Sunshine Silver Rounds

One of the primary suppliers of silver planchets – the blank rounds used to strike coins – to the United States Treasury and Mint, Sunshine Minting is a private mint located in Idaho. Despite its involvement in the recent NotHaus “Liberty Dollar” case, Sunshine Minting is still a strong presence in the precious metals market and is likely to continue into the future, despite whatever legal speed bumps it must overcome in the meantime. For brevity’s sake, Sunshine Minting, Inc. is usually known as SMI.

SMI has access to supplies of the best quality silver on the market today, and due to its large contracts for silver planchets from the U.S. government, also has the funds to bring economies of scale to bear on silver bar and silver round production, just as is the case with the American Precious Metals Exchange (APMEX). This permits SMI to produce silver bullion cheaply enough so that their premiums above spot are very reasonable when they sell to the general public.

SMI is also noted for its production of silver, nickel, and other metallic badges, medallions, and commemorative rounds for customers. The firm will accept orders from practically any source – police and fire departments, corporations, even individuals who want to have a special event in their life immortalized in the form of a medallion and are willing to pay for this service.

Sunshine Mint Silver Round Products Today

SMI produces many more varieties of silver ingots than they do silver rounds. The firm offers only two sizes of silver rounds at the present moment, in fact – ½ ounce and 1 ounce. The obverse of both bears the legend “Silver Eagle” and the image of a fierce, stern eagle talons outstretched as it stoops on its prey or an adversary, wings flung back, and the sun shining behind the bird. The reverse shows only words – “One Half” or “One Troy Ounce”, “Sunshine Minting”, and “.999 Fine Silver”. The sculpting is fine and the striking very high quality.

SMI’s products are available direct or through APMEX. These rounds, like all their kin, are a good choice for those who are adding bullion to their portfolio for its spot value. This can be as an inflation hedge or an investment, if you are planning to sell the silver again once the price rises.

The Checkered History of Sunshine Minting Inc

SMI began as one of the in-company departments of another firm, Sunshine Mining, whose business was centered around working the silver lodes of the Sunshine Mine. This mine produced silver for over a century, and is one of the planet’s richest single mines. Over 360 million ounces were produced from it during its operational history. Located in Idaho, the mine likely contains at least 26 million additional ounces of silver, and perhaps more.

SMI was “spun off” as a separate company from Sunshine Mining in 1994. Prior to that date, it was simply the minting branch which converted the mine’s silver into At that point in time, however, SMI became a fully independent company, with different management, and its own budget and sales plan, though it retained close ties with the parent firm – which, after all, was one of the world’s foremost cornucopias of the white-toned precious metal.

Its escape from ownership by Sunshine Mining proved to be SMI’s salvation, and preserved a high quality private mint for our own day. In 2002, Sunshine Mining’s management decided to borrow massively, and used the money thus obtained for extravagant salaries and other perquisites, while neglecting new mine development. The low price of silver at the time contributed to the collapse and bankruptcy this move produced. Creditors also seized large amounts of stock and, with no knowledge of how a silver mining operation is run, used the remaining company resources to invest in a highly dubious South American venture, destroying the company totally. The mine is still idle and in ghastly repair.

However, SMI was largely untouched by these problems, found other sources of silver, and continues to operate successfully to this day. Its silver rounds and ingots provide a good bullion investment opportunity for those looking to hedge against inflation with these non-numismatic silver products.

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