Silver Bars – A Short Guide
Silver bars are a traditional way to hold and store wealth. Their rectangular shape makes it easy to stack and store them.
The most common sizes are one ounce, 10 ounce, and 100 ounce bars.
Silver bars typically contain either 99.9% or 99.99% pure silver, both are considered to be pure silver. This is also expressed as .999 or .9999. There are some bars, usually privately made, that can have lower or unusual amounts of silver in them.
Silver bars can either be stamped or cast. Stamped bars are pressed and have fine details and each one from a maker is a perfect match for the next, except for the serial number. Cast bars are poured and typically have rounded corners. They may have a concave or convex top to them, and can have bumps, holes, or other imperfections.
Silver bars are made by sovereign Mints, which are run or owned by governments, or by refineries or privately owned mints. Refineries are typically privately owned enterprises that refine raw precious metals into pure metals and then create silver bars and rounds to sell. Private mints produce silver bars, and other precious metals, under their own name as well as for other companies and organizations.
Makers marks are stamped or pressed into the silver bar and tell you the origin of the silver. Some makers are more highly valued or sought after. This reflects both the maker’s reputation and the ease of reselling the bars to other buyers who also value those makers. Silver bars usually have a serial number stamped into them by the maker. Some silver, usually privately made by small refiners, may lack this. When we buy a silver bar whose maker’s marks are unknown or missing we will scan the bar to determine its silver content.
Some of the most common or well known makers are:
- The Royal Canadian Mint
- The Perth Mint
- Asahi Refinery
- NADiR Metal Rafineri
- PAMP Suisse
- The Royal Mint
- Credit Suisse
- Germania Mint
- Johnson Matthey
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