Silver is a frequently under-estimated precious metal. Silver can help you diversify your portfolio and it correlates positively with inflation. Silver is a more affordable alternative to gold and it historically increases in value faster than gold. There are plenty of reasons to get into silver; more important is how you start investing. Before you begin investing in silver, you should understand what you’re looking for and the best way to meet your goals.
There are two main ways people buy silver: collectible silver coins and bullion silver coins.
Bullion Silver Coins
Bullion-grade silver coins are the standard if you are a silver investor who is primarily motivated by profiting from silver trading, diversifying your portfolio, or saving for your retirement.
Bullion silver coins are pure silver (9999 silver, or 99.99% silver). Like collectible coins, they are produced by national mints. While they have a face value, their silver content is the most relevant factor in determining their value. Their prices should be more or less in line with the spot silver price, plus premiums that pay for creating, shipping, and storing the coins.
If you are looking for the best place to buy silver, try going online and finding bullion-grade silver coins. The condition of bullion-grade silver coins is typically not a major concern, though you will want to take care of them enough that they do not tarnish.
Collectible Silver Coins
Collectible silver coins are best left to hobbyists with a passion for numismatics. If you love finding and collecting rare silver coins, completing topical coin collections, or discovering new silver coins from around the world, numismatics is a rewarding pastime in which one can easily indulge their curious and obsessive side.
If you are entering into the silver coin market as an investment, be aware that numismatics can be a tricky industry in which to make money. While a silver coin can rise in value over time, price is influenced by several factors:
- Desirability; are other collectors on the market looking to purchase that coin?
- Condition; how well maintained has the coin been over the years?
- Rarity; is it relatively easy to find that specific silver coin?
- Silver content; the price of silver will always have an impact on silver coins, even if their numismatic value is more important.
Collectors tend to invest a lot of money in their collections, and while they may occasionally sell silver coins, these are often prized possessions that they want to keep or pass on to their children. While it’s a fine hobby, it’s not an investment unless you’re going to sell. If you do intend to profit from collecting silver coins, you will have to do your research and learn about numismatics extensively.
There are many places you can go to buy and sell silver coins, from online exchanges to coin shops to online bullion dealers.
How you buy silver should be determined by your investment goals and interests. Remember that collectible silver coin and bullion-grade silver coins are very different species.