Silver rounds are a popular, low cost way to buy silver. Here, we examine low cost options, as well as rounds that may (or may not) have higher premiums. We also look at silver rounds that have a certain collector appeal or scarcity that should help them retain or grow in value. Next, we answer questions about the appropriateness of silver rounds in a collector’s stack. Finally, we list some good low cost dealers where silver rounds can be purchased.
The table below lists silver rounds with a variety of designs from quality mints, available today at top online dealers. Some are fun, some have unique and stunning designs. Others are considered to be classics by serious silver collectors. The table includes images for each round, a brief discussion about the producing mints and general pricing information. Links to more photos, details and discount pricing at the offering dealer are included.
|Image||Silver Round – Description||Price & Detail|
|OPM Silver Rounds – Like Buffalo Silver Rounds, generic mint branded rounds are an inexpensive way to buy silver. This low cost silver round from the largest U.S. gold and silver refiner is available at many online dealers.||More…|
|Sunshine Minting Silver Rounds – Sunshine Minting produces “The Other Silver Eagle.” The new version of these classic, high quality silver rounds from this trusted mint features an anti-counterfeit seal.||More…|
|Morgan Dollar Design – Morgan silver dollars are a popular collectible in their own right. These Morgan replica silver rounds are one example of a popular silver round type – designs reflecting coins from the past.||More…|
|Buffalo Silver Rounds – The popular Buffalo Silver Round is generally viewed as a good low cost silver option by most silver stackers. There are many variations offered by a variety of mints.||More…||Don’t Tread on Me Silver Rounds – These “Don’t Tread on Me” rounds, offered by Provident, are reminiscent of the Gadsden Flag. We really like the look of these rounds.||More…|
|Engelhard Prospector Silver Rounds – The Engelhard Prospector Silver Round is not only one of the most recognized rounds for silver investors, it is one of the most highly valued.||More…|
Where to Buy the Best Silver Round Designs Online
The following low cost silver dealers have a more extensive inventory of silver rounds than the selections presented here. Each offers rounds from a variety of quality brands (mints), including Ohio Precious Metals, NTR, Engelhard and Sunshine Mint, among others. Both dealers are exceptionally competitive in price, and both offer either low flat-rate shipping, or even free shipping on certain order sizes.
>First, check out JM Bullion. This gold and silver bullion dealer has been adding more variety to their silver rounds offerings and they also offer the best prices we have seen on the Internet. They also ship all orders, regardless of size, for free (with a few exceptions). This dealer has a nice, clean website and tends to focus more on the popular, standard gold and silver products that are bought by serious precious metal buyers.
Next, see Provident Metals. This Texas-based precious metals powerhouse has a good selection of silver rounds, including specialty series rounds produced by the Provident Mint (which we understand is OPM, since the same consortium that owns NTR and OPM either has a large investment in Provident, or owns them outright). This dealer frequently has special offerings and sales, where you can often find unbeatable prices on good quality rounds, including rounds that are exclusive to the dealer.
PMBull is an affiliate for these two companies and when you buy from them, PMBull earns a small commission for our efforts. You will pay the same price as any other buyer, so when you buy from these companies through links from PMBull.com, you are supporting PMBull’s efforts to bring you the best price and product information for Gold and Silver.
Which are Better: Silver Rounds or Silver Coins?
Silver rounds can be bought at a much lower cost than silver coins. However, they are not legal tender and are produced by private mints, rather than government mints. These are the the primary differences between rounds and coins. It is recognized that generally, rounds cost less than government produced silver coins. This is true for popular rounds like Silver Buffalos or Generic Mint Brand rounds, but it is certainly not true for all rounds, as discussed below.
Compared to coins like the American Silver Eagle, silver rounds can be a good way to acquire larger amounts of silver at a lower cost, so those building a stack as an inflation hedge, or as insurance against a currency collapse, find them to be an efficient way to increase their silver holdings. The basic premise is that when it comes time to sell silver, premiums on coins will disappear. Silver is silver, regardless of form, right? Buffalo rounds bought for under $1.00 premium will yield more ounces of silver per dollar than a proof silver eagle, so one ounce rounds (or even 10 ounce bars for that matter), make more sense. Those following this line of reasoning will focus on Buffalos or OPM, and may even seek out random rounds in the secondary market, offered by dealers at even lower prices.
Not all silver rounds are a low cost silver investment option though. Some classic mints like Engelhard no longer produce investment bullion, so products from this well-respected company do carry a premium on them. Also, some highly sought after designs may have had limited production, so these rounds may also carry a bit more of a premium. This is where we enter the realm of collector goods, where rarity and brand may matter, driving premiums up above that of sovereign mint coins, which frequently (not always) are produced in enough quantities to always meet demand. In this regard, rounds can be similar to rare coins or numismatics, and may be priced like them too.
Factors That Affect Premiums for Silver Rounds and Coins:
All silver products include the underlying value of the metal itself. That is sufficient for many silver investors. The precious metal content is all that matters to them, and this attitude is perfectly fine. Beyond the underlying silver value, other factors can alter the premium a dealer will charge (or pay) for a given coin or round.
Coins produced by Sovereign Mints are generally more trusted and in higher demand than basic silver rounds, so that adds an incremental premium to them, even for coins where a country has pledged to produce a sufficient quantity to meet demand (which is the case for the American Silver Eagle). You will pay more for a Silver Eagle than for a Buffalo Round, because Eagles are more highly trusted, and more highly liquid.
For both silver rounds and silver coins, the quantity produced, relative to demand, can impact the premium. Coins or rounds in limited supply will generally be priced higher than coins or rounds with virtually limitless supply.
Finally, purely subjective design factors will affect the price. A mint that produces an ugly product will see less demand for it, and prices paid in the secondary market will go down, even with lower production, because demand for the product has gone down.
It boils down to supply and demand. All the factors that affect supply and demand will interact with each other until the market finds equilibrium, and sets an appropriate price (premium) for a given mint product, whether offered new, or in the secondary market. If you can find an efficient market and look at a couple of dealers, you will find prices for the most popular silver rounds are all close to each other. Fortunately, the Internet itself can be a highly efficient market, disseminating information quickly and easily. The top, trusted silver bullion dealers will generally price their products in a very similar fashion. Some may be a bit higher than others, but the dealer from whom you choose to buy your silver rounds has other factors influencing their prices, factors that extend beyond the product being sold.
Good dealers that are competing on the basis of low premiums (low margin, higher volume), provide you, the silver buyer, with an opportunity to obtain silver rounds at good prices, without fear of paying too much. See our Silver Bullion Buying Guide for more on finding the best price silver bullion dealer.
Buying Collector Silver Rounds
Those that choose to buy higher premium rounds do so with the belief that as collector pieces, they are more likely to maintain their higher premiums, or perhaps even increase in value faster than basic silver bullion in a bullish precious metals environment. The silver rounds may be priced higher, but they will maintain or increase in value for the same reasons that numismatics do, rendering them a different animal altogether.
Collectors buy and enjoy higher premium silver rounds for a different reason than investors buy generic silver rounds or bars. Namely, the variety of interesting and fun designs available from a multitude of mints makes accumulating and building a collection an interesting hobby. These rounds can be locked into Direct Fit Air-Tite capsules, or stored in special display boxes, just like silver coins. Pleasure can be derived from the collection in much the same way that a stamp collector (philatelist) or coin collector (numismatist) might enjoy their collections. Unfortunately, silver round collectors haven’t yet earned themselves a fancy name.
Many collectors also buy and hold silver as an investment, speculative play or hedge against inflation. Investing, speculating, stacking and collecting silver are not necessarily mutually exclusive and as long as you accumulate silver in a sensible manner, rounds can make the process more enjoyable.
Ultimately, if you are buying rounds with just a few dollars premium over generic bullion, or sovereign mint coins, you can still take comfort in knowing that the underlying value of the silver has the potential to grow well beyond the extra dollar or two premium you paid to better enjoy your precious metal.
How Much Silver Should You Buy in the Form of Rounds?
PMBull is primarily about accumulating precious metals, first and foremost. As such, we don’t believe that higher premium rounds should form the bulk of your silver investment. In our opinion (and others are certainly welcome to disagree), the smart thing to do is to first include basic, liquid coins like American Silver Eagles (which are beautiful in and of themselves) and some low-cost investment silver like Buffalo Silver Rounds and 10 Ounce Bars in your stack.
On top of that, you can start a collection of individual rounds, proof coins or numismatics, if you so desire. Consider your collection a hobby, with built in financial benefits in the event of a major inflationary episode. Do not consider your collection an investment, although the collection itself, depending on what you’ve bought and the whims of the market, could very well outperform the basic investment silver stack.
If you have no interest in numismatics and wish to avoid making big mistakes when buying silver rounds for your collection, buy individual non-proof rounds. Buy the mints and designs that appeal to you and ignore those that do not. You may find certain sovereign specialty coins from the Perth Mint or the Royal Canadian Mint, often referred to as “semi-numismatics,” fit nicely into this collection as well. This approach relieves you of having to concern yourself with mintage dates, production quantities, condition, ratings, grades and the myriad of other elements that go into determining a numismatic coin’s value. Both of the dealers listed above carry a large variety of the most popular sovereign coins, in addition to a nice selection of silver rounds.
Should you wish to go deeper with regards to numismatics, there are plenty of other specialty sites on the Internet where you can delve into the minute details of each potential acquisition, but this goes well beyond the purview of PMBull.