What to consider when buying silver coins?
When buying silver coins, it is important to choose well-known and successful silver coins, as they can be easily resold. Some examples of well-known coins are the Silver Philharmonic, the Silver Maple Leaf, and the Silver Eagle.
The price of silver coins is often higher than that of silver bars of the same weight due to the additional minting costs.
However, silver bars are subject to value-added tax, which varies from country to country, while many silver coins are taxed differently.
Some silver coins are produced in limited editions and can develop a collector value that exceeds the metal value.
New designs are created annually for some coin series, such as the Lunar coin series.
What denominations are available?
The standard unit for silver coins is the troy ounce, abbreviated as "oz." The most common denominations for silver coins are ¼ ounce, ½ ounce, 1 ounce, 5 ounces, 10 ounces, 1 kg and 5 kg. The price premium is lower for larger silver coins. The troy ounce provides the benchmark for precious metals and describes the metal content of a coin.
|Ounce||1/2 ounce||1 ounce||5 ounces||10 ounces||32.15 ounces|
|Gramm||15.55 g||31.10 g||155.5 g||311 g||1 kg|
|1/2 ounce||15.55 g|
|1 ounce||31.10 g|
|5 ounces||155.5 g|
|10 ounces||311 g|
|32.15 ounces||1 kg|
Fineness of a silver coin
The fineness refers to the pure precious metal content of a silver or gold product. This has been expressed in parts per thousand since 1888. Previously, the terms "lot" or "carat" were more common. Silver coins usually have a fine content of 999, which is equivalent to 16 lots. The 925 silver is also often referred to as sterling silver and is one of the most important silver alloys, as it is often used for coins, jewelry, and cutlery.
Why should you trust silver coins?
Silver, like gold, is not available in unlimited supply because it cannot be produced artificially. In comparison to gold, the natural occurrence of silver is much higher, which is why the precious metal is more commonly used in industry. Due to the low price of silver, it is hardly recycled by industrial companies. In the private investment sector, it is quite easy and quick to invest in silver due to the low price.
In times of crisis, it is much easier to pay with silver coins than with silver bars or gold. Therefore, it is possible to make purchases for daily use with a silver coin. In addition, many silver coins are considered official currency and the value of the coin can never be zero, because it can never be worth less than the price of the precious metal.
How is the value of a silver coin determined?
The more common occurrence of silver compared to gold makes the precious metal cheaper. The fineness and weight of the coin are essential for calculating its value. In addition, the condition, quality of minting, and the packaging of the silver coin are relevant in determining its price.
Overall, the condition of the coin should be considered, as dirt or damage can reduce its value. Silver coins are produced in the quality levels of bank-grade, hand-raised, or polished plate quality grades. If a coin has collector value, the value can increase significantly in relation to the original price paid. In addition, coins with smaller mintages or from older years are more expensive than those minted in massive quantities.
Things to know about silver coins
What did the first coins look like? Where did the coin originate? We go on a journey to the beginnings, high points and turning points of this history, to Greek antiquity, the Frankish Empire and the Roman Empire.
The first silver coin
The first silver coin was minted in the 6th century BC on the Greek island of Aegina and served as a means of payment until 400 BC, replacing barter trade. There was no unified coinage system, so there were different coins in different regions. It was not until the time of Alexander the Great, who was king of Macedonia and hegemon of the Corinthian League from 336 BC until his death, that rulers were depicted on coins.
Silver coinage became popular in Rome in the 3rd century BC with the denarius, on which Julius Caesar also had his full head profile minted. This silver coin was used as currency for almost 600 years and was replaced by the silver Antoninianus in the early 3rd century. Under the Roman Emperor Diocletian, new coin denominations were introduced, such as the silver Argentus and the silver Nummus.
The king of the Frankish Empire, Charlemagne, carried out a coinage reform in 702, which led to a single silver currency. The reason for the change from gold to silver was the difficulty of procuring gold, as it had to be obtained exclusively through long-distance trade, while silver was available in Europe. The coin reform abolished the gold standard and introduced the silver denarius (12 denarii = one shilling) as the binding currency. The Anglo-Saxon king Offa of Mercia also introduced this regulation, which remained in England until 1971.
The end of the silver currency
During the period of the Holy Roman Empire, the rights of the royal mint were extended, many different types of pennies were produced, and the silver content of coins decreased. Between the 12th and 14th centuries, silver bracteates were the predominant type of coins minted throughout the German-speaking world.
The gold coinage
Beginning in the 13th century, the French and English increasingly favored gold coins. As a result, coins became larger and therefore Germany also had to increase the size of the so-called groschen. The Mint Association, which was a coalition of the prince-bishops of Trier and Cologne founded in 1372, had the gold gulden and the common white penny minted with a fixed fineness.
The first large silver coin was minted in 1486 under Archduke Sigismund and was called the Uncialis or Guldner. In the following years, the thaler spread throughout the world and led to the complete replacement of earlier type of coins. In the following decades, many other thalers followed in various forms.
Around the 17th century, many trade coins were minted, but increasingly material of lower value was used, so that the material value was often less than the exchange value. Denmark and Norway introduced the end of the silver coin as legal tender, as they stopped circulating silver coins.
In the early 1970s, the silver coin finally disappeared from everyday payment transactions, as the issuance of silver coins could no longer be planned due to various economic crises.
Today, silver coins are once again gaining attention. Collectors enjoy old silver coins that were once in circulation and are now used only for investment or to expand the collection.
What are the most famous silver coins?
The Maple Leaf, whether in gold or silver, is considered one of the most traded bullion coins in the world and is particularly popular due to its consistent design.
The Maple Leaf coin is minted by the Royal Canadian Mint. The name of the bullion coin comes from the famous Canadian symbol, the sugar maple leaf. This motif can also be found on the back of the Maple Leaf, and Queen Elizabeth II can be seen on the front.
After originally being minted in gold in 1979, the Maple Leaf was first issued in silver in 1988. The design is the same as the gold coin. The Maple Leaf Silver has a weight of 1 ounce (about 28.35 g), a face value of CAD 5 (Canadian dollars), a diameter of 38 mm (about 1.5 in), and a thickness of 3.15 mm (about 0.12 in). On the occasion of the 10th anniversary of the silver bullion coin was issued a commemorative coin of 10 ounces (about 283.5 g) with a mintage of 13,500 pieces.
The American Silver Eagle
The first American Silver Eagle was minted in 1986, making it the first pure silver coin in the United States. The Silver Eagle is an American bullion silver coin and is declared in US dollars. With a purity of 99.9%, a diameter of 40.6 mm, and a thickness of 2.98 mm, it is the largest and heaviest silver coin in the United States.
The front of the American Silver Eagle features the Walking Liberty, designed by American sculptor Adolph A. Weinman. The coin takes its name from the Great Seal of the United States, which features a bald eagle and was used by John Mercanti as the design for the Silver Eagle. The mint mark of the respective mint can be seen to the left of the eagle.
Since February 1, 2008, there has also been a Vienna Philharmonic in silver with a face value of 1.50 euros. It is the first European silver coin with a fineness of 999.9/1000. On the obverse of the coin, you can see the organ in the grand hall, the inscription "Republik Österreich" (Republic of Austria), the year of minting, the weight, and the face value. On the reverse, you will find other important instruments of the Vienna Orchestra, such as a horn or harp.
The design was created by the chief engraver of the Austrian Mint, Thomas Pesendorfer, and has not been changed since 1989, when the first gold Philharmonic was issued. The silver version also followed in the success of the gold Philharmonic, and one month after its release, one million silver Philharmonics had already been sold. With a circulation of up to 18 million pieces, the Silver Philharmonic is one of the best-selling bullion coins in the world.
The Silver Britannia has been issued by the British Royal Mint since 1997 and has an annual circulation of 2,500 pieces in proof finish and 100,000 pieces in Brilliant Uncirculated design. Until 2013, Britannia was made with a fineness of 95.8%, but had low market acceptance as bullion coins usually have a higher purity level. Since 2013, the Britannia has been issued with a fineness of 999/1000, bringing it in line with established bullion coins. The obverse of the coin always shows the reigning monarch of England, so since the first coin, Queen Elizabeth II. Until 1996, the reverse featured the standing "Britannia" with a helmet and a flowing robe. In her right hand, she holds a long trident, in her left a small olive branch. For the 10th anniversary, the Britannia was issued for the first time with a new design. Since then, the familiar standing motif has appeared every even year, and a changing design of the Britannia is minted every odd year.
China Panda Silver
The Panda is a bullion coin from the People's Republic of China. The obverse of the coin features the Temple of Heaven in China with the year of issue at the bottom. The reverse shows a different panda motif each year, which has increased the attractiveness of the coin, as well as the face value, fineness, and fine weight.
The Silver Panda coin was first issued in 1983 as a proof coin weighing 27 grams with a fineness of 90%. After two years, the coin was discontinued, revised, and reissued in 1987 in 1 ounce (approx. 28.35 g) and 5 ounces (approx. 141.75 g), but with a fineness of 99.9%. In 2012, the Silver Panda had a circulation of 8 million pieces, but after the turn of the millennium there was a ridiculously low mintage and therefore these coins are traded at a significant premium. Since 2016, the China Panda has been issued with a weight indication in grams and is therefore produced in the sizes of 1 kilogram, 150 grams, and 30 grams.
The Kangaroo, also known as the Australian Silver Kangaroo, is an Australian bullion silver coin. It was first released by the Perth Mint in 1993 with a weight of one ounce and a fineness of 99.9%. With a face value of 1 AUD, which is significantly exceeded by the material value, the coin can be used as legal tender in Australia. The reverse of the coin features Queen Elizabeth II with the face value of the coin. Until 1990, the obverse side of the gold coin featured a nugget, which was then replaced with the Australian kangaroo. The reason for this change was that animal motifs sell better.