When investing in silver bullion, you have many options. Your silver bullion choices include rounds, bars, coins, and junk silver. While silver rounds are among the most common ways of investing in silver, no one strategy is right for all investors; what makes sense for one investor may not be the right form of silver for another buyer. It is important to understand your options so that you can choose the right form of silver for your investment goals.
Rounds are a form of silver, circular in shape, containing at least .999 pure silver. They may carry a fairly plain design, or have an unusual artistic style. Many investors choose to focus on silver rounds carrying designs within a particular theme. Silver rounds are made by both government and private mints around the world. They are some of the most cost-effective ways of investing in silver, as the price is often close to the spot price of silver. Common sizes range from half an ounce to 5 ounces, providing options for investors at every price point.
Silver bars, like silver rounds, are .999 or finer silver, and are marked with the mint name, weight, and purity. Common sizes of silver bars include 1, 10, and 100 troy ounces. The major difference between bars and rounds is that rounds are circular, while bars are rectangular. Many investors find rounds to be easier to store, since they can be stacked in a tube. Another advantage of silver rounds is that they are often available in smaller sizes than silver bars; silver rounds can be found in sizes as small as 1/10 or 1/20th of an ounce, while silver bars are not commonly produced in these sizes.
Much like silver rounds, silver coins are round and make of silver. The major difference is that they are produced by government mints and have a legal tender value. Examples include the American Silver Eagle, Canadian Silver Maple Leaf, and Austrian Silver Philharmonic. They tend to be priced significantly higher than the spot price of silver because they are considered to be numismatic collectibles. You will nearly always pay less for a silver round containing the same amount of silver. If you are buying silver bullion for the value of the silver it contains, you will likely find silver rounds to be the better deal.
The term “junk silver” describes U.S. coins minted prior to 1965. They contain between 35% and 90% silver. Junk silver coins can often be purchased for a very small premium over the price of the silver they contain, and can be bought in very small quantities. These factors make junk silver a common initial investment for those new to silver bullion. However, due to their varying dimensions and lower silver content, they are more difficult to store, and take up more room. Silver rounds are a more compact way of buying silver, while still offering low per-ounce premiums over the spot price of silver.