For someone looking to make your first purchase, buying silver is not as simple & straight-forward as it appears. Investing in silver in today’s economy is one of the most prudent action-steps you can take to preserve your wealth and hold true money. Today’s article will be going over specifically how to invest in silver coins, especially if you are considering investing in coins rather than bullion for your individual retirement account (IRA).
Silver Bullion Coins
American Silver Eagle StackBullion coins are fully backed by the host government and will always guarantee the weight and purity of the coins they produce. The most popular coin on the planet, the American Silver Eagle (ASE), comes straight from the US mint and is recognized worldwide as a silver bullion standard.
The premiums on these coins are very high, and if you are just looking to amass ounces of silver, this may not be the best option. However, these are likely the most liquid form of silver available, being easy to sell and trade. Every silver investor knows the ASE, but not every silver investor will know the 1 ounce round you just bought from a random private mint.
Minted bullion coins often come graded as Brilliant Uncirculated (BU) condition and are bought individually, in mint tubes (usually 10 or more) or in a big green monster box! Yes, it is called a monster box. These bad boys contain 500 coins which is equal to 500 ounces of silver. The come packaged in 25 mint tubes each holding 20 silver eagles each: the Silver Eagle Monster Box.
Buying silver coins individually you will be paying the most for a single silver coin, as a ton of labor & skill go into the manufacturing of the coin from mining the metal to the striking-and-minting process. Premiums are usually between $3 – $5 for 1 silver eagle. The more you buy in bulk, the lower the premiums come as in the case of the Silver Eagle Mint Tubes.
Silver Bars vs. Coins
Buying silver bars is one of the best ways to get silver. You will always get more bang for your buck when buying bars because the cost to make them is much cheaper than silver coins. The bigger bar you get the lower the premium over spot.
These bars are not backed by the government like coins, and are made by private mints. Because you can buy bulk silver in bars, there is a higher chance of counterfeits circulating in the market. Back in the 1980’s when the price skyrocketed up to $49, lots of 100oz fake silver bars began popping up, and there are still some in circulation today. What the fraudsters would do is drill several holes into the bars, and then fill them with lead/tin to get an equal weight and sometimes specific gravity of silver… very tricky.
Generic Silver Rounds
This type of silver is usually 99.9% pure and normally ranges from 1 to 10 ounces. An example is the famous 1 oz Engelhard silver round “The American Prospector.” Although similar to coins, these are not backed by any government and are struck by private mints. While less expensive than bullion coins, they are still pricier than your silver bars. If you like coins but don’t want to pay the high premiums for bullion, generic rounds are a way to buy cheap silver. These are also a neat way to pick some cool looking coins if you are into design or art.
Silver rounds are also popular for commemorating coins and are widely used as gifts. For this reason coin collectors will also gravitate to buying silver rounds because of their uniqueness and wide variety. If you just want silver for silver, just stick to the more popular ones and you should be OK when you want to sell them back or trade.
Junk silver refers to US coins minted on 1964 or before that have no numismatic value above the silver content. Despite its name, junk silver can actually be a really great investment, that’s because there is very little premium on the coins since they have no numismatic value and are mostly in fair condition.
Junk silver is one of the best ways to buy cheap silver coins that have been minted by the US government. These coins will also always be legal tender no matter what happens to the price of silver, and are more recognizable than generic silver rounds from private mints. Almost all junk silver is 90% silver, with the exception of Kennedy half-dollars (40%) and Jefferson wartime nickels (35%).
Many survivalists consider this essential on a preparation checklist & believe this is the best form of silver to own, as it would be very easy to barter with. You can get the current value of your coins, using our US Silver Coin Melt Value Calculator. In the US, junk silver refers to: dollars, half dollars, quarters, and dimes minted in 1964 or before.
Our buying silver guide wouldn’t be complete without including “paper silver”. By paper silver we are referring to any silver that is not real or physical such as pooled accounts, silver ETFs, stocks, or futures contracts. Don’t be deceived to think you own silver if it is just on paper. As a silver investor, you never want to hear these words: “Sorry, delivery is not possible.”
The most common form of paper silver is a pooled account, popular at large banks and investment firms. Your investment in silver will be ‘pooled’ with others, and like deposits at a bank, there is usually just enough physical silver in storage to cover expected withdrawals and not 100%. Other popular ways to invest are silver ETF’s traded on the exchanges which track the silver price, such as iShares SLV or ProShares Ultra Silver AGQ.iShares SLV
A word on private storage: Many private firms as well as reputable bullion dealers now offer private storage of precious metals in vaults for convenience and ease. While silver can be bulky, one of the most attractive things about buying silver is there is no counter-party risk. Allowing a private company to store your metal opens you up to such risk. These are just like any other businesses: mismanagement, fraud, lawsuits, greed etc, can always be a threat. If bankruptcy were to occur, you will most likely never see your silver, so be responsible and take charge of your own wealth and money!
How to Buy Silver
Now that we’ve covered the different kinds of silver you to buy, let’s take a look at how to buy silver online or in person. Before you hand over any money, you will always want to be armed with the live spot price of silver to give you an idea how much premium you will be paying. You can get the live spot price at the top of this site on the sidebar.
Example: if silver has a huge spike up or down intraday you could be paying more than you should be, or less for that matter. Take that smart phone with you if you’re out and about. If this is your first time to buy silver, we highly recommend sticking with either local coin shops or a reputable dealer.
1) Neighbourhood Coin Shops
In case you’re searching for physical silver, we generally propose you first check your neighborhood coin shop and become more acquainted with the entrepreneurs behind them. Ordinarily you can get a working association with them and they’ll be upbeat to tell you when specific silver items you are searching for come in. There is additionally something more convenient about working together up close and personal and paying in real money.
2) Legitimate Dealers
Aside from coin shops, a legitimate merchant can be a fast and easy approach to get some silver. You will presumably be paying a marginally higher premium because of their client bolster and transporting, however you can rest well knowing they will completely remain behind their item. Read our List of Top 10 Gold, Silver and Precious Metals Companies to pick your choice. Otherwise, you can go straight to our review of the best silver coins and bullion company in the industry, Regal Assets.
Add Silver Coins to your IRA with Regal Assets
Regal Assets is the #1 company for storing your silver coins and bullion. The decent thing about purchasing silver online nowadays is that you can simply look at the costs and how much premium they are charging on the spot. Make certain to check our gold and silver merchant surveys. On the off chance that you have involvement with any of them, please leave comments: it will be extraordinarily helpful to the entire precious metals investing community!