Ever since the Ancient Greeks started to mint their own coinage, silver has played an important role in financial activities. Whether it’s used as coinage, bullion, or for industrial production, the metal has always had a certain allure with humans. But as an investment, silver has always suffered from being under the shadow of its more expensive cousin: gold. However, silver coins can act as a great investment for those not wanting to spend the hundreds of dollars gold costs. There are three main ways to save and invest in silver coins.
Finding the Coins
The cheapest way to save and “invest” in silver coins is to find them, either in change or by searching through rolls of coins. This way, each coin only costs its face value. That being said, it is also extremely hard to find coins in this matter. After 1964, when the U.S. mint stopped producing coins (except half dollars, which went until 1970) they also sorted through all the coinage returned from banks. All silver coinage was removed and melted down for bullion. Receiving a silver coin in change is close to impossible. Many coin collectors order boxes of rolled coins from their local bank. They hope to find silver coins that people unaware of their value deposited in a bank. While silver is more available in rolls, it also requires a lot of work and should only be attempted by someone who enjoys coins.
Buying Historic Silver Coinage
The most interesting way to invest in silver coins is to buy collectible silver coinage from U.S. history. Ever since the U.S. started printing coins in the 1790’s, most of the coinage has been silver. Rare coins are one of the most undiscovered areas of investment; coins have performed very well when the stock market and other traditional investments haven’t. But that’s a completely different area of collecting than just silver coins. These coins are bought for their collectible value with little thought for their metal content except for historical interest. Silver investors are best seeking out bulk coinage for silver value. Many of the silver coins made right before it was discontinued, like Roosevelt Dimes and Washington Quarters, are sold for just their silver value. These coins are in poor condition but hold great silver value.
One of the most popular silver investments in this day and age is bullion coinage. Many governments, including the U.S., Canada, and China, issue silver bullion coins. The coin from the United States is the American Silver Eagle, which has faced some shortages in recent years due to high investor demand. The main way to order American Eagles is to buy them directly from the mint in rolls. Many dealers often offer good prices on the current year’s coins, too. But it usually makes sense to not pay the premium for the current year’s issue and to buy a previous year’s issue. They contain the same amount of silver, but aren’t worth as much to collectors. For silver investors, no year should be worth more than another. Be prepared to pay a premium above the pure cost of silver in each coin; dealers have to make money on them.
Silver investment is one of the greatest ways to preserve financial value. Silver, along with gold, has been used as money since money was invented. It’s a great protection against inflation and a falling currency, no matter which country you’re from. Just remember to educate yourself before buying anything. That’s the only way to protect yourself; coins are not an investment to walk into blindly. And while buying these coins, try to pay attention to their collectible value. Not only will this make the investment more interesting, it will also give you a better appreciation of the coin’s historical heritage.
http://www.coinflation.com/ -great site that gives the value of each U.S. coin’s metal value