Bars are one of the most popular ways for silver buyers to get involved in the bullion market. They are easy to obtain, easy to store, and carry little to no premiums. Beyond this, they come in many different sizes. This allows buyers with any size budget to add some bars to their portfolio. Whether you are looking to invest tens of thousands of dollars or a few hundred dollars, bars will help to accomplish your goals.
What is a Bar?
A bar is just as it sounds, a slab of silver. Whereas coins and rounds are circular, bars are most often found in a rectangular shape.There is some variation to their exact dimensions, however, as you will run across some varieties that are more like cubes or squares than rectangles. No matter their shape, bars still fall under the same category. They are pure bullion that is not typically considered a collectible item. If you are more interested in starting a collection of silver, the best bet is either coins or rounds. These items will often carry premiums, however, which is why investors tend to shy away from them.
Most all bars will come with some type of company stamp on them. The particular label on your piece of bullion will tell you who minted it, how much it weighs, and the purity. In some cases, there will either be just a logo, just the weight, or neither, but this is a rarity.
Purity of Bars
Silver bars are virtually .999 purity. This means that each bar is made up of almost entirely silver. There may literally be just one of the smallest specs in the piece that is not pure silver. To prove purity, there are special scales made to weigh just the silver itself in an item. In other words, you could drop a block of wood on the scale and it would register nothing. If you weighed a half wood and half silver block that weighed exactly five pounds, however, it would show 2.5 pounds of silver. This is how the true purity of a silver bar is scaled.
Sizes of Silver Bars
There are a lot of different sizes that bars come in, but there are just a few that are the most common. First, and the lowest end, bar is one ounce. These bars are about as small as you are going to find in silver. You will be able to find smaller sizes in gold, but that is due to the much higher price. This is as affordable as bars get. The next step up from a 1 oz. bar is a 5 oz. bar. This size serves as the middle man between an even bigger scale, which is 10 oz. These bars are where you start to get into more serious levels of investment. The really big leap is found after the 10 oz. bar; in the form of a 100 oz. bar. These are much more difficult to find because they are so expensive. If you are shopping around for something of this size, be prepared to spend a lot of money.
Silver bars are always quite similar to one another, with the only inherent difference being their weight. Yes, there are different manufacturers, but they all produce the same end product. If bars are what you are planning to buy, size is all that really matters.
If you are not very familiar with silver bars, you might not be sure who they are most ideal for. In short, investors are going to gain the greatest benefit from buying silver bars. Collectors tend to be in silver for the enjoyment and not so much the money, which is the reason why they buy coins and are willing to pay premiums that are well over spot price. Investors, on the other hand, want to get as much pure silver as possible and they want to be paying as near to spot price as they can possibly manage.
For smaller time silver investors, 1 oz. and even 5 oz. bars will be the most practical. As you might imagine, the 5 oz. types are going to be slightly cheaper per ounce than their one ounce counterparts. With that said, however, 1 oz. is a perfectly normal entry point for someone who is buying silver bars.
Bigger buyers who are able to buy in bulk will find a lot of options. The first type of bar that would be considered true bulk is 10 oz. This is the size where you are going to be earn somewhat substantial discounts on your orders. The next common size is 1 kilo., which serves as a stepping stone for the ultimate silver bar which weighs in at 1oo oz. Those purchasing 100 oz. bars will most definitely need a fair amount of money at their disposal. While these are ideal for their price per oz., the problem with them is that they are more difficult to buy and sell. Since there is not as big of a market for bars that are this large, it is not as easy to walk into a store and sell them. If you think that you might be looking to sell a certain cut of your silver at any point in the future, this would not be the type of bar that is best for you. Even if you do have a lot of funds to invest with, it would make more sense in the long run to buy multiple 1o oz. bars instead of one gargantous 100 oz. bar that you might run into short term issues with later on.
There is never going to be an absolute right and wrong way to go about buying silver bars. The size that you order, the brand that you prefer; these are all things that should make relatively little difference in the long run. So long as you know that you are buying silver for the natural investment opportunity that it creates, you should have a very tough time deciding what types of bars to buy. If it’s pure, it’s a good choice.