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Glossary: What is the Difference between Silver coins vs Silver rounds?

Glossary: What is the Difference between Silver coins vs Silver rounds?

In this week's article, we'll be looking at what a silver round is, why investors and collectors would own these, and the main differences between silver rounds and silver coins.   

 

What is a silver round?

 

A silver round is a privately minted piece of silver and generally comes in a round, coin-shape. They're produced by private mints and have no legal tender as they are not government-issued. The main benefits of owing silver rounds are as follows...

 

Main benefits of owning silver rounds

Rounds are a great alternative to bullion coins for investors and collectors. The main benefit of silver rounds for investors is that they often hold lower premiums than other government-issued silver bullion. There is a wide selection of private mints that offer rounds, making their unique designs highly sought-after by collectors. 

 

Photo of front of 1oz Silver American Buffalo Round vs 1oz American Eagle Coin

 

Differences between silver coins and silver rounds

Silver rounds and silver coins are made exactly the same way, but the labor involved in the fabrication of bullion coins from government-issued mints is higher. Unlike government mints, private mints compete for business, driving the cost of silver rounds lower. 

Both rounds and coins start as molten silver which is poured into an ingot. The ingot is sent through a rolling mill, formed into a thin silver strip, and then pressed. Here is a brief video explaining the process in more detail:

 

 

Even though they're privately minted, owning silver rounds can be as popular as owning silver coins. However, many investors prefer the perceived credibility and government guarantee that comes with official, legal tender coinage.

 

Silver Rounds

Like silver coins, silver rounds are round in shape and are typically stamped on both the obverse and reverse with symbolic and meaningful designs. They are marked with their metal content and purity but don't carry a currency denomination. They typically don't have a date either. The unlimited production of rounds keeps the spot price lower when compared to other bullion coins and they may not be mint marked.

 

Silver Coins

In most countries, designs have to be approved by a legislative body or advisory committee and usually represent cultural or patriotic values to a specific country. For example, the UK's Royal Mint produces annual 1oz Silver Britannia coins, with the lady Britannia being the female personification of the British Isles. The coins legal tender status offer investors protection as it's illegal to counterfeit these coins.

 

Read 'A Brief History of the Britannia Coin' here.

 

Conclusion

There are no rules when it comes to adding silver to your collection, it's all down to personal preference. Silver rounds are an alternative to silver coins with some advantages and disadvantages to other bullion coins, so do your research before making a purchase.

If you’d like to talk through what to buy in any more detail, contact one of the Bleyer team on 01769 618618 or email [email protected] and start your holding in Gold and Silver bars and coins today.

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