Methods of investing in silver

A traditional way of investing in silver is by buying silver bullion coins. There is now a considerable choice available and they can be bought or sold very easily.


Physical silver, such as bars or coins, may be stored in a home safe, a safe deposit box at a bank, or placed in allocated or unallocated  storage with a bank or dealer.

Coins

American Silver Eagle bullion coins. Buying silver coins is another popular method of physically holding silver. One example is the 99.99% pure Canadian Silver Maple Leaf. Coins may be minted as either fine silver or junk silver, the latter being older coins with a smaller percentage of silver. U.S. pre-1965 half dollars, dimes, and quarters are 25 grams per dollar of face value and 90% silver (22½ g silver per dollar). (All 1965-1970 and one half of the 1975-1976 Bicentennial San Francisco proof and mint set Kennedy half dollars are "clad" in a silver alloy and contain just under one half of the silver in the pre-1965 issues). Junk silver coins are also available as sterling silver coins, which were officially minted until 1919 in the United Kingdom and Canada and 1945 in Australia. These coins are 92.5% silver and are in the form of (in decreasing weight) Crowns, Half-crowns, Florins, Shillings, Sixpences, and threepence. The tiny threepence weighs 1.41 grams, and the Crowns are 28.27 grams (1.54 grams heavier than a US $1). Canada produced silver coins with 80% silver content from 1920 to 1967.

Various sizes of silver bars:

1000 oz troy bars – These bars weigh about 68 pounds avoirdupois (31 kg) and vary about 10% as to weight, as bars range from 900 oz to about 1100 oz (28 to 34 kg). These are COMEX good delivery bars.
100 oz bars – These bars weigh 6.8 pounds (3.11 kg) and are among the most popular with retail investors. Popular brands are Engelhard and Johnson Matthey. Those two brands cost a bit more, usually about 40-50 cents per ounce above the spot price, but that price may vary with market conditions.
Odd weight retail bars – These bars cost less and generally have a wider spread, due to the extra work it takes to calculate their value and the extra risk due to the lack of a good brand name.
1 kilogram bars (32.15 oz)
10 oz bars and 1 oz bars (311 and 31.1 g)

Rounds

Some hard money enthusiasts use .999 fine silver rounds as a store of value. A cross between bars and coins, silver rounds are produced by a huge array of mints, generally contain an ounce of silver in the shape of a coin, but have no status as legal tender. Rounds can be ordered with a custom design stamped on the faces or in assorted batches.


Certificates

A certificate of ownership can be held by silver investors instead of storing the actual silver bullion. Silver certificates allow investors to buy and sell the security without the difficulties associated with the transfer of actual physical silver. The Perth Mint Certificate Program is the only government-guaranteed silver-certificate program in the world.

The U.S. dollar has been issued as silver certificates in the past, each one represented one silver dollar payable to the bearer on demand. The notes were issued in denominations of $10, $5, and $1 and can no longer be redeemed for silver.

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