A lot of people new to investing in precious metals immediately leap to gold. However, the market and opportunities in the silver industry are equally as deep and interesting for people at any stage of their financial journey. They’re worth exploring to have a full understanding of the options they have.
Why People Invest in Silver Bars
People invest in silver as an inflation-resistant way to store their money that is also portable, easily stored, and always in demand. Silver is also a great way to diversify your portfolio if you are a budding investor, and is much more accessible than its more expensive counterpart, gold.
A lot of people choose silver bars over silver coins because of the price; due to the intricacies surrounding making silver coins, they are more expensive than bars meaning you purchase less raw silver.
Types of Silver Bars
There are two major types of silver bars to buy: poured and minted. The two different methods both generate a silver bar of the same size but go about it in different ways. Poured bars are made by utilising a mould into which a certain amount of silver, the exact amount depends on the size of the bar being made, is cast.
Minted bars, however, are cast/poured first and then stamped or minted. Due to the differences in the processes, minted bars are usually more expensive than cast or poured bars.
Regardless of whether they have been minted or poured, all commercial bars of silver should have some similar properties. All investment-grade bars are legally 99.9% silver (allowing for slight imperfections) and will always be one of the regulation sizes (discussed below).
Most commonly, bars are rectangular, triangular, or cylindrical, but the former, because it can be stacked and stored easily, is the most popular choice. All silver bars, as long as they are the advertised weight and 99.9% silver are legal, regardless of condition, artistic flair, or shape.
Though you can technically buy silver of any sized bar and have it count as silver for investment purposes, in terms of commercial integrity it is recommended that you buy one of the common retail weights. These are:
- 0.5 Ounces
- 1 Ounce
- 5 Ounces
- 10 Ounces
- 100 Ounces
- 1000 Ounces
- 1 Gram
- 5 Grams
- 10 Grams
- 100 Grams
- 500 Grams
- 1 Kilogram
- 5 Kilograms
Purchasing any of the above weights is common practice for silver investors and those with a large holding of silver will likely have multiple bar sizes in their reserves. For someone starting out though, it is important to know that there are pros and cons to buying different-sized bars.
Buying a large number of small bars gives liquidity and versatility to your holdings. For example, you would easily be able to sell off part of your silver if it was all in 1-ounce units. However, because of the individual production costs associated with each bar, you will pay more for the same quantity of silver if you bought it in 10-ounce bars compared with if you bought it in 1000 ounce bars.
Purchasing in larger single units suffers from the opposite problem—it is cheaper to buy but less liquid. You should purchase silver according to your needs and purposes, and therefore choose a size that fits your needs; you can view the silver bullion price here.
Choose a Silver Bar Mint/Brand
In addition to choosing a size, you also have to choose what mint to purchase your silver bar from. While you can buy silver from anywhere, including places like eBay, second-hand silver merchants, or unlicensed traders, purchasing from a reputable “name brand” of silver bars guarantees that the silver you buy will be legal, high quality, and—though you may pay slightly more to purchase it—able to be sold for a greater amount than less verified sources.
Some of the most prestigious silver mints include PAMP Suisse, Johnson Matthey, Sunshine Minting, Royal Canadian Mint, Perth Mint, and Valcambi. Before you buy gold and silver from anywhere specific though, you should contact experts to ensure you make the right investment choice with your finances.For expert consultation, contact the Gold Survival Guide team.
Still want to know more about silver bars? Check out this article: What Type of Silver Bar Should I Buy