This type of silver is frequently valued by collectors of precious metals, and by investors. There are multiple methods of investing in minted bars, and there’s no shortage on reputable dealers to choose from when shopping around for bars to collect or invest in. Styles and designs range from plain and eloquent to intricate and fancy.
A Little History
The silver bar, a highly-valued precious metal, has been collected and invested in for over 4,000 years. Historically, it was the original legal tender throughout the world until the conclusion of the “silver standard.” The gold standard began to replace the silver standard sometime during the 1800s and ending in the early 1900s. The gold standard became official in 1821 in Britain. However, there is one state within the United States where silver is considered legal tender—Utah. In Utah, you can use silver to pay off debt.
Selecting a Manufacturer
There are many silver bar manufacturers throughout the world, some of which include APMEX, Johnson Matthey, U.S. Assay, Silvertowne, and Sunshine Mining just to name a few. When making any type of investment in silver, it’s important to consider the reputation of the dealer.
You should trust the dealer and the products offered by the dealer should include proof of authenticity. An honest and reliable dealer will generally include an official stamp on its minted products as proof of authenticity. This stamp may also be featured on the product’s packaging.
Designs of the silver bar may include artsy shapes such as skulls, skull and bones, the head of the King of the jungle—the lion, badges, silver shaped like a loaf of bread, a bar of soap, and more. Designs include symbolism of significance, historical replications, and special series.
The design of the silver bar will also likely include the official stamped logo of its dealer along with the purity and weight of the bar. In some cases, the face value is included on the bar if there is a face value.
How Silver Bars are Made
There are two methods of making silver bars. The first and the original method is the hand pouring method. Technological advances have replaced this method with the “minting” method. However, many private dealers still hand pour their silver bars. There is a visible difference in hand poured silver versus minted silver. The hand poured method leaves a more raw appearance whereas the minting method leaves a more polished appearance.
Prior to getting started, the raw materials are gathered for the bars. When producing silver bars, other materials are utilized during its production such as copper, gold, and lead. Silver scrap, silver that has been traded in for reminting is also used during this process. The next steps are to purify the silver, and to separate the silver.
Once the silver has been successfully separated, it is time to hand pour into its mold. The bars are cooled and then stamped with identification markings, logos, weight, purity, etc. Hand poured silver will appear “chunky” compared to minted silver. Minted silver bars are produced using a “uniform” thickness. The bars are minted with some receiving a “prooflike” finish. The minted bars are considered “art bars” whereas the hand poured bars are considered “investment bars.”
Investing and Storage
If you’d like to start purchasing 3 oz silver bars for investment purposes, consider these options: ETFs (silver exchange-traded funds), IRAs, a silver account, silver certificates, and/or silver mining stocks. If you’re not knowledgeable on these matters, speak with a qualified consultant to help steer you in the appropriate direction. These options are ideal for investors interested in storing their precious metals outside of the home.
Speaking of storage, you have a few options. The first option of course is to store within your home. However, if you’re going to store precious metals or anything of value for that matter within the home, you’ll want to create a secretive storage place and lock your valuables away within a highly-secure safe. The safe will protect your valuables from burglars, thieves, fire, and natural disasters, etc.
They’re impossible to break into and they’re impossible to move around. Other storage options include the bank or a precious metals depository. Please note that many investors and collectors consider the bank as “dangerous” due to the fact that safe deposit boxes are not FDIC insured.
Precious metals depositories are smart, because you can easily store silver of any size and these spaces are completely climate controlled ensuring that your silver is not destroyed due to the elements or air quality.