Silver and gold are both considered precious metals. But investment in physical sliver gives a low cost alternative to the high cost of investing in other precious metal such as gold or platinum.
There is a huge range of silver coins and bars available on the market in various purities and weights. The advent of Internet auction sites has improved the liquidity of small silver investments, as these coins and bars now have a much wider marketplace. Like other precious metals, physical Silver is free from counter party risk and does not significantly degrade over time.
Most of the modern gold bullion coins have silver counterparts of similar designs available on the market, and there are some silver bullion coins that stand by themselves without gold or platinum sibling coins.
There is also a wide range of silver bars from a range of different refiners available on the market:
The Silver Gold Ratio
One advantage of Silver is that it is significantly cheaper than gold, but price movements do tend to track gold. The current gold silver ratio is 1 troy ounce of gold is equal to 43 ounces of silver. Whilst this ratio changes many silver collectors see silver as systemically undervalued and see much more potential growth in its value than gold.
Silver Coins In Circulation
In the past, many governments produced general circulation coins containing a proportion of silver in them. In fact there are a significant number of collectors that sort and hoard old quarters and dimes for their silver content, as the metal value of the coin can be greater than the face value of the coinage itself. However the high cost of production eventually killed off this practice, but there is still a large number of silver coins in circulation within the United States and other countries.
Silver Coin Premiums
Silver coin premiums tend to be significantly higher than Gold coin premiums. This is largely due to the cheap cost of silver coins and the costs associated with the carriage and handling. For this reason it is more economical to buy silver in bulk.
Places to store your silver
You may wish to store your silver in a bank. However, if you have a significant quantity you may need to make alternative arrangements to a safe deposit box as the bulk and weight of a significant portion of silver may be difficult for the bank to handle. Most ordinary banks provide safe deposit boxes with their accounts, either free or for a small annual fee. Alternatively a home safe may be more suitable.
Places To Buy Silver
Internet auctions provide an excellent marketplace to buy silver coins and bars. As with all such transactions, you should only purchase from individuals with good positive feedback and be confident that you know what you are buying. BullionSupermarket.com provides price and premium comparison on many types of bullion coin and bar. For those living in Switzerland, gold and silver can be bought over the counter at many banks.
Article Published On: 02 April 2009
Article Revised On: 11 May 2011
BullionSupermarket.com is totally free to use but registering gives you more access to Gold & Silver categories, news and other tools. Register Now