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Best Silver Coins to Buy (for Investors)

A collection of fine silver coins.

The oldest coin ever found is more than 2,700 years old, and was made from a naturally occurring alloy of gold and silver called electrum. Throughout human history, we have used silver and gold, as well as other precious metals, as a source of money for longer than anything else. As a store of wealth, silver and gold have stood the test of time far better than any flimsy fiat currency. Gold gets almost all of the attention, but silver has been as reliable a source of currency for just as long. Many people think gold is intrinsically far more valuable than silver, but there are fewer differences between the values of these precious metals than you think. 

In fact, many of the useful applications of silver actually outweigh gold’s uses. It’s also cheaper than gold, making it a more accessible purchase for first-time investors. If you want to start investing in precious metals, but gold seems a little too daunting, silver is an ideal option. Silver offers many of the same great benefits in wealth protection without needing the same level of commitment. 

 from the United States to the People’s Republic of China, many of the largest and most established national mints around the world produce their own silver bullion coins,. We’ll discuss the history, specifications, and value of each coin to help you learn a bit about these powerful potential future investments. Now, let’s jump into the best silver coins to buy for investors right now. 

American Silver Eagle

The Silver Eagle is the only investment-grade silver bullion coin produced by the United States Mint. This makes it one of the best silver coins to buy, as American-backed bullion is arguably the most popular. To be sure of silver’s content and quality, investors love to buy silver from as reputable a source as possible. The American Silver Eagle has its purity guaranteed by the United States government, making it an excellent choice for investors everywhere. 

This silver bullion coin features a similar design to the Gold American Eagle. On one face, Adolph Weinman’s instantly recognizable “Walking Liberty” artwork depicts Lady Liberty striding through the rays of the sun. On the reverse, a heraldic eagle flies beneath 13 silver stars, representing each of the original U.S. colonies. This globally recognizable design has been a favorite with numismatics and investors alike, ever since the coin was released in 1986. 

American Silver Eagle coins were originally minted at the San Francisco Mint but moved to the Philadelphia Mint in 1993. Now, these silver coins are minted alongside the Gold American Eagle in West Point, New York. You can buy Silver Eagles as bullion coins, uncirculated coins, or get a more polished proof mintage of these coins. There’s no difference in value or silver content, but proof coins are more attractive for display. Proof and uncirculated silver coins are generally aimed at collectors, with only bullion designed for investors. 

The American Silver Eagle is 99.9% pure silver and has a face value of only one dollar. However, these silver dollars generally cost around $30 for a single coin or slightly more for a stunning commemorative Silver Eagle set. Other than a one-off 5-troy-ounce mintage, the Silver American Eagle is only produced in the one troy ounce size. If you want to complete your set of patriotic American bullion coins, you can buy the American Eagle coin in gold, silver, and platinum.

An American Silver Eagle coin.

The Silver Eagle is 99.9% pure silver. “Uncirculated” means that this coin is not used to publicly buy things, but rather, its purpose is strictly for precious metals investing.

 

Canadian Silver Maple Leaf

Most silver coins are 99.9% pure, but just like the Gold Maple Leaf, the Royal Canadian Mint wanted to release a higher quality coin than their American competition. The Silver Canadian Maple Leaf contains .9999 pure silver, with no alloy added to the precious metal. This makes Silver Maple Leaf coins fragile, and easily scratched or damaged. This is one of the best silver coins to buy for investors who are motivated by purity, but there’s no real advantage over harder-wearing alloyed silver coins. 

This Canadian silver coin’s design only slightly changes from year to year, however, it always depicts Canada’s national symbol. The Maple Leaf has been adapted to add new enhancements and anticounterfeiting measures. The general features remain unchanged as the iconic design is so popular the world around, and is considered one of the most beautiful silver coins available. 

The Canadian Silver Maple Leaf has a face value of $5 CAD. It contains one troy ounce or 31.1 grams of silver. You can also buy the Silver Twin Maple Leaf, which weighs 2 ounces and displays a face value of $10. As is the standard for all Commonwealth coins, the back of the Silver Maple Leaf displays a portrait of Queen Elizabeth II.  Beneath this royal portrait is imprinted on the value of the coin.

Austrian Silver Philharmonic 

The gold Austrian Philharmonic has been Europe’s leading bullion coin for decades.  In 2008, the Austrian Mint finally released its silver equivalent. The Philharmonic was the first silver coin to be minted with a face value in Euros, and quickly became one of the most popular silver bullion coins ever made. Although the exact figures are unknown, it is estimated that more than 5 million Silver Philharmonic Coins were released by the Austrian Mint in the first 5 years of production. This large scale popularity and demand resulted in these coins becoming highly collectible and a great investment item. 

The famous design of Austrian Philharmonic coins is beloved by collectors and investors around the world. One face depicts the organ from Vienna’s concert hall, where the Philharmonic orchestra performs. This silver coin also displays a face value of 1.50 Euros alongside the organ. The other side of the coin shows an array of musical instruments including a harp, cello, and violins beneath the words “Weiner Philharmoniker”: the Vienna Philharmonic. 

With equal purity to the American Silver Eagle, Austrian Philharmonics are made from 99.9% silver. This means the metal retains its shine and color while remaining durable enough to last for years to come. The Austrian Mint’s stellar reputation regarding consistency, purity, and quality makes this silver coin one of the best examples for investors to buy. This coin is a surefire investment and will have many potential buyers when you want to sell-off. One other aspect which makes the Silver Philharmonic a uniquely opportune investment is its assigned face value.  At 1.5 Euros, it’s valued at more than 50% in excess of American and Canadian $1 silver coins.

British Silver Britannia

The British Royal Mint has been releasing Silver Britannia coins since 1997 when they originally had a fineness of 95.8%. However, in 2013 the coin was improved to IRA standard and now comes in .999 silver. The design on the coin differs based on which mintage you buy.  Both proof and bullion choices are available. Silver Britannia bullion coins always feature the legendary classic depiction of the standing figure Brittania. She holds a trident, shield, and olive branch in this iconic and provocative design. 

Proof versions of this British coin get a new design each year, which includes a huge variety of different depictions of the lady Britannia. The opposite side of every British coin features a portrait of Queen Elizabeth II. The Silver Britannia is no different. On both bullion and proof versions of this coin, her face is proudly displayed alongside a face value of two British Pounds. 

Special proof editions, which are highly collectible and coveted by numismatics, feature a lion resting at the feet of Britannia. This British silver coin has had numerous iconic designs, each beloved by investors the world over, making them one of the best silver coins to buy. The stunning and detailed design is minted in quality silver, originating from a respected and reputable source. Beautiful Britannia coins from the Royal Mint in Britain will always be an excellent silver investment.

Chinese Silver Panda 

Like many other nations rich in natural gold and silver deposits, the People’s Republic of China released their own silver bullion coins. Named the Panda, the design of these Chinese silver coins changes to a different portrait of the animal each year. All Silver Panda coins are 99.9% silver and can be purchased in a number of denominations ranging from a half troy ounce to one kilogram. 

The first Silver Panda coins were released in 1983, and since then they’ve been minted in Shanghai, Shenyang, and Shenzhen. In 2016, the one troy ounce coin was changed to contain 30 grams of silver (a troy ounce is 31.1 grams) so these Chinese coins are smaller than the average silver round. However, the face value of the coin remained 10 Yuan, even though the quantity of fine silver was reduced. You can find the monetary value of a Chinese Silver coin imprinted above the Giant Panda portrait.

The obverse of the Chinese Panda shows the Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests in stunning relief as well as the year of mintage. This huge building, located in the Temple of Heaven complex in south-central Beijing, was built in 1420 and is a masterpiece of historic Chinese architecture. The Chinese Panda coin features a gorgeous design on each face, and a value backed up by one of the most precious metals-rich countries in the world. The .999 pure silver Chinese Panda coin is one of the best examples of silver coins for investors to consider.

Morgan Silver Dollar

Morgan Silver Dollars are one of the most widely circulated silver coins in existence because the US Mint produced hundreds of millions between the 1870s and 1920s. This historic coin gets its name from its designer and engraver George T. Morgan. The obverse of this numismatic coin shows a profile portrait of lady liberty, and the year of its mintage underneath. The obverse shows an eagle with wings outstretched, gripping a branch in its claws. 

Morgan Silver Dollars aren’t bullion coins, but that doesn’t mean they don’t have value as an investment. Certain mintages of these coins are rarer than others, such as an 1878 design where the eagle has one fewer tail feathers. If you happen across a particularly rare silver dollar, it has immense value as a collectible despite its one-dollar face value. This figure can be much higher than the price of silver by content, so don’t discount this way of making money from precious metals.

Prior to 1873, solid silver could be taken to mints and coined into legal tender. These coins to be used to buy and sell. However, the price of silver back then was much lower than the monetary value of the coin.   Profits from these exchanges were huge which caused inflation. As a result, Congress enacted the 4th Coinage Act and ended the use of silver as money. Instead, mints would cast silver bars and bullion. By 1877, George Morgan had begun designing the silver dollar we know and love today.

Mexican Silver Libertads

Although they’re one of the most recently minted coins on this list, Mexican Silver Libertads come from the oldest mint in the western hemisphere. The Sada de Moneda de Mexico was founded in 1535. Coins minted there have been circulating the world for nearly six centuries. The Libertad was first produced in 1982 and redesigned completely in the middle of the 90s. 

Modern Mexican Libertads contains 99.9% silver and come in a variety of sizes. This bullion coin does not have a face value and is simply priced based on the metal content. In addition to regular bullion coins, the Mexican Mint makes proof versions of Silver Libertads, aimed at coin collectors and numismatics. There are also coins with a specially added antique finish, ideal for display and enjoyment. 

The obverse of this silver coin features the Mexican coat of arms, as well the previous 10 versions of the symbol. The reverse features the image of the Angel of Independence, a stunning figure depicted in impressive detail. These popular silver coins have a strictly limited mintage, with no more than 1 million Mexican Libertads produced a year. This contributes to the high demand for this silver Mexican coin, making it a great investment item. 

Silver coins.

With only $3-4 billion spent on silver as an investment, the market is actually tiny compared to gold.

 

Why Choose to Invest in The Best Silver Coins? 

You might wonder what exactly makes these specific coins, and not the competition, the best choice for investors. In fact, you may not even know why silver coins are a great investment at all. After all, there are plenty of other options open to investors nowadays: from ETFs, gold bullion, junk silver, and pure silver bars. Here’s why these silver coins are the perfect addition to your investment portfolio:

  • Unlike ETFs and mining stocks, silver coins equal physical silver. By owning precious metals, you can protect your wealth.  As fiat currency becomes more unstable day by day, solid silver represents true value and therefore cannot be undermined as an asset. 
  • Especially for new investors just starting out, silver is more affordable than gold, Additionally, the metal silver has far more uses in industry than gold. Indicating that higher silver demand could be on the horizon. When the price of silver shoots up, it’s better to own yours before its price rises substantially. 
  • Silver bars are much more inconvenient than silver coins, as they require more storage space. Silver rounds, or coins, can be easily hidden in small places to safely protect your investment. Coins also have much more value to collectors than plain minted bars do, giving them increased numismatic value. 
  • When it’s time to sell off your precious metals investment, coins are much more liquid than bars. Their lower price means finding a buyer is easy, whereas 100-oz silver bars can be slightly more difficult to sell. 
  • There are many different silver coins available across the world today, far more than we’ve listed in this article. However, these coins represent the best investment as they are highly popular and more widely circulated. This means that buying and selling the best silver coins is much easier as the market is larger and demand is ever-growing. However, certain incredibly rare coins will have much greater value than silver bullion but may require a specialist broker to target a much narrower market. Common silver coins like the American Eagle and Canadian Maple Leaf will always be a much more liquid asset. 
  • In times of financial crisis, silver coins with legal tender value will be extremely useful. In fact, all bullion coins are an amazing fail-safe in the case of a global financial crash or economic disaster. 

As you can see, each of the silver coins on this list represents an intelligent financial investment. The benefits of owning silver are numerous and bountiful.   The time to buy this precious metal is now. Every option we have discussed will make a generous and positive impact on your financial portfolio. The price of silver could reach up to $130 an ounce in the future, so get ahead of the curve by buying some of the best silver coins today. As the future of the planet becomes more and more uncertain, the only sure way to protect your wealth is through smart investments into physical silver and gold.

 

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All articles are provided as a third party analysis and do not necessarily reflect the explicit views of GSI Exchange and should not be construed as financial advice.

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