Silver Bars Overview
Silver bars represent one of the best total values in precious metals today. Silver bars carry some of the lowest premiums over spot of any bullion product, and come in numerous weights and sizes. Silver bars are produced by a large number of mints and refiners all over the world, and come in many shapes, sizes and designs.
There are two major types of silver bars: Minted ingots and cast bars. A minted ingot bar is produced by stamping blanks that have been produced. A cast bar is produced by pouring liquid silver into a mold and then allowing it to cool. Once cool, cast bars are then inscribed with the desired markings.
Minted silver ingots and cast bars have two very distinct looks. Minted bars typically have a sleek finish and a large amount of shine to them. Casted bars, on the other hand, have a dull, almost rustic look and may appear aged. The primary benefits of cast bars compared to minted bars are a lower potential cost and originality due to the fact that no two bars will look exactly the same.
Minted bars typically have much greater detail on their surfaces, and can maintain a brand new look if taken care of. The downside to minted bars, however, is they may carry higher premiums compared to cast bars. This is due to the fact that the casting process is simpler and less expensive for fabricators, and those production cost savings may be passed on to customers.
When it comes to bar size, the 1 ounce silver bar is extremely popular. Silver bars are, however, available in numerous weights including 5 gram, ¼ ounce, ½ ounce, 2 ounce, 4 ounce, 5 ounce, 10 ounce, ½ kilo, 25 ounce, 1 kilo, 50 ounce, 100 ounce and more.
With all of the smaller weight bars available on the market today, silver ingots can be relatively more affordable for smaller investors or those on a tight budget.
In terms of purity, silver bars are typically produced with 99.9 percent fine silver, but some bars are made with even finer 999.9 percent silver. Certain silver bars may be eligible for purchase in an IRA account. Of course, you should check with your tax professional prior to making any purchases for an IRA as there are strict eligibility rules and other guidelines that must be followed.
Some of the mints that produce silver bars includes: The Royal Canadian Mint, Geiger, PAMP Suisse, SilverTowne, Sunshine Mint, RMC, Valcambi and more.
Silver bars of all types are easily transported and can be conveniently stored in a home safe, a bank safe deposit box or the depository of your choice. Standard size silver bars tend to be very liquid, and may be easily and conveniently bought and sold at brick and mortar dealers or online dealers.
With their generally low premiums over spot, silver bars can be a great choice for those looking to invest in this key metal.