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Investing In Silver Coins vs Bars – What to Buy?

January 18, 2020

As some of you savvy investors already know, I am a huge, huge advocate of adding precious metals to your portfolio.

Some people defend this debate by saying that investing in gold and silver is a risky choice, but for them I’ll just say to zoom out for an analysis on these assets price fluctuations over the past 100 years.

A huge dilemma some of you will run into is deciding on whether to purchase silver bullion coins or silver bullion bars - so today we're going to decipher which is BEST for you. 

With the global pandemic reigning hellfire on our market indexes, I think this article is going to be so relevant NOW more than ever. 

Whether you're mulling over the decision to add some silver bullion to your portfolio or not, I really urge you to take some notes here and take action if your current situation gives you the chance. 

In the current economic climate, we should expect a sharp decline in industrial output as a recession is all but inevitable. While there will be some demand for silver as an investment in such volatile times it is impossible to ignore the potential for a significant reduction in demand in the short to medium term. 

Precious metals such as gold and silver are beneficial in every form whether you want them as bullion bars or bullion coins.

While most folks will end up being at a loss as paper assets decline leading into this depression, I want everyone who's curious to learn more about Silver to have an advantage to the masses and grab some bullion while it's cheap. 

All precious metals, specifically gold silver are sold in multiple forms ranging from bullion bars, bullion rounds, and bullion coins.

The advantageous thing about silver bullion is that it's far more volatile than gold bullion. That means that opportunistic investors can make a lot more money from selling options in silver ETFs or silver miners. For patient, long-term investors, this volatility is a good thing. 

Let's all be risk takers together in these strange times. Follow us and allocate your capital diversely so that you can withstand any economic turmoil both short term, and long term. 

Buy Gold and Silver

So you’re a novice investor who’s interested in converting some of your wealth into precious metal bullion.

If you're here, you're looking for the best choice: silver bullion coins vs silver bullion bars. You’re willing to invest in either, but you want to know which is best. 

Ultimately, the question on your mind is “is it better to buy silver bullion coins or bullion bars?”

Whether it's silver bullion rounds or even gold bullion you want to compare, we're here to ensure you make a profitable (and knowledgeable) investment by considering only beneficial precious metals so your portfolio stays diverse. 

To summarize quickly, there is no concrete answer to this question.  

You can’t really pick one over the other and declare it the superior of the two. Both of these have advantages and disadvantages that make them the better choice depending on your situation. Let’s take a closer look at both, so we can end the silver bullion bars vs. bullion coins fight once and for all.

Silver Bars OR Coins for Investing (2020)

The only similarity between these two forms of precious metal is that they have significant advantages over paper currency.

Silver bars and coins make sound investments because their prices remain consistent for long periods of time. Paper currency has the tendency to fluctuate because it's affected by various political, financial, and global health catasrophe related factors.

Meanwhile, silver and other precious metals such as gold can always be resold at prices that don’t always change or stray from the original buying price.​

For this reason, many investors switch their wealth into precious metals, be it silver bullion bars or bullion coins or gold, etc, just to make sure that the value doesn’t decrease drastically.

During times of economic uncertainty, you can rely on these metals to serve as wise investments. You can check out here for investing guide for expensive metals.

There’s really no need to pit silver coins vs. bullion bars because they do the same thing: protect your wealth. But as we said earlier, there are a few reasons to choose one over the other. So let’s discuss each of them in detail.

The Difference Between Silver Coins And Bars

silver coin versus silver bars

Owning Silver Coins

Coins have the status of legal tender, meaning you can use these to pay your debt. Each side of a coin includes an intricate design that changes every now and then. These are produced by the government’s mint. Most silver bullion coins feature a face value and year stamped on the front, while their purity and weight is inscribed somewhere on the reverse.

There are also so-called junk coins that aren’t made entirely out of silver. They may not be pure, but they have a percentage of precious metal mixed in ranging from 35 to 90 percent. These make a great investment for some people because they can be purchased at spot price, or slightly below it.

Disadvantages and Advantages of Silver Coins

One disadvantage to owning silver bullion coins is that the premium is usually higher than the metal’s current spot price. This is mostly because of its collectability, rarity, and the fact that it is legal tender.

However, when compared to silver bars, it becomes obvious that silver bullion coins are more collectible. Sovereign coins are mostly hard to liquify. It's status as legal tender also helps boost its appeal, not to mention you can get junk silver coins for below or at spot price.

Lastly, coins are easier to “barter” or trade off during a crisis. This makes silver bullion a highly liquid asset that any clever investor should consider owning.

silver bars vs silver coins

Owning Silver Bars

Bullion bars are a lot less complicated than silver bullion coins. They’re thin, rectangular slabs of precious metal that are produced by private mints. They are not considered legal tender, but they are still worthy of your consideration. Owning bars is a great way to keep your raw precious metal in 1 to 10 ounce sizes.

Bullion bars compact, stackable, and very easy to store. They may have less collectible value than coins, but at least they have the lowest premium over spot price. This also applies to gold bars. This is the reason why serious, large-scale investors are interested in owning as much precious metal as possible – often in bar form.

Investment Options For Every Budget

With that in mind, we can conclude that smaller investors should consider opting for silver coins, while larger investors such as corporations should consider getting bars. Individual investors have more use for legal tender assets anyway, while larger investors don’t need much of collectible assets – they need something that can be purchased at the lowest premium over the current face value

Still, newer investors shouldn’t completely disregard the value of silver bars because they allow them to quickly build their financial portfolio, making you a trustworthy investor.

Physical gold and silver generally have the lowest premium over spot price. That's why they are often favored by serious, large-scale investors interested in owning as much precious metal as possible at the lowest price (as opposed to collecting legal tender coins).

Is NOW the time to buy Silver?

It all boils down to your purposes and goals. When deciding to buy and sell silver coins vs bars, it is important to keep track of your own needs and silver price forecasts. In this economic climate, it looks like silver could be a great long term investment. Depending on your own risk factor, I do recommend allocating some capital towards silver today. Money Metals Exchange are the friendliest company for buying silver in my opinion. They have hundreds of happy customer reviews. Check them out below. 

Buy Gold and Silver

Advantages and Disadvantages Of Buying Silver Bars

Silver from time has been overshadowed by the attention everyone pays to gold. This does not mean that trading in Silver is a bad choice. Due to its high demand for solar panels, smartphones, computers, and medicines, Silver has now become a lucrative portfolio to invest in. If you’re dithering on whether or not to buy Silver, here are some pros and cons to consider before trading. Your final decision will ultimately depend on your risk appetite. 


1. It's undervalued 

Most investors make the major mistake of comparing Silver to gold rather than compare it to past dollar prices. Silver has the potential of earning profits for investors who decide to put their money in it. Currently, the gold-silver ratio is 1-85. This means that an ounce of gold is equivalent to 85 ounces of Silver. While this ratio is the highest ever since 1995, Silver could still prove to be a profitable portfolio to invest in. 

2. Silver Is Safe 

Silver is considered a safe portfolio to invest in because it is stable and retains its value. Because it is an alternative to gold and other precious metals, any volatility in the prices of other precious metals will drive investors to opt for Silver. It is referred to by most as a fear-driven investment, which makes it an excellent asset to use when diversifying your portfolio.

silver bars vs coins


1. It Has A Volatile Downside 

In the precious metals market, Silver’s volatility is of two ways. On the one hand, an undervalued silver portfolio has a higher upside than gold. This means that the price of Silver will go up than that of gold and earn you more profit if you exit in perfect time. On the other hand, the silver market volatility can also cause a rapid fall in the price of Silver. This makes it a risky portfolio to trade, especially with difficulty in timing your trade. 

2. Cost Of Storage 

When it comes to metals, the cost incurred in owning silver bullion is different from what you incur on other portfolios like treasuries and stocks. When you trade in Silver, you need to find a way to store your silver bullion bars. You can choose to store it in your home or contract banks or private dealers who specialize in the storage of silver bullions. The cost of insurance alone make it inconvenient for those who trade in Silver. Whether you store it at home or offsite, you need to mitigate the risk by insuring it. 


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Comparing Silver Bars and Silver Coins


Storage is an essential factor to consider when buying silver bars or coins. Bullion coins take more space than bullion silver bars. In other words, 100 oz of Silver takes less space than 100oz of coins. 


Coins are usually more expensive than Silver. This is because coins have more designs, which means that more is spent on bringing out the designs, translating into higher costs. 

Where You Can Buy Silver Bars and Coins

You can buy silver bars and coins from different online platforms, auction sites, or local dealers near you. You must be careful in choosing whatever platform you want to buy from by making sure that such a platform is a reliable vendor that will educate you on the necessary intricacies of Silver and coin and sell high-quality silver bars and coins to you. 

Buy Gold and Silver

Tips On Trading In Silver Bars and Coins

Whichever of the precious metals you go for, it is essential to have a checklist of things to do before going ahead. Some of the tips include:

1. Be Sure Of The Cost

Before buying the silver bars or coin, make sure you confirm the market price for that day. The volatility of the precious metal market makes for an unstable pricing system. Depending on your preference, you should be prepared to pay more for fractional gold pieces for melt value than for one-ounce pieces.

2. Crosscheck The Reputation Of The Dealer/Vendor

Getting a trustworthy bullion dealer cannot be overstated. Go for a reputable bullion dealer with the experience and knowledge of buying and selling in the ever-fluctuating bullion market.  

3. Understand The Charges and Commissions To Be Incurred During Training

There are standard charges to be incurred when trading in silver bars or coins. The Professional Numismatists Guild provides that the average retail commission on one ounce of American Eagle or Maple Leaf gold coins is around 5 or 6 percent. 

4. Prepare For Risk

Like any other form of investment, buying silver bars or coins has its own risks. It is advisable to prepare your mind for any eventuality. Especially when it comes to prices, no one can say for sure that the market price will remain or rise. To mitigate these risks, you should try and educate yourself on the silver bars and coin market before you start trading.

About the author 


Tom is a former accountant turned entrepreneur. He is not a financial adviser but does tend to give a lot of financial advice to his friends and colleagues. He currently runs a small online venture and blogs about his research and experiences.

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