The promise of silver’s return on investment (ROI) has captivated market-savvy investors for decades. The bullion market has seen its share of ups and downs, and people are curious about the benefits of investing in bullion, particularly JM Bullion’s poured silver bars.
Silver is available for purchase in several forms, but the poured silver bar is the preferred variety for more than a few investors. The precious metal is melted and purified at extreme heat in a crucible, then poured into a mold of predetermined size and weight. The bars are generally sold in 1 oz, 5 oz, 10 oz, and 100 oz increments.
Note: Precious metals are measured in troy ounces as opposed to avoirdupois ounces. There are 16 avoirdupois ounces in a pound, but only 12 troy ounces in a troy pound.
Anyone can create their own bullion at home, but the process is time-consuming and complicated, not to mention dangerous. If you’re interested in adding poured silver bars to your portfolio, your best bet is to buy bullion that has been manufactured by a reputable mint. JM Bullion works with several trusted mints, including the following:
As a general rule, different bar sizes come with different pricing structures and premiums. If you buy a 1 oz bar, you’ll generally pay the highest premium over spot. The next step up, the 5 oz bar, costs slightly less in terms of premium. The 10 oz bar is the most popular choice and generally the option with the lowest premiums.
People have mined silver since the 17th century, but it wasn’t until the 1800s that the bar-pouring process took shape. Molten silver, heated in a blazing orange-red crucible at 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit, is “cooked” until the substance is smooth and free of impurities, then poured into bar molds made of graphite or stainless steel. Graphite molds are cheaper for the manufacturer upfront, but less durable in the long run, lasting only 20-40 pours. Stainless steel molds last indefinitely and are the bar-molding choice of true professionals.
After the bars have cooled a bit, they are ejected from their molds and washed in a pickling bath to remove any remaining residue, including the “smelting flux” that is typically used to purify silver. The bars are then washed, polished, and packaged for sale.
Some investors gravitate toward poured silver bars that appear “shiny and new.” It’s human nature to be visually attracted to glossy objects; when it comes to poured silver, though, the newer-looking purchase is not always the better purchase. Any qualified bullion bar is .999 pure, whether it sparkles like diamonds in the sunlight or not.
Investors should remember that secondhand bars, although perhaps not in pristine condition, are worth just as much in spot as their shinier counterparts. Sellers often charge less for these older wares, in fact, because they know the product doesn’t “look” as pretty — and pretty is often what sells.
JM Bullion offers a range of poured silver bars made by reputable producers like SilverTowne, Johnson Matthey and Engelhard. Be sure to browse our full selection online today and add something unique to your investment portfolio or collection of precious metals.