver bars are currently offered in a number of sizes:

1 Ounce APMEX Silver Bars

Due to silver’s currently accessible price level, APMEX does not bother to issue fractional silver bars (those of less than 1 troy ounce), though it does sell some bars of this type form other manufacturers. The one troy ounce APMEX silver bar is the standard minimum investment. On one side of the bar is the legend “APMEX American Precious Metals Exchange” and “www.apmex.com”.

On the other side is a much more intricate design – a bald eagle holding a ribbon inscribed with “Liberty” in its beak, with an American shield, a sheaf of arrows, and a bunch of olive branches, making a highly patriotic symbol. A large sculpted pennant surrounding this fierce avian bears the legend “.999 1 Troy Ounce Fine Silver”. The bar is 2 inches long (51 mm), 1 ¼ inches wide (31 mm), and 1/8” thick (3 mm). There is a raised edge around the bar’s outer margin.

5 Ounce APMEX Silver Bars

These larger bars are extremely popular among APMEX purchasers because they store more value than the 1 ounce silver bars, but are still conveniently priced and sized for easy purchasing over time. One side of the 5 troy ounce bar is very simple, with the legend “APMEX American Precious Metals Exchange www.APMEX.com”, while the other is more intricately decorated, taking advantage of the larger surface area for a design more detailed than that on the one ounce bar.

At the top, APMEX appears in large letters, with a small banner under it containing the words “American Precious Metals Exchange”. The lower part of this side of the bar bears a circular badge, surrounded by a border which states “American Precious Metals Exchange” a third time, with “Five Troy Ounces” as well. The background of the badge is a large rendering of the American shield, with nine vertical stripes, alternating between mirrored and frosted finishes. At the top is a semicircular area which states “.999 Fine” and also features thirteen stars.

The typical AMPEX American bald eagle occupies the center of the badge, with a frosted finish as well. The bar’s dimension are 2.44 inches by 1.4 inches by 1/3 inch (61 mm by 35 mm by 8 mm).
10 Ounce APMEX Silver Bars

These bars are practically identical in appearance to the five ounce bars except for their size and the substitution of “10 Troy Ounces” or “Ten Troy Ounces” as appropriate in the various legends appearing on the bar. The bar is fairly hefty at 3.64 inches by 2 inches by 0.365 inches (91 mm by 51 mm by 7.4 mm – slightly thinner than the five troy ounce version).
There is also an IRA acceptable version which can be used to back an Investment Retirement Plan in place of the usual stocks and bonds.

1 Kilogram (32.15 Ounce) APMEX Silver Bars and 100 Ounce APMEX Silver Bars

These large bars bear the APMEX information on one side, and a spiraling design on the other. They, too, are ISO certified and suitable for use in a Precious Metals IRA. The 1 kilo bars are 5” by 3” by 7/16”, or 130.6 by 70.31 by 12.75 mm. The 100 ounce bars are naturally even larger at 6 1/5 inches by 3” by 1 1/8 inches, or 155 by 76.3 by 28.1 mm.

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