Silver bars are very popular investment items, but newcomers would do well to learn a little bit about them before purchasing. If you have never purchased any form of precious metal as an investment item, it is a good idea to carry out your own research. Silver, like Gold is also considered a safe haven asset class, but is also considered a industrial metal, and as such can be more volatile.
Silver bars are also referred to as silver ingots. The more popular ones usually contain 99.99 percent, or "fine" silver. They usually range from a single ounce to 5,000 ounces, with bars between 1 and 100 ounces being the most commonly sought for investment purchases. During the early 1970s, bars in 5, 25 and 50 ounce sizes were also manufactured in quantity, but they are very difficult to locate today as investors tend to hold onto them. Like Gold, they can be considered liquid assets, with a thriving market in silver bars in existsence for people to trade in. Silver ingots tend to be bought purely for their investment properties, unlike silver coins which can also have Numistic demand.
When researching silver bars as an investment it is important to consider certain aspects. Silver is much cheaper than Gold and therefore a significant investment in Silver will take up alot more storage space. As many people opt to keep their silver in a safe in their homes or in a safe deposit at the bank, storage problems can be more of an issue than with gold. Like Gold, Silver bars bearing a recognised brand will be preferable to those that do not. Recognised brand silver will be more marketable when coming to sell.
Silver bars will always sell for a premium over the Silver "market price". This is the reason 100 ounce bars are particularly popular with buyers as they carry a lower premium than smaller bars.
Currently popular silver bars in 100 ounce denomination, carry the brands of US refiner, Engelhard and UK refiner, Johnson Matthey. These two companies are two of the most recognised silver refiners in the world even though they discontinued mass producing silver bars in the middle of the 1980s. They stand behind the purity of their silver bars, and their brands are recognised throughout the world as being some of the best silver bars minted. There are numerous other silver refiners available, but the reputation held by Engelhard and Johnson Matthey with the demand for their brands assure you of greater liquidity when coming to sell.
Article Published On: 01 June 2009
Article Revised On: 11 May 2011