Silver Bars

Silver Bars for Sale

We’re going to continue our discussion about how to invest in silver by focusing on silver bars today.  Let’s say you’re going to pull the trigger.  You’ve decided that you’re going to make your purchase and your going to buy silver bars.  When buying silver bars there are few things to consider and it’s probably a pretty good idea to know how to “talk the talk,” as well.  As mentioned previously, silver bars come in sizes from 1 oz all the way to the 60 lb 1000 oz. silver bar.  (I’ve had the pleasure of lugging a couple of these monsters to our local UPS shipping outlet over the years.) In between the 1 oz and the 1000 oz, the most common sized bars are 5 oz, 10 oz, and 100 oz silver bars.   Bars can be manufactured by just about anyone who’s got the capability.  Here’s a cool link about how silver bars are made.  A couple of the main manufacturers these days are Johnson Matthey (their 100 oz silver bars are called “jams”), Academy, Ohio Precious Metals, and Royal Canadian Mint.  Engelhard bars are still in circulation (I still have a couple of them), but they haven’t made them since the ’80s.  At the time, they were the biggest name around in silver.

Where to buy silver bars?

As mentioned before, if you live in an urban area, you’ve probably got a guy on every street corner shouting “Silver bars for sale!  Get your silver bullion bars!”  Either that, or you pick up your newspaper or penny saver and look at the list of ads of those who are selling silver.  Joking aside, do you wonder why not many folks are selling silver?  You know, it’s because not that many people are buying silver.  That is about to change though.

I mentioned two ways to purchase your silver bars:  via your LCS (Little Coin Shop) or via the internet.  Silver bars will carry less of a premium than legal tender coins.  That means that you’ll pay less for them, but you’ll also get a bit less when you sell.  I neglected to mention Ebay as a possible buying solution.  I think I’ve looked at their offering once or twice, but the premiums were so outrageous that I didn’t bother.  Things may have changed though.   Even Amazon is getting in on the act (as you can see from the ads!)  You might want to check them out and definitely check out several other reputable sites who sell silver bars – you want to get an idea of prices before you purchase.  You may find that your local LCS will charge a bit more for their wares, but that might be a price you may want to pay for a little more privacy.

Step On Up to the Silver Bar (and bring your Silver Dollars!)

So moving on with our discussion of a silver bar purchase… Let’s look at some of the pros and cons of the various sizes of bars.

1000 oz silver bullion barFirst off, let’s look at the 1000 oz silver bar.  This monster is used mainly for industrial purchases and purposes.  It is also the form of storage for the COMEX, the Commodities Exchange responsible for colluding with the large bullion banks in depressing the price of silver so that they can reap astronomical profits from their formerly astronomical short positions. (They are in the process of closing out said short positions and will soon go “net long” which will be cause for enormous price rises.)  I still have a couple of these 60 lb beasts, but when we get our next price rise I plan on selling them and/or exchanging them for lower denominations.  Not many private investors want these behemoths.  For that reason, the premiums are very low comparatively speaking.  At the time I purchased them (I bought them around the low in 2008), it seemed like a good idea, but now I’m thinking I want something a little more “exchangeable,” just in case the sh*t hits the fan and our society reverts back to a barter system.  If you do purchase the 1000 ouncers, know that each bar is not exactly 1000 oz.  Sometimes they’re a little more, sometimes a little less.  Another main obstacle to a purchase of these big bars is that they’re expensive… duh.

Next, you’ve got your 100 oz silver bar.  I own plenty of these pups and they’re fun to play with.  I wouldn’t play with them too much though, or if you do, wear some gloves because the oils on your hands will tarnish them.  It’s nothing that can’t be cleaned though.  When my son was younger, I used to get out a pile (a small pile, that is) of these bars and we used them as big ol’ silver legos.  Not anymore though.  That brings up a good point.  My son doesn’t even know (remember) we own silver.  In fact, hardly any of our friends, family or acquaintances know we own silver.  Why?  Well, it needs to be stored somewhere and if that’s the case, then it can be stolen.  We don’t keep any of our silver in our home anymore, but if we did, the briefest mention of it could find it’s way through the grapevine to the ears of someone who might think of trying to take it from us.  That’s why no one knows we own silver.

100 oz silver bars are portable, stackable and more convenient than your 1000 ouncer.  Johnson Matthey JAMS are probably your most popular choice these days.  There are many other  manufacturers these days – some mentioned above – who make some beautiful bars.

buy silver barsThe 5 oz silver bar and the 10 oz silver bars are becoming more popular.  They too are portable and convenient and have many makers.  Some of these bars are just beautiful, if you’re into the ascetic nature of silver in addition to the protective bit.

One thing to know about these bigger bars is that as the price of silver rises, counterfeiting is going to become a major issue with silver.  Reported instances of counterfeiting silver have been increasing and these middle-weight bars are a popular prop.  This is one of the reasons that people tend to lean towards American Eagles and other silver coins because they think that coins are more difficult to counterfeit.  This is a common misconception as counterfeiters are becoming much more bold and proficient and their boldness and proficiency will only increase as the price of silver increases.  My advice:  work with reputable dealers!

That said, we finally get to the 1 oz silver bar.  It’s practical, it’s portable it’s available, it’s made by a variety of makers.  It’s cute and it’s got the ping.  Listen to your silver when you get it  The sound is unmistakable and one of the ways of telling if its real.  We’ll discuss the difference between silver rounds and legal tender silver coins in another article.  That’s it today for Silver Bars.

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