As the U.S. economy ebbs toward a possible recession, more and more people are asking how to buy silver and other precious metals. Whether silver is purchased as a coin or a bar, it may provide a safe haven for wealth during tumultuous times.
As an asset, silver has historically served as a hedge against paper-based currency, as it has responded differently than paper-based assets to the ups and downs of the stock market. In fact, silver is known as a safe-haven asset during seasons of inflation.
If you’re asking the question “How do I buy silver?” it’s important to understand that not all silver products are created equal. There are different ways to buy silver, each with its own benefits and factors to consider. Before purchasing silver, it may be beneficial to take the time to learn what you’re getting, the safest way to go about buying silver, and how to protect it in the long run.
The Best Ways to Buy Silver
There are two main ways you can buy silver:
- Through an online distributor
- At a brick-and-mortar storefront
Each of these has pros and cons, but regardless of where you decide to buy silver, it’s important to do your research and ensure that you’re buying from a reputable source.
Buying Silver Online
When it comes to having more options at a fair price, an established and reputable online distributor may be your best choice. Not only might they have a larger selection of coins and bars, but they might also be able to offer other ways of purchasing silver (like through precious metals IRAs).
Purchasing silver online may involve shipping costs, and the physical silver may take anywhere from a few days to multiple weeks to arrive depending on your shipping options. With some online dealers, you may also have to do more research on your own to know the differences between the types of silver.
U.S. Money Reserve works to make the process of buying silver as simple and hands-on as possible, with help along every step of your precious metals journey. In order to purchase silver coins or bars from U.S. Money Reserve, you simply order directly through our website. You can also learn more about our available products and receive personalized service when you:
- Call us or schedule a call
- Speak with your dedicated Account Executive
- Complete your purchase
It’s important to remember that there are online distributors who may be disreputable, so you may wish to vet them before giving them your business.
Buying Silver at a Brick-and-Mortar Storefront
One of the benefits of purchasing silver is that it’s a physical commodity. You can hold silver in your hands, feel the weight, and examine its shine. Unlike paper currency or stocks, silver has intrinsic value as a raw material. Buying silver at a brick-and-mortar storefront allows you to see, feel, and examine the silver coins or bullion in person before you purchase.
Private dealers at physical locations also often allow you to take your new silver home with you right away, saving you money on shipping and insurance.
However, private dealers with physical locations may have higher premiums and your choices are limited to what they’re carrying at the time. If you want the best options—particularly if you want to buy larger amounts of silver—an online silver distributor may be the way to go.
Choose What Kind of Silver You Want to Purchase
You have many options when it comes to the kind of silver you can buy. Even though there are only three main categories—silver bars, silver coins, and silver rounds—there are plenty of unique products to choose from. You can get a feel for the different silver options available from U.S. Money Reserve by looking through our silver page.
Silver bars are sold in sizes between 1 and 5,000 oz. and are made from 99.9% pure silver, or .999 fineness. They can be either minted or cast, with minted being more common in bars smaller than 100 oz. and cast more popular in bars over 100 oz.
Minted vs. Cast
Raw silver is turned into silver bars by either pressing (minted products) or pouring (cast products). Minted bars will be shinier and smoother and often smaller than 100 oz. Cast bars are slightly less shiny and can be rougher to the touch. Almost all bars over 100 oz., especially those 1,000 oz. and above, are cast.
Silver coins are coins made from .999 fine silver bullion and are typically 1 oz. Some of the most popular silver coins in the world, like Silver American Eagle coins, are minted by the U.S. Mint. Other silver coins are minted by foreign government mints or private mints, sometimes on behalf of dealers or other private organizations.
Design and the Price of Coins
Since silver coins are usually made of at least 90% pure silver, a 1-oz. coin will cost at least as much as the spot price of silver on the day it is sold. However, a lot of other factors also go into determining the price of a silver coin.
Certain coin designs, series, and populations can cost more, depending on purity of the silver, limited supply of the coin series or population, and other features. For example, the 1-oz. Proof Silver American Eagle coin has the same weight, purity, and design as a standard Silver American Eagle coin, but also features frosted details and mirrored surfaces. Because of the careful, time-consuming process involved in their creation, Proof Silver American Eagles also feature far smaller mintages compared to standard Silver American Eagle bullion coins. This level of detail and relative scarcity often results in higher prices for proof coins. The same is often true of coins that have been authenticated and graded by third-party grading services like PCGS.
For a few great coins you may wish to select for your first silver portfolio, you can look at our recent article, “Silver Coins for First-Time Buyers.”
Determine How Much Silver You Want to Buy
When determining how much silver to buy, you may wish to consider your motivations for buying silver in the first place. Are you just curious and looking to dip your toes into the silver market? Are you buying silver to make it a significant part of your portfolio during times of inflation and market volatility?
Both of these are great reasons to buy silver. However, they do affect the amount and type of silver you may want to purchase. If you’re unsure of how much to purchase or the best type of silver for your long-term goals, it may be helpful to take the time to discuss your options with your chosen precious metals distributor.
Make a Plan to Protect Your Silver.
Silver is a precious metal that many believe should be stored and protected properly. If you own a small amount of silver, a secure home safe may be sufficient for storage. Those who own larger amounts of silver may find more peace of mind by storing their precious metals in a bank safety deposit box or other secure storage facility.
Regardless of how you choose to store your silver, it may be beneficial to plan ahead and have your storage strategy ready before receiving your silver coins or bars.
Choose a Company to Buy Silver From
As mentioned previously, there are a number of different ways and places to buy silver. However, there are a few considerations you may wish to make before working with a company.
A Long History in the Silver Market
History and depth can speak volumes about a distributor’s legitimacy and trustworthiness. Silver and other precious metals like gold and palladium require deep roots and knowledge, so look for a distributor that has been around for a while and uses reputable sources. For example, U.S. Money Reserve has been in business for more than 20 years and specializes in the sale of government-issued gold, silver, platinum, and palladium products, as well as exclusive precious metals products not available through other dealers.
Third-Party and Customer Reviews
Don’t only take the word of the company selling the silver. Look for customer reviews or other social proof. For example, U.S. Money Reserve has an entire page on our website dedicated to customer reviews and testimonials. U.S. Money Reserve currently has an “A+” rating from the Better Business Bureau and a “AAA” rating from the Business Consumer Alliance.
Look for these types of credentials before working with a company to buy or hold your silver.
Industry Expertise and Education
The silver market can be complicated to those unfamiliar with how it functions. The price of silver changes frequently, and multiple factors inherent to both silver and the larger economy may affect the silver market. U.S. Money Reserve is the only precious metals company led by a former Director of the United States Mint and is a leading voice in the gold, silver, and precious metals markets.
U.S. Money Reserve also regularly publishes insights into the silver market, including a recent article on how silver coins are made.
Buy Your Silver.
After you’ve done your due diligence and explored your options, you may finally be ready to buy your silver with peace of mind. If you’re ready to secure your silver through a proven industry distributor, contact U.S. Money Reserve to request a free precious metals information kit.