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How to Buy Silver

How can I purchase and own silver?

There are several ways of owning silver. For the purpose of this site, we will concentrate on physical ownership in the form of bars, coins or rounds. Other non-physical ownership methods are mentioned as well, for reference.

Physical Ownership of Silver

Silver Bars

Buying bullion bars is a traditional way to invest in silver. Bars come in many sizes, with common troy weights being 1oz, 5oz, 10oz, 100oz and 1000oz. A 1000oz bar of silver weighs approximately 68 pounds. Popular bar producers include Engelhard and Johnson Matthey. Silver bars may be purchased from many dealers including APMEX, SilverTowne, and on eBay.

Silver Coins

Perhaps the oldest form of coinage, silver has been used in coin production for centuries and comes in many shapes and varieties. All are most desirable when they are .999 pure silver. Such coins are referred to as fine silver. Several countries produce coins containing 1 troy ounce of fine silver. Examples include the American Silver Eagle, UK Silver Britannia, Canadian Silver Maple Leaf, and Australian Silver Koala. Most modern silver bullion coins measure 39mm-42mm in diameter and are purchased both as bullion and for their collectible, numismatic value.

The term junk silver refers to coins containing a smaller percentage of silver, such as US dimes, quarters and half dollars dated 1964 and older, and silver dollars dated 1935 or earlier. These coins contain 90% silver. Since the end of the silver standard, silver has lost its official role in legal tender in the US.

Silver bullion coins, US silver coins, and junk silver may be purchased from many dealers. Keep in mind many silver coins, whether fine or junk silver, may carry numismatic value beyond that of face or silver content.

Silver Rounds
Rounds are similar to coins in shape, but have no status as legal tender. Rounds may be created to commemorate a person or event, and are produced by a large array of mints worldwide. Like coins and bars, .999 fine silver rounds are generally most sought after.

Some other non-physical ways to own silver include purchasing silver stocks, mutual funds and ETFs, and options and futures.



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