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What is the Best Way to Invest in Silver?

One of the most common questions that we receive is “what is the best way to invest in silver?”  Silver is becoming more prominent in the news due to its recent strong performance, and thus is attracting more attention from individuals that are interested in purchasing silver as an investment and as an inflation hedge.

The good news is that there’s really no right or wrong way to invest in silver; however, factors that should be taken into consideration are cost, familiarity, portability, and storage.  We’ll address four of the most common silver bullion investments and how they rate relative to these factors.

The most common silver investment is in 90% silver coins.  These are also commonly referred to as pre-1965 or junk silver coins.  All pre-1965 dimes, quarters, half dollars, and silver dollars minted by the U.S. government are 90% silver.  Since they’re not .999 fine silver, they don’t carry with them a substantial premium over the spot price of silver.  They’re also highly recognizable, and can be transported with relative ease, but storage may pose a problem, as these coins are typically are stored in coin tubes, and can take up a substantial amount of space.

The next most common silver investment, at least from a U.S. perspective, is in American silver eagles.  The U.S. Mint began minting these coins in 1986.  They contain .999 fine silver and are highly recognizable the world over, donning a picture of walking liberty on the front and an eagle on the back.  Government minted silver coins are typically sold at a premium to spot, and these coins are no exception.  At the moment, American silver eagles can be purchased directly from the U.S. Mint for a premium of over $3.00 per coin.  Although they’re heavier than any of the 90% silver coins previously discussed, American silver eagles can be transported with relative ease.  Also, since they’re .999 fine silver, and are sold in compact coin tubes from the U.S. mint, a large quantity is easier to store than 90% silver coins.

Next in order of popularity are generic silver rounds.  These are .999 fine silver coins minted by private mints, such as Engelhard, Johnson Matthey, the Washington Mint, the Sunshine Mint, the New York Mint, the Northwest Mint and the Franklin Mint, just to name a few.  Since they’re minted by private mints as opposed to a government mint, they typically sell at a lower premium to spot than American silver eagles.  They’re also not as recognizable as American silver eagles, but since they’re pure silver, they carry with them a higher premium than 90% silver coins.  Portability and storage are similar to that discussed for American silver eagles.

The last silver investment that we’ll address is in silver bars.  These come in a large variety of sizes, including 1 ounce, 10 ounces, 50 ounces, 100 ounces, and 1,000 ounces, so there are plenty of options from which to choose.   Engelhard and Johnson Matthey are the two most recognizable producers of silver bars, and as such, carry with them the highest premium over spot.  The premium for silver bars is comparable to generic silver rounds, but can be slightly higher, as they’re most recognizable to investors than many privately minted silver rounds.  Portability can pose issues, especially with larger bars, such as the 1,000 ounce variety, but bars can typically be stored easier than the other silver options discussed above, primarily due to their ability to be stacked.

In summary, there’s really no right or wrong way to invest in silver.  It’s primarily a matter of personal preference; however, cost, familiarity, portability, and storage should be taken into consideration with your investment decision.  Atlanta Gold and Coin Buyers regularly carries the silver coins, bullion, and bars discussed in this article, so feel free to contact us at 404-236-9744 once you’ve weighed all of your options and have made a decision.  We also buy silver coins, rounds, bullion, and bars of all types, shapes, sizes, and varieties, including sterling silver and complete silver coin collections.  Give us a call today and let us earn your business!



Tony Davis
Tony Davis