Which Type of Silver Should I Buy?

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Buying Silver In Hampton New Hampshire.

Silver Rounds and Bars or Silver Eagles?

You’ve made the decision to buy some silver. Now you have another decision to make: Which type of silver should you buy?

For residents of Hampton and the Seacoast Area, the most common way to buy silver is in the form of coins, rounds or bars.

American Silver Eagles

Silver coins are made by sovereign mints and are legal tender that are usually stamped with face values worth far less than their silver content. For example a one ounce American Silver Eagle is stamped “one dollar” and a one ounce Canadian Maple leaf is stamped “5 Dollars”. An ounce of silver over the past ten years has ranged from about $10-$50 an ounce. Silver coins are generally struck in 99.9% silver

Silver Rounds and Bars

Silver rounds look like coins, but they are issued by private mints and vary greatly in design and size. Silver rounds have no face value and are issued by weight. Silver bars are generally issued by private mints and are also sold by weight. Sovereign Mints like the Canadian and Perth mints also make silver bars but they do not have a face value stamped on them. Silver rounds and bars, like silver coins are also generally struck in 99.9% silver, although some sterling silver (92.5% silver) rounds and bars are minted.

Some silver stackers buy only Silver Eagles, others only silver rounds and bars (you may decide on both).

Here are some criteria that will help you decide which silver to buy:

© Can Stock Photo /


American Silver Eagles (pictured above) carry the largest premium of any major sovereign mint coin. The U.S. Mint charges its authorized purchasers $2 over the spot price of silver per coin they purchase, no matter what the spot price is. As such, premiums on Silver Eagles you buy will always be at least two dollars over the spot price of silver, as only a select group of about a dozen US Mint authorized purchaser can buy American Silver Eagles for “just” two dollars over spot. Authorized purchasers then mark up their Silver Eagles to other bullion dealers who also may mark up their Silver Eagles before selling them to you.

Silver Rounds and bars will often sell for something less than two dollars per ounce per bar or round. Because silver bars and rounds come in many sizes, larger size five or ten ounce bars or rounds may sell for closer to the spot price of silver as the fabrication charge for larger coins or bars is less than the charge for smaller bars or coins.


American Silver Eagle coins are minted in one ounce size only. Silver coins and bars are minted in fractional and multi-ounce sizes.

Counterfeit Risk

While gold is often more counterfeited than silver due to the much higher price of gold than silver, American Silver Eagle coins and other silver products have been known to be counterfeited. American Silver Eagle coins are probably less likely to be counterfeited than privately minted rounds and bars due to harsh Federal penalties for counterfeiting U.S. legal tender.

Private mints like the Sunshine Minting Company now make their silver products with anti-counterfeit mark that can help confirm their authenticity. You can minimize your counterfeit risk by dealing with a reputable coin dealer who may buy directly from private mints or obtain mint direct products, thus ensuring authentic silver products. Skilled coin dealers are also well-trained to spot counterfeits and often have equipment designed to ferret out the fakes that they may obtain in the secondary market.

Resale Value

American Silver Eagles can be resold easily as they are the most recognizable silver coin in the world. You may also recoup the premium you paid when you purchased the coin(s). This is subject to two caveats: 1. where and to whom you intend to sell your Silver Eagles and 2. the condition they are in when the time comes to sell. Some coin dealers will not pay a premium on American Silver Eagles and will only pay something close to the spot price of silver. In addition, if your Silver Eagles are not in the pristine Brilliant Uncirculated condition in which you first purchased them, most dealers will reduce or eliminate the premium entirely. American Silver Eagles may be sold in small lots at online market places like eBay where you may find a purchaser interested in Silver Eagles that carry the dates of your coins, who is willing to pay a premium for them

Silver rounds and bars that were purchased at or around the spot price of silver may generally also be sold at or around the spot price of silver. Condition of most silver rounds and bars is less important as most silver rounds and bars have little or no collectible premium. You may find, however, that some dealers may pay under spot for some privately minted rounds or bars and a substantial percentage of silver buyers will only buy silver in the form of coins issued by sovereign mints. This buyer preference may make it difficult for the dealer to resell the coins he may buy from you and force him to sell them at a bulk discount to the spot price of silver to a silver refiner.

Care and storage

When you purchase your silver coins, rounds or bars, make sure you buy the appropriate containers (flips, capsules etc) that will provide the protection required to retain your silver’s value. Improperly stored or mishandled silver can damage your silver and reduce its value if scratched, dented or tarnished. Your coin dealer can help you select the most cost effective containers for the silver that you buy.

Port City Coin & Jewelry May Special

Can’t decide whether to buy American Silver Eagles or silver rounds and bars?

During the month of May Port City Coin and Jewelry is offering specials on American Silver Eagles and silver rounds and bars. Stop in and mention this article for details.

Visit Port City Coin & Jewelry

If you are in the New Hampshire Seacoast area, visit Port City Coin & Jewelry and ask about our services and specials. Or call 603-373-6185.

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Port City Coin & Jewelry is located at 599 Lafayette Rd (Route 1) | Portsmouth, NH (next to Bowl O Rama)
Call: (603) 373-6185

email portcitycoin@gmail.com
Visit our web site: PortCityCoin.com

Also see What Type of Gold Should I Buy?

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Serving the New Hampshire Seacoast, Portsmouth, Hampton, Seabrook, Epping, Exeter, Dover, Rochester, Southern Maine, Kittery, York, Elliot, Berwick, Portland and Southern Massachusetts