Part of the joy of owning silver is not just the beauty and value of silver but also that it is something you can hold in your hand. Not all silver, however, should be held in your hand as handling may damage your silver and cause it to lose its original beauty and value.
When you purchase brilliant uncirculated coins like American Silver Eagles, Canadian Silver Maple Leafs or Perth Mint coins, you should take care not to remove them from their original packaging lest they become nicked, scratched or dented from handling or mishandling. These coins will retain their resale value if they are kept in as near untouched condition as possible and stores in low moisture settings.
What type of silver should you buy if you don’t wish to be fussy about handling it? There are types of silver that you can buy that you can hold, drop, spin and show your friends and family without worrying that you might be destroying the value of your silver.
Generic Silver Rounds and Bars
Generic silver rounds and bars are generally .999 pure silver and sell at lower premiums over the spot price of silver than silver coins produced by sovereign mints. While some may have interesting designs, they are valued exclusively for their silver content. While we don’t advise that you intentionally abuse these products you can handle them without destroying their value. Handling silver allows you to get a sense of the weight and texture of silver. Also dropping a silver coin, round or bar on surfaces will allow you to hear the distinctive silver “ping” sound not present in other metals.
Silver rounds come in a variety of sizes from 1/10 ounce to up to five ounces and higher. There are a also a variety of designs. Many people like to have a “walking around” silver round that they can carry with them in their pocket without worry that it might get damaged. Silver rounds can be removed from their packaging and examined. One ounce silver rounds can be purchased individually or in rolls of twenty.
You might find some buyers who will still like their generic silver rounds to be in as near perfect conditions, so we would advise only handling one or two and leaving the remainder of your silver rounds in the original packaging.
Silver bars like silver rounds come in a variety of sizes usually from 1/10 ounce to up to five ounces and higher. There also come in a variety of designs. Generic silver bars can be carried around and endure nicks without significantly damaging their value. Silver rounds can be removed from their packaging and examined. Silver bars are ideal for stacking due to their shape and can be handled regularly without worry of diminishing their value.
Buyers of silver buy may also like their generic silver bars to be in as near perfect conditions, so we would advise against excessive handling.
You can also buy generic pre-owned silver rounds and silver bars. These silver items may already have slight imperfections from less than gentle handling.
Pre-1965 90% Silver Coins or “Junk Silver”
Pre-1965 silver dimes, quarters and half dollar coins are ideal for handling as they were minted specifically to be handled and used as currency in day to day transactions. Ninety percent silver coins are also 10% copper to make them more durable. These coins are sold on the basis of their silver content, not their condition or numismatic value. Your handling of these coins, unless excessive to the point of noticeable wear or the result of deep carving gashes or drilled holes will not damage the value of these coins.
90% Silver Dimes
90% Silver Quarters
90% Half Dollars
You can carry these coins around in your pocket without worry of damaging them, but be careful you don’t spend them! Better to take a silver round or bar with you if you need some waking around silver.
This article by BGASC is not, and should not be regarded as, investment advice or as a recommendation regarding any particular course of action.