Silver and gold have both been used in circulated coins in the past. While gold coins were taken out of circulation in 1933, silver coins continued to be widely minted and used as legal tender until 1964.
Unlike gold coins, which were confiscated and banned for private ownership by the U.S. government, silver coins’ disappearance from circulation came more naturally. People started hoarding silver coins when the coins’ silver content value exceeded their face value.
Today, more and more people are finding silver an attractive investment option. Compared to gold, silver is more affordable and readily available. Silver is also safer from possible government confiscation in a crisis situation.
Government vs. private silver
Like gold, silver bullion comes in coins and bars, and just like gold, silver coins and bars are minted by both government and private mints. Because of the metal’s relatively lower cost and greater availability, private-minted silver bullions outnumber private-minted gold bullions.
The most popular forms of silver bullion are ingots, or small silver bars. Ingots are commonly produced by private mints, and rarely by the U.S. Mint.
Private silver mints also produce rounds, which look very much like coins, but have no nominal and legal tender value.
And unlike the American Silver Eagle and other government-minted coins, private silver bullion does not have numismatic or collector’s value. Its main purpose is solely value storage.
Why buy private silver bullion?
The biggest reasons for buying private-minted silver bullion are price and value. Because it has no nominal and numismatic value, private silver bullion carries a lower premium over the metal’s spot price.
As with government-minted bullions, most private silver bullions contain 1 oz. of 0.999 fine Silver, and are often available in various sizes. If you’re only after bullion’s silver content, you get better value for your money with private-minted silver bullions because of their lower costs.
Famous private mints
In buying private silver bullions, one thing to watch out for is who the mint was. Reputable mints typically leave their “hallmark” or stamp on their products.
Some private mints have been in business for a long time and have developed a good reputation in the market. People trust that bullions from these mints will contain exactly the amount and purity of precious metal that have been advertised, making the bullions easier to sell.
Some of the most reputable private mints are:
Other well-known private mints include: