Learn all about how to buy silver online before you actually do it. This article provides advice about the different formats that you can buy silver, from my own experience as a silver enthusiast.
Buying silver coins is probably the most popular silver investment. Coins, such as American Silver Eagles and Canadian Silver Maple Leafs have always been very popular and considered safe coins to own because the government guarantees the purity of each coin. Personally, I prefer Canadian Maples because they have a higher face value (the dollar value that is actually printed on the coin) than American Eagles, and if I ever find myself in a serious SHTF scenario, where I absolutely must bargain with an idiot to survive, Canadian Maples appear to be worth more.
Silver rounds are like silver coins except they are not legal tender. A silver round is simply a coin shaped piece of silver with a value equal to the silver content. Silver rounds are advantageous because they usually carry a smaller premiums than legal-tender silver coins. I’ve never purchased a silver round, but I have nothing against. One way silver rounds are superior to silver coins is that they are usually stamped with weight and purity, but they do not have a dollar face value. I see this as a good thing because dollar denominations a arbitrary, whereas 1oz of fine silver is always one ounce of fine silver. In a SHTF scenario, it would be a lot easier to convince a novice that one ounce of silver is worth $20 because it doesn’t have “ONE DOLLAR” stamped on it.
Silver Bullion Bars
Silver bullion bars are a cheaper way of buying silver and usually have lower premiums than silver coins and silver rounds. The first silver purchase I ever made was a 1kilo bar.
Where to Buy Silver Online
Deciding where to buy physical silver coins and silver bars is an important decision. After deciding what you want to buy, go to my Silver Coin Prices table or Silver Bullion Prices table, find the item you want to buy, and click the arrow at the top of the column to sort by price. Then, check the gold dealer ratings–indicated by the stars under each dealer’s name–to determine which dealer has the best combination of low prices and a good reputation. You should consider other criteria such as:
- The silver dealer’s payment methods, return policy, and buy-back policy.
- Volume discounts.
- Reduced pricing for different payment methods. Note that you can find some of this information on my dealer review pages.
- Shipping costs.
Junk silver coins, or early US legal tender coins (nickles, dimes and quarters), actually contain silver. In fact, depending on the year and coin, some coins are up to 90% silver. The word, junk, refers to their collectible value, not the silver value. You can buy them by the bag, and they usually consist of early dimes, quarters and half dollars. You can also buy junk silver coins by the roll. 90% silver bags are listed on the Silver Coin Prices table.
Scrap silver is another way of accumulating silver. Here you can often get silver at cost price. You do need to know a bit about silver and what price you should pay for scrap. Old broken jewelery is a good source. Sometimes old silver coins can turn up as scrap silver. In this case always check if the coin has any collector value because if it does, it can be a lot higher than the silver content. It pays to do some research into the area if you intend collecting or accumulating scrap silver.
- Liberty Head “Barber” (1892–1915) — 90-percent silver
- Walking Liberty (1916–1947) — 90-percent silver
- Franklin (1948–1963) — 90-percent silver
- Kennedy (1964) — 90-percent silver
- Kennedy (1965–1970) — 40-percent silver
- Liberty Head “Barber” (1892–1916) — 90-percent silver
- Standing Liberty (1916–1930) — 90-percent silver
- Washington (1932, 1934–1964) — 90-percent silver
- Liberty Head “Barber” (1892–1916) — 90-percent silver
- Winged Liberty Head “Mercury” (1916–1945) — 90-percent silver
- Roosevelt (1946–1964) — 90-percent silver
- Jefferson “Wartime” (1942 (partial)-1945) — 35-percent silver
Personally, I’m not crazy about junk silver because in a SHTF scenario, I think you will have a hard time convincing someone that your 1964 Quarter is actually worth $3.50. I’m not saying it’s not a good store of value; I just prefer to avoid confusion if possible.
Another way of investing in silver that reduces premiums and saves on shipping costs is by using a system where the silver is purchased on your behalf and stored in a bank vault for you. A drawback of this, however, is that you don’t physically posses the silver yourself, and dishonest warehouses could sell the same silver to multiple people. For this reason, I do not recommend storage; however if you’ve determined silver storage is the best solution for you, here are some reputable places that offer silver storage:
These services let you buy silver in virtually any quantity, from just a gram or two up to as many ounces or grams as you want. This is ideal for an investor because you can implement a regular savings plan that doesn’t break the bank. The silver is stored in a remote bank vault and is audited by an independent third party on a regular basis to ensure that the silver or gold in the vaults exactly matches the record of silver in the clients’ accounts. Most of these brokers also let you collect physical silver, if you choose to do so
Silver Exchange Traded Funds (Silver ETFs)
Silver ETFs are a popular way to buy silver, which I morally oppose. ETFs trade fictional paper silver (similar to paper gold), and without the ETF market, it would be pretty hard to manipulate silver prices as they do today.