This silver bullion guide explains how to buy physical silver, where to buy it and which online dealers have the best prices. We present the most popular silver rounds, bars and coins to address which types of silver are best for most investors, while discussing silver pricing in an easy to understand manner. Finally, this guide will show you how to calculate the lowest price dealers by comparing your true premium over spot.
The following table lists the best silver prices found at top online silver bullion dealers for the most popular bars, coins and rounds. Each is linked to the product page at the dealer website, where you can view more details, pictures and quantity discounts, plus a variety of similar bullion products.
|Image||Silver Bullion||Physical Silver Product||Description / Rationale||Best Price Found|
|10 Oz Bar||Provident 10 Oz Silver Bars
Why 10 Oz Sized Bars?
|• $0.79 Over Spot – Any Qty
• Minted by OPM, .999 Pure
• High Quality, IRA Eligible
|10 Oz Bar||NTR 10 Oz Silver Bars
Dealer Has Large Variety of Mints
|• $0.77 – $1.04 Over Spot
• New Bars, Sealed in Plastic
• See More 1, 5, 100 Oz Bars
|1 Oz Round||OPM 1 Oz Silver Rounds||• $0.79 – $1.69 Over Spot
• Goood, Low Cost Rounds
• Quality Mint, IRA Qualified
|1 Oz Round||Sunshine Mint Silver Rounds
AKA “The Other Silver Eagle”
|• $0.82 – $1.77 Over Spot
• Anti-Counterfeit Features
• Well Crafted Detail
|1 Oz Bar||Sunshine Mint 1 Oz Bars||• $0.99 – $1.79 Over Spot
• Anti-Counterfeit Features
• New, Sealed in Plastic
|1 Oz Coin||2014 Canadian Silver Maple Leafs
Classic Royal Canadian Mint Quality
|• Lower Premium vs. Eagles
• Higher Purity vs. Eagles
• Stunning New Design
• Super Fine .9999 Pure
|1 Oz Coin||American Silver Eagles||• Most Popular Silver Coin
• 2013 or Pre-Order 2014
• Fine Silver .999 Pure
If you’ve been waiting to buy silver because it seems too complex, relax. It is easier than precious metals forums make it seem. The goal of this guide is to provide you with enough tips to get you comfortable with an online silver purchase and to help you find the best place for buying silver, rated and reviewed as a trustworthy source.
The Most Competitive Dealers Online: Best Places to Buy Silver
If you you want to know where to buy silver online, start with a trusted dealer like JM Bullion. This dealer guarantees the best price and provides free shipping for silver bullion orders over $2,500. JM Bullion offers only high quality, trusted and sensible silver coins, rounds and bars through a secure, easy to navigate website. Pricing is transparent and product availability or shipping dates are clearly stated right up front. JM Bullion is a good go-to dealer for high quality, low premium bars, rounds and coins favored by most silver bullion stackers. If planning to buy silver online, visit the site and you won’t be disappointed.
Next, pay a visit to Provident Metals, an online silver bullion dealer that has exceptionally competitive prices. While Provident often features the lowest prices for silver bullion, they also offer special deals and feature sale prices that can’t be beat. Provident maintains a more diverse selection of product in inventory, so if looking for a specific sovereign coin or mint bar, they are more likely to have what you seek. Further, if you are going to purchase your silver with a credit card, Provident may have lower prices with more flexible size limits.
Buying online can provide silver investors with incredibly good deals. Other top dealers include APMEX (American Precious Metals Exchange), Gainesville Coins and Liberty Coin. Which dealers have the best prices on your favorite silver? The answer can frequently flip back and forth, but the two dealers above are consistently the most competitive, offering up better overall prices than the competition.
Factors to Consider In Shopping for the Best Dealer
Everybody wants a good deal. With the advent of the Internet, there is absolutely no reason that a gold or silver buyer should have to pay excessive premiums or suffer good service. Online bullion dealers abound, and those that offer good prices and a painless shopping experience stand out from the crowd. In addition to offering good prices, you should also consider the following factors when selecting the dealer from which you will buy your silver bullion:
- Selection of Popular Bullion from Top Quality Mints
- Inventory Available, In Stock and Ready to Ship
- Estimated Delivery Times
- A Good Online Reputation Amongst Silver Buyers
- Willingness to Buy Back Silver at Good Prices Relative to Spot
Buying Silver Online During Dips: Ready Your Shopping Cart in Advance
Once you’ve selected a dealer, you want to be ready to buy during “waterfall” type sell-offs, where silver tends to get pushed down hard during massive futures (paper) dumps, or even during quick dips after a rebound has started. PMBull doesn’t advise trying to time physical silver purchases like a day-trader would stocks, but if you believe that you can get your silver bars or rounds at a much lower price and have a target in mind, here is what you must do:
1) Visit the silver bullion dealers linked above.
2) Select your bars, rounds or coins and add them to the dealer shopping cart.
3) Start the checkout process (you will need to create an account).
4) Leave your silver in your cart, and do not complete your order until ready.
Now, when silver hits your target price, you will simply need to log in to the dealers site, go to your cart, which should reflect updated prices, and confirm your purchase. You will be prepared to capture a dip in prices, before prices rebound higher.
Compare Premium Over Spot to See Which Dealer Has the Best Prices
There is only one way to get the best price for silver bullion and that is to compare dealer prices at the time of purchase. Silver is generally priced at a premium over the current spot price. To understand how much you are paying, look at the current spot silver price per ounce, then compare that to the total cost for an ounce of silver under consideration. The difference is the premium over spot that a dealer is charging. To insure optimal pricing, compare your total intended silver bullion purchase price, with quantity discounts, shipping charges and credit card or wire fees included. The result may be a lower total cost per unit for a given dealer, even when the initial “per ounce” premium over spot price appears higher in a simple price table.
Ultimately, market conditions will dictate the general price trend and how much you pay. However, like cars, computers and other goods and services, each dealer has different levels of overhead, operating costs and desired margins on sales. Some prefer high volume with lower margins while others may charge a heavy premium, especially for a lower quantity purchase. Those top quality dealers willing to compete on both service and price, who are interested in establishing long-term stacker customers that continue to buy from them, are the dealers from which you will find the most satisfaction. These are the dealers to which you will return for repeat, ongoing silver purchases.
Reputable silver dealers will tell you right up front how much premium over spot you are paying – or at least make it simple enough to calculate. They will also tell you how much they are currently paying customers who are selling the same product back to them. Depending on the product in question, you can pay anywhere from less than a $1.00 over spot, to many times that for more rare or in-demand products, or coins with a particular numismatic (collector’s) value. Of course, like most things, higher volume purchases can occur with a much lower markup or premium. Further, if you pay with a credit card, you can expect to pay more as well.
In some cases, a lower premium over spot may come at a different kind of cost. Poor service, slow delivery, incomplete or incorrect orders and other types of hassles (or loss) may be the cost of doing business with a less trusted or less reputable dealer or individual. Convenience, confidence, service and selection should all be factors in what you are willing to pay.
Higher volume equals lower price almost everywhere. You will need to visit dealer web sites to see what kind of discount you can expect to receive on the purchase of a 20 American Eagle Mint Tube or a 500 Canadian Maple Leaf Monster Box, versus an individual coin in the table above.
Comparing Silver Bullion Dealers: Some Caveats
Some dealers may at first glance appear to have a low premium over spot. Then they get you on the shipping charges. Stick with dealers that feature lower, flat-rate shipping or even free shipping options. See below for how to calculate your total silver cost to determine that you are really getting the best price.
Silver Buying Tip #1: Watch out for high shipping charges that accompany lower over spot quotes.
While dealer comparisons may demonstrate the relative difference in price for a variety of silver investments, they do not necessarily take into consideration other factors like shipping or credit card charges, wire transfer discounts and minimum order sizes.
Dealer comparisons invariably leave out important details that impact the final price, so what appears to be best on the surface may very well not be the case. Ultimately, there shouldn’t be much difference between the better dealers and it may come down to personal preference. Some dealers do indeed charge excessive premiums over spot price, so don’t assume all dealers are priced the same.
Watch Out for the Shipping Trap on Price Comparison Tables
Some dealers will price their silver bullion at a seemingly low premium over spot, but then get you on the back end with a higher than average shipping charge. This hits small order buyers as especially hard. You must pay attention to shipping charges. Do not make the mistake of only checking a dealer’s price per ounce, or an advertised premium, when comparing silver dealers.
Many dealer comparisons or advertised price quotes do not tell the whole story. When you consider shipping charges as part of the total price comparison, the final story on who has the better price may be different than a comparison table may have originally indicated. A 20 coin tube of Silver Eagles with a $15.00 higher shipping charge is ultimately priced with a $0.75 per ounce incremental premium. That’s a 2.5% higher cost per coin, and comparison tables do not always take this into consideration.
You will need to visit multiple sites to truly compare the total acquisition cost for a given purchase, but you will soon narrow your choices down to a few favored sites. The best way to get a feel for any given dealer is to start a shopping cart on each dealer site for an identical product. This will give you a feel for ordering and allow you to see the final price, with shipping charges, as well as any surprises that may present themselves before you actually confirm a purchase.
Of course, there will also be less trustworthy or less reputable dealers that have no interest in providing good service or establishing long-term customers. These are the ones who will rip off the ignorant in an effort to make a quick dollar. Frankly, we wonder how these types of dealers continue to thrive.
Buying Physical Silver Through a Local Shop vs. Online Dealers
You may wish to check prices with a Local Silver Dealer, as many buyers report the ability to acquire bullion at a reasonable price this way without having to pay for shipping. Some buyers also like not having to worry about privacy issues or leaving a paper trail. Through a local shop, you may develop a relationship with the dealer which can result in good deals not always offered to every customer that walks in the door.
Like any other purchase made through a traditional brick and mortar shop, the price at a local coin shop may be a bit higher, but the absence of shipping charges and not having to deal with wire transfers, as well as the comfort of having your metal in hand at the time of purchase, makes up for this.
The downside of buying through a local dealer is that you are less likely to find an extensive inventory and less likely to be able to acquire larger quantities of brand new, uncirculated coins. If you are into the collector or hobby aspects, a local dealer may be desirable as this won’t matter. If you are simply seeking silver bullion at a good price, online dealers are more likely to offer what you desire, without shipping charges.
The Best Silver to Buy: Silver Bars, Coins and Rounds
When it comes time to cash in on your silver investment you want to be holding the most common, liquid, easy to understand silver products. If you are buying silver because you believe silver prices are set to surge due to supply shortages, skyrocketing inflation or the continued debasement of the U.S. dollar, then what you are looking for is simply ounces of pure silver at the best price. Don’t worry though, you can still buy beautiful coins and rounds that are fun to accumulate and still achieve your investment objective, without overpaying or acquiring an encyclopedia of knowledge.
Silver Buying Tip #2: Keep it simple! Stick with basic silver coins, rounds and bullion bars.
Our silver table allows you to see the differences in price for various silver bullion coins, rounds and bars which can help you determine which silver investment is best for your particular case. Below, we provide a basic description of each type of silver product and the advantages to owning each.
What is Silver Bullion?
Bullion refers to precious metals in their purest form, which is used to make coin metal alloys. The U.S. Silver Eagle, for example, is considered to be a bullion coin because the alloy from which the coin is minted is 99.9% pure silver.
This guide lists specific bullion silver products that most silver investors own. We believe that there is no need to make things complicated. By no means is this an exhaustive list of options, but it is a good starting point for a new silver investor that would like to begin stacking physical silver quickly.
The most popular physical silver bullion products bought by experienced investors can guide the first-time physical silver buyer well. While there are many subjective factors that determine the best silver for you, our intent here is to keep things simple so that you can get started quickly. Generally, the best silver to buy is that which gets you the most pure silver for your dollar. To achieve this, you must minimize the premium that you will pay over spot silver prices, regardless of how or where you purchase your silver.
Silver bullion bars allow you to buy pure, physical silver in a format that can be conveniently stacked in a safe. For the first-time silver buyer, we suggest narrowing your choices to keep things simple. Common sizes for retail investors include 1 oz, 5 oz, 10 oz, 1 kilogram (32.15 oz) and 100 troy oz bars. Trustworthy brands for silver bars include Johnson Matthey, Engelhard, Sunshine Minting and SilverTowne.
It is also possible to buy generic silver bars at a lower premium, but if you watch the bigger dealers, you can often buy better known brands or bars at special prices, leaving little reason from an investment perspective to buy lesser known (or unknown at the time of purchase) generic silver bars.
Silver coins are produced by the mints of sovereign nations. Government issued silver coins command the greatest confidence amongst silver investors and are quite liquid for this reason. Silver coins are always a great place to start. Due to their popularity and the confidence they invoke, silver coins get a higher premium price over spot than silver bullion or privately minted silver rounds, but they make a very good starting point for the novice silver buyer.
Brilliant, Uncirculated Condition (BU) silver coins provide a high level of confidence and security for the first-time silver buyer and will likely command a higher premium when selling than more generic silver rounds. The most popular silver coins include American Silver Eagles and Canadian Silver Maple Leafs, at 99.99% purity. Silver coins minted by governments around the world and popular with collectors include Austrian Silver Philharmonics, Chinese Silver Pandas, Australian Silver Kukaburras and Mexican Silver Libertads.
The beautiful Silver Eagle is the most recognized and trusted silver bullion investment and gets the highest bid prices for silver bullion in North America. Buy tubes of 20 Silver Eagles to minimize premiums and to receive the best prices. Silver Eagles can be purchased individually, mint tubes of 20 coins or even sealed green “monster boxes” from the mint, which will contain 500 coins in 20-coin mint tubes. The higher quantity purchases will reduce the cost of your silver investment.
See PMBull’s Guide to Silver Rounds
Silver bullion rounds are also a a good way to buy silver at a lower cost. It is only minimally more complicated, provided you purchase rounds from a well-known mint and a trusted dealer. Silver rounds are issued by a myriad of private mints and look like coins, but they are not legal tender. Rounds come with a wide variety of designs, each unique to the mints that produce them. Buffalo design silver rounds are especially popular.
Think of rounds as a hybrid between coins and bars. Their purity is .999 fine silver and they can be found in weights ranging from 1 troy oz. to 100 troy ounces. Both purity and weight should be stamped on the round. Rounds, like bars, provide more silver for your investment dollar than coins due to their lower premium. 1 troy ounce rounds are the most common, but 5 oz. rounds can be found. The premiums on silver rounds should be small since they have little in the way of numismatic value.
Silver rounds are commonly issued to commemorate specific events, and are often popular with collectors, or as gifts. Other rounds are simply issued as an alternative, convenient means for storing silver, just like silver bars. Trustworthy, well-known brands include Sunshine Minting, U.S. Assay, A-Mark, Silvertowne, Engelhard and Johnson Matthey. There are countless other mints that produce generic silver rounds, many that are no longer in existence.
Perhaps the most popular silver rounds for silver investors are the ubiquitous Buffalo Design rounds, found at the larger and more popular online dealers. The Buffalo design rounds frequently carry the lowest possible premiums.
Your First Physical Silver Purchase
Buying physical silver bullion as an investment is not complicated once you understand your basic choices. When you realize that you do not need to become an expert on coins in order to invest in silver, your confidence increases dramatically. Whether to buy government coins, bullion bars or silver rounds is a personal choice, and any difference in premium will likely continue to exist at resale, so there is no need to sweat the details.
With the proliferation of online dealers and a plethora of review sites for local dealers and coin shops, finding a good source to buy your silver, at a good price, should not be difficult. Be confident that your first purchase will go smoothly and make an initial purchase. An American Silver Eagle is a good start. Ultimately, saving a nickel or dime on your silver purchase will not serve you, if the time invested to do so causes you to miss a $2.00 move in the price of silver.