Silver, along with gold, is one of the most popular investment vehicles for precious metal investors. There are many different types of silver that are available for investment and collecting alike. Silver is a great investment because it is affordably priced as compared to gold. No matter the size of your order, you will always be able to order more ounces of silver than gold for the same amount of money.
There are three different primary types of silver bullion: bars, rounds, and coins. A bar and round, for all intents and purposes, are the same thing with a different shape. Bars and rounds are minted and produced by private companies, and are most often sold to silver investors. Coins, on the other hand, most often end up in private collections.
Coins cost a lot more than rounds and bars of the same weight because they have a collectible value on top of the value of the silver contained in the coin. There is a set scarcity and production run with coins, whereas bars and rounds are produced in virtually limitless quantities.
Bars are the most common form of silver for investments. Bars come in many different weights and sizes, with the standard sizes being 1 oz., 5 oz., 10 oz., 1 kilo, and 100 oz. The larger the size of the bars that you order, the lower the price per oz. that you should expect to pay.
Rounds are just like bars, with the primary difference being that they tend to be available mainly in 1 oz. sizes. Silver rounds that weigh 2 oz. or more tend to stick out from the rest. There are rounds that are minted in larger than 1 oz. varieties, but they are relatively far and few between. Both rounds and bars will generally be priced in the same price range per ounce. As is the case with bars, ordering rounds in bulk is the best way to achieve the lowest price per ounce.
Coins are the ultimate, but also the most expensive form of silver. A coin is a piece of silver, shaped like a round, that is minted and distributed by the national mint of a particular country. Just as the American Eagle is manufactured by the US Mint, the Canadian Maple Leaf is produced by Canada. In China, the primary silver coin is known as the Silver Panda. Many countries from all over the world have their own national coins, and they tend to be the most popular and in-demand items on the market.
Coins are also more expensive than their bar and round counterparts. Though the amount of actual silver is often times equal to that found in other forms of bullion, the price of coins will be higher due to the raised collector and secondary market demand. Coins are naturally rare and have added value because they are scarce, whereas bars and rounds are simply pure bullion that are produced in virtually limitless quantities.
For most people, ordering a combination of bars, rounds, and coins is the best strategy. This will ensure that you are diversifying your portfolio and making it that much easier to buy and sell as you build your precious metal portfolio.