Silver coins, rounds or bars which is best to purchase?

I’ve often wondered whether it really matters if a person buys silver bars, coins or rounds? Considering that the three products usually contain .999 percent pure silver, it can’t be that big of a choice can it? When you really start to dig a little deeper you will see that depending on your collecting strategy, the choices you make can be critical.

I’ve spent the last several hours digging up data from a few different perspectives. Hopefully this article provides some clarity for you when making your decision.

Things to consider

  • Premium over spot price
  • Privacy
  • Accepted and recognized brands
  • Counterfeits
  • Stacking or collecting
  • Long term value
  • Liquidity

Comparing Silver Coins, Rounds and Bars

Type/featuresCoinsRoundsBars
Premium over spotHighMediumLow
Privacy when buying/sellingYesup to 1,000 ouncesup too 1,000 ounces
Brand recognitionHighMediumLow
Ease to counterfeitLowMediumMedium
Stack-abilityLowMediumHigh
Projected valueHighLowLow
Liquidity HighMediumMedium

Silver Coins

When purchasing coins like American Silver Eagles for example you know that you are getting a quality piece of silver that is widely recognized and accepted. This fact alone comes at a premium that is generally far more expensive than that of your average bar.

For the extra money you get the brand recognition and trust associated with government mints. You also receive state of the art security fearures like the new ones being implemented by the U.S. Mint in 2021.

Silver Rounds

A round is basically a bullion coin that has been struck by a private mint. Like bars, rounds are generally struck with their melt value in mind. Rounds hold no monetary value in the sense that government minted silver does.

Silver Bars

Silver bars that are stamped from reputable mints are generally easy to sell around the world. But keep in mind that there are hundreds of brands on the market not every shop is familiar with all of them. The premiums are also far smaller when dealing with bars as opposed to coins.

Government mint versus private mint

When purchasing coins minted by governments you get the peace of mind that the silver is pure and that your actually getting what you purchased. Most private mints offer the same quality but when it comes down to collectability and long term value the bullion stamped by governments will perform better.

Silver coins are also usually legal tender in there respective nations, although it isn’t advisable to use pure silver coins in this manner. For example, one American Silver Eagle will cost you about 25 dollars and can only be redeemed for one dollar worth of goods if spent commercially. Several governments around the world mint their own metals including:

  • U.S. Mint
  • Canadian Mint
  • Austrian Mint
  • Swiss Mint
  • Chinese Mint
  • Mexican Mint
  • New Zealand Mint
  • Australian Mint

Popular Government Issued Silver Coins

Some of the more popular government minted silver coins are:

  • American Silver Eagle
  • Canadian Silver Maple Leaf
  • Austrian Silver Philharmonic
  • South African Silver Krugerrands
  • Mexican Silver Libertards
  • British Silver Britiannia

Popular Silver Round Products

Some of the more popular silver rounds include:

  • 1 ounce Buffalo Rounds
  • Ampex 1 ounce fine silver rounds
  • Monarch Silver Rounds

Popular Silver Bar Brands

Some of the more reputable names that produce silver bars include:

  • Sunshine Mint
  • PAMP
  • Johnson Matthey
  • Engelhard
  • Metalor
  • Perth Mint

What should you buy coins, rounds or bars?

In the end it all comes down to you and the goals you set when building your precious metals portfolio. Expect to pay more upfront when purchasing coins. But with proper care you should recoup this initial cost and then some if the time comes to sell.

A good rule of thumb is if your acquiring metals strictly for the silver value then collecting rounds and bars are probably the best way to go. However, if your collecting silver for monetary and future value of each piece, then the easy choice is acquiring coins. Whatever you decide make sure you take precautions with your bullion and the time to research how to properly care for, store and secure your investment.

Enjoying our content? Check out another article- Can you store gold and silver together?