Many leading analysts see silver skyrocketing in value, but is silver really in such short supply that it could double in value from its current price?
First Majestic Silver (NYSE:AG) CEO Keith Neumeyer says in an interview with Bloomberg News that you would be crazy to think silver will be trading at $30 or $50 per ounce within the next few years.
In fact, he believes silver will hit $140 per ounce, a ninefold increase from where it stands today.
Here are the top 5 bullion silver coins for investment.
1. Silver American Eagle
Silver is popular in diversifying an investment portfolio. Silver Eagles get their weight, content, and purity guaranteed by the U.S. government.
This alone makes the coin desirable to privately minted “rounds,” and in the minds of many investors is worth the premium associated with Silver Eagles. Typical pricing for uncirculated Eagles sells for between $1.80 and $2.50 over the spot price of silver.
The Silver Eagle coin can also have a limited quantity which grants them some slight numismatic value that tends to appreciate with age. For example, 1986 Silver Eagles currently fetch about a $7-above-spot premium and even Eagles from as late as 2001 can trade for as much as $5 or $6 over spot.
In addition to Brilliant Uncirculated coins, the U.S. Mint also issues collectible 1oz Proof Silver American Eagle Coins struck in West Point, Philadelphia and San Francisco. Proof Eagles can be recognized by their Pristine finish which is the result of the coins being struck multiple times with a special silver blank.
The obverse design of the American Silver Eagle coin is from Adolph A. Weinman’s “Walking Liberty” design, featured on the Walking liberty Half Dollar Coin.
This design was implemented decades later for the American Silver Eagle coin. Aside from the year of issue, the phrase “In God We Trust” and the word “Liberty” are prominent features of the design.
John Mercanti is responsible for the reverse design with the American bald eagle behind a shield. The fine detail of the design shows the eagle holding an olive branch and arrows in its talons, with stars representing the 13 colonies suspended above. The design bears the phrases: “United States of America,” “1 oz. Fine Silver — One Dollar,” and “E Pluribus Unum,” along with the mint mark in some designs.
Even though the American Silver Eagle coin has a legal tender value of $1, keep in mind the legal tender value does not account for the intrinsic value of the coin itself being 1 oz. The value of the coin depends on quality and year of issue.
Uncirculated American Silver Eagle coins are more valuable than their bullion counterparts, simply due to semi-numismatic rarity. A year where the minting amount is notably lower than others increases the value of the coin as rarity creates value, especially in coin collecting.
Historically Investors find Uncirculated Silver Eagle coins an easy investment due to their ready availability.
2. Silver Canadian Maple Leafs
Similar to the Silver American Eagle, the Silver Canadian Maple Leaf is a government-issued, legal-tender coin first appearing in 1988.
The Silver Maple Leaf remains one of the world’s most recognizable silver coins, and is also one of the most aesthetically appealing. Maple Leafs are magnificently designed, and a genuine, beautiful sight to behold. They’re also the purest of government-issued silver coins, at .9999 fine silver (others are usually .999).
Brand New, uncirculated Maple Leafs tend to sell for a little less than Silver Eagles around $1.60 and $2.30 over spot.
Maple Leafs tend to sometimes gain numismatic value more quickly than Silver Eagles.
For instance, 2008 Silver Maple Leafs are already selling for around $3 over spot. Some issues have very low mintage numbers, too. The 1988 Silver Maple Leaf—the first year the coin was produced—had a mintage of more than 1.1 million units, while the 1992 issue had a mintage of just 343,800.
The Royal Canadian Mint uses the same image of the iconic sugar maple leaf on the reverse of the coin each year. As of 2015, new security features have been introduced on the reverse to combat counterfeiting. Using micro-laser engraving, the RCM added radial lines and a small, repeating maple leaf image below the primary design set.
On the reverse face of the 2016 Canadian Silver Maple Leaf is the image of the sugar maple leaf, with the engraving “Canada” above, the coin’s purity (9999) on either side of the leaf, and the metal content and weight of the coin.
The obverse bears Susanna Blunt’s depiction of Queen Elizabeth II. Blunt’s portrait of Her Majesty is the third-generation image featured on Canadian coins, and was introduced in 2004 after its creation in 2003.
Due to its .9999 purity and other attributes the Canadian Silver Maple Leaf is, unquestionably, one of the most popular coins in the world today.
3. Silver 1oz Rounds
While Silver Eagles command a premium due to their easy recognition, and Maple Leafs are valued for their stunning beauty and low mintage quantities, 1oz rounds are attractive for their extremely low premiums.
Although, technically rounds are non-legal tender issued by private minters and are not considered “coins” at all. therefore all rounds must be referred to as “rounds” and not coins for legal purposes. But silver is still silver, no matter if it’s issued by the U.S. government or not.
The difference between rounds and bars is found almost exclusively in the weights that are available. Investors can choose bars that weigh 5 oz, 10 oz and even more, but this is not the case with rounds.
Rounds are usually only made in 1 oz and smaller varieties. Whereas bars offer the ability for investors to order bulk quantities at a time, rounds also allow for smaller quantities to be ordered.
Due to the increase in the price of silver, fractional rounds have also gained in popularity. These types of rounds weigh less than 1 oz and have become an affordable choice for those looking to get started in silver bullion at a lower entry point.
Most of these fractional rounds can be found in 1/10th, 1/4 and 1/2 oz sizes. The smaller the size of the round, the higher the premium you will generally end up paying.
Similar to bars of silver, a round should have .999 or better purity.
4. Austrian Silver Philharmonics
Austrian Silver Philharmonics are the first Silver bullion coin that is denominated in euros. Minted by the Austrian Mint in Vienna, the Austrian Philharmonic Silver coins are .999 pure Silver.
Vienna’s Philharmonic Orchestra has been performing since 1842 and is revered as the world’s finest.
The 2014 1 oz Austrian Silver Philharmonic features the lovely Viennese Concert Hall, home to the orchestra, with magnificent detail.
The obverse of the Silver Philharmonic coin displays the Great Pipe Organ in Vienna's Golden Hall, which houses the Philharmonic Orchestra. Also, the obverse includes the face value of €1.5 euros and the inscription "1 Unze Feinsilber," meaning "1 ounce pure Silver." The Silver coin's reverse depicts a medley of selected instruments from the world-famous orchestra.
Austrian Philharmonics trade for $2-3 over spot, but the 2008 issues are already commanding a premium of at least $2.30. A single 2008 Austrian Philharmonic coin can usually be purchased for around $3.49 over spot but sometimes can command higher prices due to having more rarity than the American Eagle or Canadian Maple Leafs.
5. Mexican Silver Libertads
Mexican Silver Libertads are beautiful coins, but they command a pricier premium upwards of $2+, and are somewhat less marketable than the issues of more “trusted” governments like the U.S. and Canada.
The 1oz Libertads coin is .999-fine Silver and was initially produced in 1982. In 1991, the 1/20 ounce, 1/10 ounce, 1/4 ounce, 1/2 ounce coins were first minted, and continue to be minted each year. The 2 ounce and 5 ounce Silver Libertad's were introduced in 1996, and have been minted consecutively each year ever since.
The obverse of the Silver Libertad coin features the Mexican National Seal with an eagle atop a cactus, clutching a serpent in its beak. Surrounding the eagle on these Mexican Silver coins are a wreath and the official name of Mexico in Spanish, “Estados Unidos Mexicanos.”
The Silver Libertad’s reverse depicts two key symbols of the Mexican people: the Angel of Independence and the Mexican volcanoes Popocatépetl and Iztaccíhuatl. Appearing in the forefront of the Silver coin the Winged Victory angel is a historic monument for the Mexican people and is considered the symbol of Mexico City. The Mexican volcanoes pictured in the background of the reverse memorialize the legend of the two lovers from whom they were named.
Legend has it that a great warrior named Popocatepetl was in love with a fair maiden named Iztaccihuatl. She was the daughter of a tribal king. The two lovers wished to be married, but in order to do so, the tribal king commanded that Popocatepetl go to battle with a rival tribe, and win. After his victory he may marry Iztaccihuatl.
Popocatepetl went off to battle, and was victorious. Sadly, the victory took longer than expected, and another man spread rumors that Popocatepetl had died in battle. The young maiden soon died of grief for her lost lover. When Popocatepetl returned home, he found out that his true love had died. He took her body atop a mountain range, which assumed the shape of the sleeping young maiden. Her form can be seen in the Western view today. Popocatepetl climbed to the top of the adjacent peak, where he watches over his eternal lost love.
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