Everyone knows that gold is the most popular precious metal on the market, but silver bullion is another much cheaper investment option that is also widely available and often overlooked. And just like gold, silver bullion is available for purchase or investment in a variety of forms.

Silver Bullion Bars

Available in a large number of weights, sizes, and designs silver bullion bars have some of the lowest premiums over spot prices of any other bullion products and are ideal for smaller investors and those operating on a smaller budget.

Silver bullion bars are available in two major types: Cast silver bars and Minted silver bars. They are usually made from 99.9% silver but they may be refined to up to 999.9%. They also vary in weight from 5 grams to a 5 kilograms.

Cast silver bars are made by melting refined silver and then pouring the liquid metal into molds. Once the silver has hardened the cast silver bars can be inscribed with markings and designs. These cast silver bars are not polished or finished further so they may have a dull, aged, or even rough look to them. But they have a much simpler and lower production cost and thus they less expensive than minted silver bars.

Minted silver bars are produced by stamping silver bar blanks with detailed designs and then finishing them so that they have a bright surface and sleek edges. They are usually also shaped into a specific shape to fit with the design that’s being minted. These minted silver bars are usually sold in protective packaging, which should not be compromised and they will also include a certificate of authenticity containing all the details of the bar and its  minting process. When properly taken care of, minted silver bars will retain their lustrous appearance. But because of the greater detail and process that goes into making minted silver bars, they are often much more expensive than cast silver bars.

Silver Bullion Coins

Another form that you can buy silver in is silver bullion coins or silver rounds. Silver bullion coins are specially made by authorised sovereign mints and they are considered to be legal tender. They will often be produced in a specific series of commemorative or collectable designs and have an official face value.

Silver rounds, on the other hand, may look the same as silver bullion coins but they are usually produced by private mints and have no face value and they also cannot be considered as legal tender. For this reason, they are much less expensive and can have unlimited mint runs, making them easy to buy.

If you want to buy silver bullion from a bullion dealer or directly from a mint, but you don’t have dedicated and secure storage space to keep your silver bullion in, then you can make use of the services of a secure depository. This is a storage service for bullion and is provided by mints like the Perth Mint and by various other banks.