Silver as an Investment rather than for Ornaments – Guide to buy Silver

silver ingot and fine silver granules

Credit: Mauro Cateb / CC-BY-SA 3.0

Silver is preferred by people across the world. May it be people from developed or backward countries. Silver has very unique properties – strength, malleability and ductility, high electrical and thermal conductivity, sensitivity to and high reflectance of light, ability to sustain extreme temperature ranges.

With so much interest in this precious metal, due to its properties and the fear people have in the mind about the future of the global economy, which is already undergoing a rough patch, there is a likelihood that silver prices can skyrocket in coming years but nevertheless cannot reduce. Today the world’s production of silver is not increasing with geometric progression but the demand is.

If one has to buy silver a few basics about silver purchasing need to be understood.

Various forms of silver are –

  • Silver grain – made up of silver pellets, in the form of irregular silver nuggets. This grain is packed in bags and sold in various weights
  • Silver shot – is slightly cheaper than other types of silver, mostly bought by industrial silver users and makers of jewellery. It has a flaw that it can be adulterated with base metals and then can be sold off as genuine silver.
  • Silver bars – come in all shapes and sizes, including fractional silver bars as small as 1 gram (1/31 of an ounce), and as heavy as 1,000 ounces. They are convenient to stack and are a good way to hedge against inflation.
  • Silver rounds – banks and private mints produce these rounds, purchased mainly for investment purpose.
  • Silver bullion coins – These are .999 silver coins produced by a government mint, are generally made to be highly collectable and their value can vary a lot depending upon various factors.
  • Silver proof coins – are best quality silver bullion coins minted with very special finishing effects such as gloss, frosting etc., called “ultra-collectable” versions of the ordinary bullion coins.

Depending on the type and amount of investment one intends to do, silver can be purchased in a wide range of different weights and sizes:

  • Silver dimes contain around 0.0723 ounces
  • Silver nickels include about 0.056 ounces.
  • Silver quarters weigh 0.18 ounces
  • Silver half dollars contain 0.361 /0.147 ounces of silver depending upon the year of production.
  • Fractional silver rounds and coins typically come in 1/10 ounce, ½ ounce, and ¼ ounce sizes,
  • Standard bullion coins contain exactly one troy ounce of .999 fineness silver
  • 5-ounce coins, rounds, and bars are available from both governments and private sources.
  • 10-ounce rounds and especially bars are also widely made by private sources.
  • 1 kilogram is a popular size for the largest coins of certain mints, as well as many privately issued bullion bars
  • 100-ounce bars are made by many companies
  • 1,000-ounce bars are produced by the larger banks and mints

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