Silver bars offer a relatively cheap and highly liquid way to purchase silver. They are perhaps not as fun as unique coins or rounds, and are certainly do not have the same value as a “survival asset” as junk silver, but they are easy to store and are a great investment and wealth preservation asset.
Silver Bar Brands
Most silver producers make .999 silver, which means that the bars they produce are 99.9% pure silver. Royal Canadian Mint (RCM) manufacture some bars that are “four 9 bars”, at 99.99% purity.
Silver bars are always stamped with a hallmark showing their weight, purity, and mint of origin. Buyers can therefore be confident of the authenticity of the product they are buying, which helps make silver bars a solid target for resale.
Some of the most popular silver bar producers are:
SilverTowne - SilverTowne is a family of companies set up over 50 years ago. They operate both coin sales and minting and even have a cattle interest. Their bars are amongst the best value on the market and they are a well-known and reputed company.
Ohio Precious Metal OPM – OPM has been refining since 1974 and have a massive purpose built production facility. They produce 1 ounce, 10 ounce, 100 ounce and 1k bars. Their 1 kg bars sell for about $1.50 above spot per ounce. They are respected in the industry.
Sunshine Mint – Sunshine mint silver in 1 ounce, 5 ounce, 10 ounce, 50 ounce and 100 ounce bars. They offer close to spot pricing and are amongst the best value in the industry. Their operation has been running over 100 years and so they are well know and respected. Their name comes from the famous Sunshine Mine in Kellogg.
Engelhard - Engelhard stopped producing silver in the 1980s but still have secondary bars available on the market. It is possible to find primarily 1 oz, 10 oz and 100 oz bars that vary from $1 above spot price to $4 above spot+. They remain a popular investment choice amongst silver investors.
Royal Canadian Mint- The RCM now operates from two locations in Canada. It was originally set up by the British Mint but gained independence decades ago. It is one of the few producers of .9999 silver and is world renowned for quality of production. They produce Canadian Silver Maples, a very popular bullion coin and even make the currency for a number of countries, as well as all Canadian Currency.
Johnson Matthey - Johnson Matthey traditionally manufactured 1 ounce, 10 ounce and 100-ounce bars. They now only produce 100-ounce silver and therefore the smaller bars on the market tend to show signs of wear. They are not the cheapest silver to buy but are extremely respected and desirable.
Silver bars are generally available in 1 ounce, 10 ounce, 100 ounce, and 1000 ounce bars. 1 oz and 10 oz bars typically are produced in plastic sheets of 20 bars, making storage and transportation easy. By keeping your bars in this original seal you can increase their value on the resale market.
100 ounce bars are manageable storage-wise at an individual level, and offer the lowest over-spot pricing of all retail silver bars. Packaging for 100 oz bars is typically less pristine than smaller bars. Most retailer purchasers have no interest in 1000 ounce bars, which are typically only used for settling futures contracts or inter-bank trade.