Investing in silver has many different options depending on your end goal. Some people buy it to collect. Some for investment purposes only. Today we’ll go over a few different types and what they are good for.
90% Silver Coins
Often referred to as Junk silver, 90% or constitutional silver it’s any easy way to add to your stack. These US coins are from 1964 and earlier and come in Dollars, Halves, Quarters and dimes.
These coins are readily available at coin shops, pawn shops and online. I’ve also found them at garage sales, flea markets and antique stores.
The prepper in me stacks them in case of a financial downturn or collapse of the monetary system. They are easily recognizable by anyone. They hold value by having a monetary denomination as well as the precious metal in the coin. If we ever do have to go back to using silver to buy things, everything won’t cost an ounce of silver. These are a great way to make change.
If you are just looking at getting into silver this is an easy way not to get ripped off. No one is counterfeiting circulated, non key date, US coinage.
Bullion- Assayed vs Bulk
Bullion comes in many different forms. From bars to rounds, they are anywhere from 1 gram to 1000ozs. Here are some 5oz SilverTowne bars. They look nearly identical but they are not.
The 2 on the right are Assayed, the one on the left is just bulk. Assayed silver is guaranteed by the producer to be of that exact weight and purity. It also costs more than your typical bulk bullion. They’re usually individually serial numbered which is nice for tracking and insurance purposes.
The majority of countries have their own bullion coins. The US has the Silver Eagle, Canada has the Maple, Austria is the Philharmonic, China has the Panda, Australia has the Kangaroo and so many others. These also can fall into the Numismatic category as you will see below.
Some of the above coins examples could also fall into the Numismatic category. Numismatic coins are coins in above average condition, key date (low mintage) and other rare types. Take for instance a 90% silver dollar. One that is in circulated condition will be far less than one of the same year in a nicer condition. Sometimes this can mean a very hefty premium. Check out this example. The top coins is VG/VF which is Very Good/Very Fine. The bottom example is BU, Brilliant Uncirculated. (Photos below are courtesy of Apmex)
You can see the same coin, same year and mintmark but the grade is different. So different it’s almost $120 between the 2 conditions. These coins are for the serious collector. You really have to watch where you get your graded coins from. They have been known to be counterfeited by several different sources. The coins and holders are very convincing fakes and only a well trained eye can identify them. For this reason, the novice collector should probably stick to the basics first.
That’s a lot to take in!
My best advice for new silver investors/collectors is stick to the low premium coins and bars. While there are still fakes of these coins, they aren’t as prevalent in a market with this low of a price. As the price of Silver increases, more fakes will start hitting the market again. During the Silver Bull run of 2010/2011 fake Silver coins were a big problem. The best advice to spot a fake is by weight. A real 1oz silver round/bar will weigh 1oz Troy or 31.1 grams. Most fakes are much lighter.
I hope you enjoyed this edition of silver investing basics. There is sooo much to go over it’s hard to touch on everything that is important. If you have any specific questions or want me to write on a certain piece, please let me know in the comments. Stay tuned for Part 3 of this series. Thank you for reading and rating my article!