Saturday, December 09, 2006

2006 Proof Silver Dollar

The 2006 Proof Silver Dollar is made with 99.99% Pure silver. This perfect example from the Royal Canadian Mint would be an excellent gift for that avid coin collector or even just for oneself.

As the Royal Canadian Mint states on their site:

"Giving a silver dollar was once the ultimate gift. Renew this tradition with this year’s 99.99% pure Victoria Cross-themed Proof Silver Dollar. This stunning coin is a perfect way to mark an important milestone.

From the cascabels of Russian cannons that were captured during the Crimean War (1854-1855), a great military honour is forged. It is the Victoria Cross, the highest military decoration that is awarded “…for most conspicuous bravery, or some daring or pre-eminent act of valour or self-sacrifice, or extreme devotion to duty in the presence of the enemy.”

Instituted by Queen Victoria in 1856, a total 1,351 Victoria Crosses have been awarded to British and Commonwealth military forces. Ninety-four of them have been awarded to Canadians - 8 for acts of bravery carried out prior to and during the South African War (1899-1902); 70 during the First World War (1914-1918); and 16 during the Second World War (1939-1945).

The Victoria Cross is one of the most recognized military medals in the world. It features a cross pattee with the Royal Crown surmounted by a lion guardant and a scroll inscribed with For Valour. The date of the act is engraved within a raised circle on the reverse. The cross is suspended from a straight bar which has the rank, unit and name of the recipient engraved on the back. In 1993, a special Canadian version was instituted. It is identical to the original with the exception that the inscription on the scroll is in Latin (Pro Valore).

The coin specifications are:
Face Value: 1 dollar
Mintage: Produced to demand
Composition: 99.99% silver
Weight (g): 25.175
Diameter (mm): 36.07
Edge: Reeded
Finish: Proof
Certificate: Not serialized
Artist: Royal Canadian Mint engravers

The 2006 Proof Silver Dollar coin would make an excellent round of for a 2006 silver coin collection.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Collecting Silver Bars

Collecting silver bars is an excellent way of accumulating silver. You can get bars from one ounce up to many kilos and the current price of silver makes it quite affordable to collect silver bars on a regular basis.

Although the price of silver does fluctuate, over the long term, it is enjoying a steady rise, so a long term campaign of accumulating silver is quite likely to be a good move.

The various types of silver bars available include. Silver Bars or wafers, often called biscuits as they are pressed from a sheet in a press. The other type is ingots. These are cast bars in a mound. These are usually fairly heavy and about 400 ounces so are harder to store and transport. These are usually kept in bank vaults by companies.

For the individual it is better to look at the small bars, these can range from a one ounce bar up to 1000 ounces or one or ten kilos.

All silver bars should have stamped on them, the amount of silver content, the degree of fineness, which should be 999.0 or more, and the name of the mint in which they are struck.

They should also come with a certificate of authenticity.

You can buy silver bars from various dealers and mints. It is always a good idea to ensure you pick a mint or an established dealer that has a returns policy. When you get the bar examine it and ensure it is exactly as described in the literature. If not you will want to return it and recover your money.

The smaller bars have a higher mark up or premium and are therefore proportionally more expensive. The shipping costs are the same whether you are buying large bars or smaller ones so that also needs to be taken into consideration.. The smaller bars are usually sold for decorative or aesthetic value. It is the 1000 ounce bars that are popular with collections for their potential investment value. Keep in mind that, collecting silver bars, unlike coins, may attract a tax component. It is always advisable to consult with your financial adviser in such matters.

In short, collecting silver bars, as well as being a fun and enjoyable activity, would be the answer to any silver buyer wishing to accumulate silver for a rainy day!

Saturday, October 07, 2006

US Silver Dollar Eagle – Part 3

This is part 3 of US Silver Dollar Eagle

US Silver Dollars Eagles are widely found in auctions, dealers and of course with coin collectors.

It is very important that when buying US Silver Dollar Eagles one understands as much about them as possible. Hence the previous two articles as background and to serve to give some information about the various US Silver Dollars available.

There are some vital points to keep in mind when buying rare or early US Silver Dollar Eagles. Especially when buying from an auction.

With a dealer you can check that the dealer has a returns policy, a fixed address and contact details. Most bona fide dealers will go to great pains to assure you of their long term commitment to the business and to their customers. You can find many online and it is a good idea to build up a relationship with a particular dealer so you can buy and sell coins with them.

With auctions one needs to take a bit more care and do more due diligence. EBay have established the feedback system and with a power seller who has 99 percent or more feedback you can be fairly safe they are in for the duration as much as any other dealer. There are other auctions and you would be wise to check up and find out more about them before you start spending big dollars.

As boring at it might sound, it is always a wise move to read the terms of service and know what the auction, or dealer for that matter, is willing to do or be responsible for before committing any funds.

Perhaps write or email the dealer or auction and see how long it takes to get back to you with a response and what that response is!

Check out the forums that often are advertised on the dealer or auction web sites. Find out what other people say. Most people are quick to complain if there is an issue.

There are coin clubs one can belong to and get advice and talk to others who have similar interests. It is amazing what you can find out about the US Silver Dollar Eagle! The more you know the more you are likely to enjoy collecting US Silver Dollar Eagles. In fact, just by using a bit of common sense and some due diligence, understanding the market can be very satisfying and rewarding when it comes to buying and owning US Silver Dollar Eagles.

US Silver Dollar Eagle – Part 2

This is Part two of a 3 part series on the US Silver Dollar Eagle.

The US Silver Eagle was first struck and release by the US Mint in 1986. It has a face value of one dollar and is guaranteed to contain one troy ounce of .999 fine silver. It is the official silver bullion coin of the US and was first released by the US Mint in 1986. The American Silver Eagle coin is backed by the US government for content and weight. It may also be used as funding for an IRA (Individual Retirement Account) investment.

For collectors there are also proof versions of the coin produced also.

The design on the obverse was originally taken or borrowed from the "Walking Liberty" design first introduced by Adolph A. Weinman and used on the half dollar design around 1916 to 1947. This design was most likely chosen due to its popularity with the public. The reverse contains a heraldic eagle designed by John Mercanti, hence the name.

US silver dollar coins were originally minted between 1792 and 1964. These silver coins ranged in size from the small three cent silver or half dimes to the Trade and Morgan Silver dollars.

In fact, over the next 122 or so years many different types of silver coins have been produced including the silver half dollars.

In 1916 the Liberty Walking silver half dollar was introduced and was minted in Denver, Philadelphia and San Francisco. The Liberty Walking half-dollars are not full silver coins but composed of 90% silver and 10% copper and each coin contains only 0.36169 ounces of pure silver. Nevertheless these coins are also very popular possibly because they are that less expensive and easier to collect and accumulate over time.

The complete list of silver coins, their types and denominations are as follows:

Silver Dollars
Flowing Hair Silver Dollars (1794-1795)
Draped Bust Silver Dollar (1795-1804)
Seated Liberty Silver Dollars (1840-1873)
Trade Silver Dollars (1873-1885)
Morgan Silver Dollars (1878-1904 & 1921)
Peace Silver Dollars (1921-1935)

Silver Half Dollars
Flowing Hair Silver Half Dollars (1794-1795)
Draped Bust Silver Half Dollars (1796-1797, 1801-1807)
Capped Bust Silver Half Dollars (1807-1836)
Seated Liberty Silver Half Dollars (1839-1891)
Barber Silver Half Dollars (1892-1915)
Walking Liberty Silver Half Dollars (1916-1947)
Franklin Silver Half Dollars (1948-1963)

End of US Silver Dollar Eagle – Part 2

US Silver Dollar Eagle - Part 1

This is part 1 of a 3 part article on the US Silver Dollar Eagle. The US Silver Dollar Eagle is perhaps one of the most collected coins by coin collectors around the world.

Some history of the use of silver shows that silver has been used as currency for many hundreds of years. The first currency of the modern Greek state was called the Phoenix. It was originally issued in 1828 in the form of a silver coin equal in value to the French Franc. Its official denomination was the lepton and 1 phoenix = 100 lepta at the time.

The name taken was that of the mythical Phoenix bird, and was meant to symbolize the rebirth of Greece. The myth of this bird derives from ancient Egyptian mythology. The Phoenix is a mythical sacred firebird said to live for either 500 or 1461 years. The male bird with beautiful gold and red plumage builds itself a nest of cinnamon twigs at the end of its life and then ignites it. Both nest and bird burn fiercely and are reduced to ashes and from the ashes a new, young phoenix would arise. Stories and the agreed upon life span may vary but the symbology of resurrection and immortality have prevailed throughout history and is reflected here with the Phoenix Dollar.

In Germany in the late 15th century one finds silver coins being used called the 'Talers'. This word has been translated from the German into many other languages including English resulting in the words daler, daaler and eventually dollar. So the word dollar is not unique to the US.

Silver was also used by James VI of Scotland who struck a 30-shilling coin between 1567 and 1571 generally called the Sword Dollar due to his depiction on the obverse holding a sword.

Charles II of England (1660-1685) struck the Double Merk of 1578 and this was called the Thistle Dollar and Spain of course has issued crown size silver coins in the denomination of 8 reales.

Many of these early examples of silver coins can still be found in museums, private collections and, who knows, perhaps many more may be found on future treasure hunts down the track. For those interested , there is a fascinating history of silver being struck as coins and used down the years and links to these is provided in the Links & References section.

So the silver dollar was a natural denomination to be adopted by the fledgling United States.

End of US Silver Dollar Eagle - Part 1

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Price of Silver

The price of silver fluctuates but is currently on a steady long term rise.

From around the 1800s until around 1979-1980, the price of silver was relatively stable around the one to two dollars an ounce range with the occasional minor fluctuation outside of that.

In 1979 it shot up like greased lightning to over 21 dollars an ounce. Totally unprecedented! In later years it gradually tapered down to the four/five dollar mark until recently when it has began a dramatic rise again.

There are various ways of accumulating or investing in silver.

One of the traditional ways is by buying silver bullion. This would be in the form of bars or coins. In some countries, such as Switzerland and Liechtenstein for example, these can be purchased "over the counter" at a bank, but in most countries you need to buy from a dealer or mint.

Bars come in a variety of sizes from one ounce bars all the way through to 1000 ounce bars, (about 68 pounds or 31kg in weight).

A traditional way of investing in silver is by buying bullion bars. In some countries, like Switzerland and Liechtenstein, bullion bars can be bought or sold over the counter of the major banks.

Coins have been used as currency for hundreds of years going back since man can remember. However, coins are no longer used as currency although still issued as legal tender in most countries. However they have become a popular form of investing in silver. Coins are easy and cheap to buy, easy to store and transport and, importantly, can be cashed in quickly in times of need.

Such coins as the 99.99% pure Canadian Silver Maple Leaf. Coins may be minted as either fine silver or junk silver, the latter being older coins with a smaller percentage of silver. U.S. pre-1965 half-dollars, dimes and quarters for example are 90% silver.

silver coins are also available as sterling silver coins, which were officially minted until 1919 in the United Kingdom and Canada, and 1945 in Australia. These coins are 92.5% silver, and are in the form of (in decreasing weight) Crowns, Half-crowns, Florins, Shillings, Sixpences, and threepence. The tiny threepence weighs 1.41 grams, and the Crowns are 28.27 grams (1.54 grams heavier than a US $1). Canada produced silver coins with 80% silver content from 1920 to 1967.

Some hard money enthusiasts use .999 fine silver rounds like the Liberty Dollar as a store of value. A cross between bars and coins, silver rounds are produced by a huge array of Mint (coin)mints, generally contain an ounce of silver in the shape of a coin but have no status as legal tender. Rounds can be ordered with a custom design stamped on the faces or in random assorted batches.

Some Swiss banks offer silver accounts where silver can be instantly bought or sold just like any foreign currency. In this situation the customer does not own the actual metal, but has a claim against the bank for a certain quantity of metal as expressed in their silver account. A similar principle is practices by digital metal companies such as, for example. Where the one owns the gold but it is held in trust by GoldMoney who open an account for the client and record transactions in silver against that account. eLibertyDollar and Phoenix Silver are other companies that specialise in silver for clients silver accounts, and silver accounts are backed through unallocated or allocated silver storage.

There are other methods of owning silver, such as certificate or Exchange Traded Funds but the favourite is where a person can actually own silver itself either in trust or in their own hot little handles.

It is quite likely, although not guaranteed of course, that the price of silver will continue to increase in the long term. So when buying silver, in whatever form, it is important that one does patient due diligence and learns as much as possible about that wonderful shiny silver stuff we call silver.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Liberty Dollar

What is the American Liberty Dollar?

Liberty Dollars are specially-minted .999 pure silver rounds and .9999 pure gold rounds, as well as silver certificates and gold certificates sold as "warehouse receipts," which can be redeemed for gold and silver Liberty rounds.

For example, the $100.00 Silver Liberty, dated 1998-2006, commemorates the Eighth Anniversary of the Liberty Dollar. The massive Silver Liberty measures 2-1/2 inches in diameter (64 mm) and contains five ounces of .999 fine Silver. Available in Proof only. Each is packaged with a display easel in a special gift box so it is easy to give or ship.

There is also a 2003 $5 Silver Liberty containing one half ounce of .999 fine Silver. It is the first issue of this denomination and celebrates the Fifth Anniversary. The obverse design retains the same "Liberty Head" as on $10 Silver Libertys. The reverse is similar to the $1 Liberty with a truncated torch design. It measures 32mm and is available in BU only. Limited Edition of 25,000 Libertys.

The Liberty Dollar is a private currency. It is issued by Liberty Dollar or NORFED, which is a partial acronym for "National Organization for the Repeal of the Federal Reserve Act and the Internal Revenue Code.". NORFED describes itself as a non-profit company based in Evansville, Indiana, founded to promote the Liberty Dollar.

NORFED is headed by Bernard von NotHaus, the retired Mintmaster for a private mint located in Hawaii called the Royal Hawaiian Mint, which has no connection to the Hawaiian government, despite its name. NotHaus cites a 96% loss in the value of the U.S. Dollar, based on the Consumer Price Index, as a selling point for the Liberty Dollar.

From its debut on October 1, 1998 to November 23, 2005, NORFED exchanged one troy ounce silver Liberties valued at ten Liberty Dollars for US$10, but on Thanksgiving Day, 2005, raised the silver base to US$20.

Although this is a privately issued silver dollar these make a good way of collecting and saving silver as much as any US federal coin.

The Liberty Dollar is a different sort of silver collection than usual. It is not a coin, yet not a silver bar but sort of fits somewhere in between. Suffice to say, they are not particularly expensive and the liberty dollar is a good way to accumulate silver for the future.

Rare Silver Dollar Coin

It is possible to find a rare silver dollar coin if you know where to look. Such coins as the early US Morgan Silver dollar are available at auctions and dealers for a reasonable price.

The first silver dollars were minted around 1794 and according to Wikipedia, The U.S. Mint produced silver dollar coins from 1794 to 1803, then stopped regular production of silver dollars until 1836. Original silver dollars from this period are highly prized by coin collectors and are exceptionally valuable, especially the 1804 silver dollar, which is one of the rarest and most famous coins in the world.

The Mint ceased production of silver dollars in 1803, and the 1804 silver dollar was not actually minted until 1834, when the U.S. Department of State decided that a few coins with the unusual date of 1804 might make excellent gifts to rulers in Asia in exchange for trade advantages. Only 15 silver dollars with the date of 1804 are known to exist; in 1999, one of them sold at auction for more than $4 million. So if you came across one you would be entitled to jump up and down with joy.

It is a good idea when purchasing at an auction to ensure the seller is genuine. On eBay this can be done by checking the feedback and if they are a power seller. A power seller with a 99% or more score is considered a long term buyer and reliable enough to buy from them. Most experienced eBay buyers either dib a large enough amount up front to discourage other bidders or bid at the past minute to 'pip at the post' as it were other bidders in order to capture the item.

Buying from dealers also requires some due diligence and common sense.

Ensure that the dealer is a reputable dealer and has contact details such as snail mail address and phone numbers. Ask how long they have been around. Do they have a returns policy. Check out the terms and conditions of sale. Many people do not because it is a boring read, but this can cost them later.

Do they have such icons on their site as the Better Business Bureau on line (BBB), TRUSTe and a secure connection for credit card transactions for example.

All these are important points to keep in mind, especially when you are paying big dollars for rare coins.

It is fun seeking out and collecting a rare silver dollar coin provided you keep the above points in mind.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Bulk Silver Coin

Bulk silver coin is a very good way to preserve some assets.

The coins are not expensive, tend to hold their own in value and are easy to store and, importantly, resell again later.

Bulk silver coins can be purchased in rolls or bags even up to about 10 kilos. These coins are generally early silver dollars or small denominations and actually contain a quality of silver, hence the point of collecting them. Usually you can find that a 10 kilo bag of silver coins will give you a minimum of 5 kilos of actual silver. Sometimes a bit more.

There are many places you can search to find bulk silver coins, through the internet, auctions or even your own dealers in town.

If that is too much you can start off with small rounds, a collection of perhaps 50 or 100 coins in a package similar to that you seem being broke open at supermarkets when the cashier wants change.

These are a little cheaper and can give a great start or can be purchased on a regular basis to build up your worth in silver.

In today's uncertain economic times many people find that collecting precious metals such as silver, gold etc, is a good offset against inflation and recession. The value of the precious metals retains its value even when the paper currency fluctuates wildly and drops in purchasing power.

An ounce of silver or gold will continue to purchase the same value of goods it always had while paper currency becomes more and more worthless and it takes more of it to buy the same good.

It can be a good idea to spread one's assets around and put some into precious metals. Gold silver, coins and bars are a good long term future investment. And bulk silver coins are a good way to keep a portion of one's assets this way.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Red-Back Spider Coin

The Red-Back Spider Coin is a new coin being issued by the Perth Mint. It is a 99.9 percent pure silver coin with a striking fearsome Red-Back Spider in mesmerizing detail.

Found all over Australia and particularly common in urban areas, Red-Backs can deliver an extremely painful bite. This is not fatal anymore thanks to Dr Saul Weiner, who discovered an anti-venom 50 years ago in 1956.

Striking black and red coloring on the reverse design brings this little devil in to sharp focus on the coin's brilliant mirror-like background.

Marking the 50th anniversary of Dr Weiner's discovery, this 2006-dated coin is produced by The Perth Mint from one ounce of 99.9% pure silver in proof quality.

Issued as legal tender of Tuvalu, the coin depicts the Raphael Maklouf effigy of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

Each coin is housed in a high-gloss timber presentation case, which comes in an illustrated outer box and each accompanied by a numbered Certificate of Authenticity.

1oz Silver Proof Coin
99.9% Pure Silver
Legal Tender Status
Proof Quality
Legal Tender Status
Timber Presentation Case
Certificate of Authenticity
Commissioned Product
Limited Mintage - just 5,000

With no more than 5,000 to be released, the Red-Back Spider coin will make a rare and unusual addition to your collection.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

2006 £1 Silver Proof Piedfort

The 2006 £1 Silver Proof Piedfort is the third in the series of Piedfort silver coins struck in sterling silver to Proof quality, and these are great favorites of the numismatic coin collector.

They are struck on unusually thick blanks and contain twice the amount of silver as their standard silver Proof counterpart. The 2006 £1 silver Proof Piedfort, reverse features McNeill's Egyptian Arch, surrounded by an intricate pattern reminiscent of the canopy dags typical of a nineteenth-century railway station the Queen's portrait by Ian Rank-Broadley, surrounded by her royal titles and the usual edging of a hundred beads, one for each penny in the pound on the obverse.

John Benjamin Macneill was an accomplished architect and as Chief Engineer to the Dublin & Belfast Junction Railway, designed the grand Egyptian Arch Bridge.

Beautifully proportioned, elegant yet atmospheric, the Egyptian Arch now makes an inspired reverse for the 2006 £1 Silver Proof Piedfort coin. As you may already have purchased the previous two coins in the series and due to the very limited numbers of the 2006 coin left, this is your invitation to purchase the coin to ensure you are able to complete your collection.

Struck to Proof quality in sterling silver it comes in a transparent capsule to protect its pristine condition and housed in a splendid display case

There is an accompanying Certificate of Authenticity which guarantees its specifications and the issue limit of 7,500.

You can order from the British Royal Mint quoting order code UK06PF for £49.95.

The 2006 £1 Silver Proof Piedfort makes a great addition to any coin collection.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Silver Australian Icon

The Perth Mint Australia have just issued a first with six TV icons on the one coin. This is a pure silver coin with 6 pictures that alternative on the one coin. The amazing “lenticular” reverse coin celebrated 50 years of Television in Australia with pictures of some of the most well known icons in Australian Television.

The six images, which 'morph' from one to another, portray:
Graham Kennedy - the 'King' of Australian television, who famously hosted In Melbourne Tonight and other hits including Blankety Blanks.

Playschool - the iconic programme that first went to air in 1966 and still plays a significant role in the early childhood experiences of today's kids.

Skippy - the show that launched Australia's first international TV superstar - an intelligent and resourceful kangaroo that fascinated viewers worldwide.

Countdown - the Australian music institution said to have created a spike in electricity demand every Sunday night, such was its popularity.

The Movie Show - the film connoisseurs' choice hosted by Margaret and David, whose famous spats made it irresistible to almost everyone.
The coin is proof quality 99.9 percent pure fine silver and has a unique square shape and comes with a presentation booklet and a numbers certificate of authenticity. There is a limited mintage of just 12500

Issued as legal tender under the Australian Currency Act 1965, the coin depicts the Ian Rank-Broadley effigy of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II on its obverse.

Each coin is housed in a spiral-bound presentation booklet examining the appeal and greatness of each television icon portrayed on the lenticular reverse. The booklet comes in an outer cover depicting a family watching an early television set in the 1950s.

No more than 12,500 of these coins will be released by The Perth Mint, accompanied by a numbered Certificate of Authenticity

Coin celebrating 1956-2006 50 Years of Australian Television
Features amazing 'lenticular' reverse - six TV icons on one coin
50-Year Anniversary
Proof Quality 99.9% Pure Silver one ounce coin.
Six Lenticular Images
Australian TV Icons
Australian Legal Tender
Unusual Square Shape
Presentation Booklet
Limited Mintage 12500
Numbered Certificate of Authenticity
Cost AUD$77.27
Estimated Shipping AUD$8.25
The Silver Australian Icon coin will be much in demand and a collectors item for many years to come.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Australian Antarctic Territory Series silver coin

As per the Australian Perth Mint, the third release from The Perth Mint's popular Australian Antarctic Territory Series celebrates the establishment 20 years ago of the Edgeworth David summer base, which lies 85 kilometres inland from the Shackleton Ice Shelf in the Bunger Hills area. The base is named in honor of Australian geologist and explorer Sir Tannant William Edgeworth David, who led the first successful ascent of Mount Erebus, Antarctica’s only active volcano, and led the first team to reach the Magnetic South Pole during Shackleton’s famous expedition of 1907.

This coin is proof quality silver and like its sought after predecessors, this coin is struck from 1oz of 99.9% pure silver in proof quality.

The main design, which appears within the outline of Antarctica, is symbolic of the site of Edgeworth David, where permanent sea ice is suitable for use as an aircraft runway. Coloured elements include an Albatross and its chick, as well as the inscriptions 'EDGEWORTH DAVID BASE:1986-2006', 'Australian Antarctic Territory' and the Mint’s traditional 'P' mintmark.

The coin is Issued as legal tender under the Australian Currency Act 1965, and the coin’s obverse depicts Ian Rank-Broadley’s effigy of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

Each coin is housed in a blue-colored presentation case, which comes within a stylish outer shipper. A numbered Certificate of Authenticity accompanies each coin.

There is a limited mintage of no more than 7,500 individual 1oz silver coins.

Monday, July 17, 2006

2006 Victoria Cross 50p Silver 2 Coin Set

The British Royal Mint has issued the new 2006 Victoria Cross 50p Silver Piedfort 2 coin set. These are two coins, one focusing on the award itself while the other honors the heroic acts performed. Housed in a luxurious two-coin case the fifty pence coins come complete with a colorfully-illustrated booklet with Certificate of Authenticity.

These beautifully designed, limited-edition Silver Proof Piedfort coins celebrate the sesquicentenary of the institution of the Victoria Cross. Both are struck to glorious Proof quality in sterling.925 silver

There is a Low issue limit of just 5,000 authorised to satisfy worldwide demand

The Piedfort which literally means 'heavy weight', originated in the royal courts of twelfth-century France. They were thicker than normal coins and were given as prized gifts by the King to a small number of favored dignitaries. Today, our Piedforts continue this tradition by being struck using blanks that are double the weight of their circulating counterparts – and therefore contain twice the amount of pure silver.

The Victoria Cross (VC) is the highest recognition for valour 'in the face of the enemy' that can be awarded to members of the British and Commonwealth armed forces of any rank in any service, or civilians under military command. It is also the highest award in the British Honours system and as a tribute we have struck to Proof quality two magnificent piedforts, one celebrating the heroic acts and the other dedicated to the highly regarded medal itself.

Housed in a luxurious two-coin case the fifty pence coins come complete with a colorfully illustrated booklet with Certificate of Authenticity. They are struck in sterling.925 silver to glorious Proof quality and a worldwide issue limit of 5,000 only.

The new 2006 Victoria Cross 50p Silver Piedfort 2 coin set coins will make a very fine addition to any enthusiastic collection of silver coins.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Sterling Silver Bullion

Sterling silver is a type of silver which has 92.5 percent silver and 7.5 percent other metals, most often copper. The ‘fineness’ is 925. this is different to the silver we know of in silver coins which is usually 99.9 percent or thereabouts.

Sterling silver originated in England in about the 13th century. The origins of the terms "Sterling" and "Pound Sterling" seem to be lost in time and there are many theories as to where the terms original came from. But it is certain that the term has now come to mean an agreed upon quality and standard by which other purities of the metal silver are judged.

Sterling silver objects are usually stamped with either the word "Sterling" or .925 percent or the Lion Passant mark as part of the Hallmark.

Of course this does not apply to silver coins, which nowadays, will have a silver contend higher than the sterling silver standard.

Silver coins and small bars, often known as biscuits, usually have a silver content of 99.9 percent of silver and considered pure silver. Always check the silver content when purchasing silver coins or bars.

Silver is an excellent way to store one’s assets. Silver is a steady metal and currently on a gradual rise in value, partially due to the increasing demand of countries like China but also due to the world wide shortage of silver due to lack of mining. Most silver has been obtained as a by product of mining other metals such as gold, platinum, aluminum etc. It seems unlikely that silver will be in plentiful supply world wide in the foreseeable future and likely will remain in high demand.

When buying silver bullion such as coins and bars, they should come sealed in their own protective plastic bubble, and it is inadvisable to remove this as it lets in moisture which will tarnish the silver. Also handling proof coins and bars will reduce the value as the surface of the bullion will deteriorate due to the handling. Sweat, oils, harsh skin, all can affect the surface of coins and small bars and reduce the value thereby.

The candle sticks, the soup tureens and the cutlery is really what is meant by sterling silver. There is, strictly speaking, no such thing as sterling silver bullion.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Selling Silver

Silver has been on a steady uptrend in value for some time and the question is often asked, when should one be selling silver?

It is difficult to say when or if silver will stop rising in value. Silver is currently in short supply around the world and although the use of it has dropped in photographic paper due to the prolific increase in digital photography around the world, demand from China and other Asian nations has increased markedly over the past few years and this is set to only increase.

The increasing demand for silver affects all holdings of silver from mining companies to bars and even silver coin collections.

As the value of silver rises so the value of a silver bullion in the form of bars and coins continues to increase.

It seems unlikely that the long term up trend in the price of silver will slow down or even fall any time soon.

Some experts predict the price of silver will climb to a good 30 US dollars or so an ounce, making many silver coin collectors around the world overjoyed to say the least.

In the 1980s the value of silver peaked at around 20 US dollars per ounce. This was a one off and the value dropped after that. Now it is on a slow steady increase and looks set to reach that by the end of this year and next year? Who knows?

Selling silver would seem, at this time, not to be the best option and I, for one, will be holding on to my silver for many years to come.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Scrap Silver

Scrap silver can be a profitable sideline for some people. The value of silver is increasing and as it is in short supply any silver scrap that can be obtained will be worth it’s weight in silver! Many people make a good living recycling scrap silver.

Scrap silver can be found in such things as old electronic equipment, circuit boards, transistor radios and mobile phones as well as in dental, household equipment, cameras, photographic paper and plates, old silverware, cutlery and dishes, old broken jewelry and many other things.

Also old silver coins, known as junk coins, may contain silver especially those pre 1920s when silver was used as the main component part of silver coins.

Pure silver is obviously best and will bring the best price but even silver mixed with other metals is still saleable.

Old rings and jewelry is an excellent source of silver. Ensure you remove any gems or stones before you sell the silver. If the silver is mixed with other metals (not alloyed) then separate them if you can. Some may be gold and that can be sold also as scrap.

Walk in with a handful of scrap silver and a scrap merchant will welcome you with open arms. Most cities will have scrap metal dealers. Even jewelers are very likely to accept scrap silver.

You can sell scrap silver online of course. There are heaps of scrap merchants who will be happy to purchase your scrap silver form you. Ensure it is very clear what you are selling them. Taking photos of the scrap silver before you send it off would be a good idea in case of any later dispute. Sending the scrap deal a copy of the photos with the scrap silver is also a good idea.

If you have any unused old scrap silver around the place you can turn it into cash very easily these days and maybe even get as much if not more than you paid for it!

Friday, June 16, 2006

Silver Coin Worth

What is a silver coin worth? These days the value of a pure silver coin is increasing so whatever it was worth last week, it will be different and perhaps better next week.

The overall trend of pure silver has been on an uptrend for some months and actually doing better proportionally to gold.

Silver coins are an excellent way to save assets as well as the coins, such as Canadian Maples, Silver Dollars for example, all having a beauty all their own.

When you are buying silver coins it is a good idea to seek out proof coins or at least brilliant uncirculated as they are worth much more. The condition of the coin is very important to collectors and indeed dealer as well. You would never remove a coin from its transparent bubble or packaging as even a fingerprint can remove the pristine condition of a coin and give it ‘hairlines’ as they are known. This reduces the value of a coin drastically.

One can buy what is known as junk silver which are early silver coins, early silver dollars and half dollars from some years ago. Dealers will sell these in bags at something over the current value of silver. It is an excellent way to store assets as the silver content is usually around 90 percent of the coin and the condition is not so important. As the value of silver rises, or in some peoples eyes as the value of the dollar goes down and it takes more of them to buy the same quantity of silver, then the value of your coins increases.

Silver is somewhat of a long term investment so do not expect to buy a coin one day and have it jump in value the next. However, if the value of the dollar drops considerably, you will still have your silver and that is very unlikely to drop in value!

A silver coin's worth then is something to keep an eye on with a view to improving your assets.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Royal Canadian Mint

The Royal Canadian Mint has unveiled it’s new State-of-the-Art Silver Refinery.

The Mint, well known for it’s established gold refinery is now offering in-house silver refinery services.

"The Royal Canadian Mint is proud of its international reputation as the gold standard in refinery and assay services," said Marguerite F. Nadeau, Q.C., Acting President and C.E.O. of the Royal Canadian Mint. "Our new, ultra-modern silver refinery further establishes the Mint as an industry leader."

This additional service will enable the Mint to extend its services across a wider range of products and materials to meet the customers desires.

The silver refinery will use a novel and unique process resulting in more cost effectiveness and almost zero waste giving it a yearly capacity of two to ten million troy ounces per year.

The mint is also designed to meet the stringent standard that the Royal Canadian Mint has been so well known for in its gold refinery and gold products. This was done by commissioning PRIOR, a Swiss based company that specializes in precious metal refining technology, to install the unique refinery and enable the Royal Canadian Mint to refine it’s own silver rather than buy from outside. This will give some long term savings and considerably reduce costs.

Without its own silver refinery for the last 12 years, the RCM was a significant buyer of refined silver in order to produce its world-renowned collector coins and other products. Now, by producing refined silver itself, the RCM will generate important, long-term cost savings.

The new silver refinery will also meets the Mint's most exacting standards and requirements in terms of a highly efficient, low maintenance, and environmentally-friendly silver refining process.

For more information on the RCM, its products and services, visit Royal Canadian Mint

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Why Buy Silver Bullion

Why buy silver bullion indeed! The value of silver is on a steady increase and some even say that it will one day approach the same price as gold. This may or may not be the case but it is sure that, with the shortage of silver and the great demand for more supplies the current trend is sure to continue.

One of the best ways of buying silver is as bullion. Bullion is silver coins and silver bars. Currently these are easy to buy for most people and you can buy a respectable one kilo silver bar for not much more than the current spot price of silver.

Silver bullion can be classed as either pure silver coins or pure silver bars. In both types there are a variety of sizes and weights.

Coins are a good way to collect silver and, apart from the joys of just being a coin collector, there are some good investments to be made by buying certain silver coins. Usually one is looking for proof coins that are 99.99 percent pure silver. There is a premium to be paid for this, however, as the coins have to be struck and the mint, as well as any dealer if you are not dealing directly with the mint, will want to make a profit on the sale.

Coins are usually legal tender in the country for which they are intended so they tend to be tax free. Tax free in both in the purchase and in any subsequent sale. The exception would be a professional dealer of course.

Silver bars tend to be a bit cheaper provided you buy a reasonable sized bar. Buying a one ounce silver bar is likely to attract a handling charge or premium also out of proportion to the value of the silver in the bar. Buying a one or more kilo bar will reduce the premium dramatically. However there may be a question of tax when it comes to sell, particularly if you make a fabulous profit on the deal. One would be wise to consult with one’s financial advisor in such matters as each person's economic situation is different.

The question then, 'Why buy silver bullion?' would seem to be answered in that silver seems to have an excellent future and it would be wise to take advantage of that.

Monday, May 29, 2006


Silver is a soft white or 'silvery' metal with the highest level of electric conductivity of any metal. That means it conducts electricity very well. However it does tarnish in the presence of ozone, hydrogen sulfide, or air with sulfur in it.

Silver has the chemical symbol of AG (from the Latin argentum) and has been used for thousands of years in a variety of ways and uses including, electrical, photographic, coinage and jewelry. It’s use in photography is the largest with 40 percent of all silver used as silver nitrates and silver halides in film development.

Other uses include, printed circuit boards, electrical contacts, mirrors, chemical reactions to produce other chemicals (such as the production of formaldehyde from methanol), dental, as colloidal silver for its anti-bacterial properties and many other uses.

Silver has, and still is, used in medicine and even Hippocrates wrote that silver had healing properties.

Of more interest to us however is it's use as a precious metal in bullion coins, bars and in jewelry. In the United Kingdom sterling silver, actually 92.5 percent silver, is the norm and even the English pound was originally the value of one troy pound of sterling silver.

Silver has been used to produce money since around 700 BC by the Lydians, in the form of electrum. Electrum was a combination of silver and gold. Later, silver was refined and coined in its pure form. The words for "silver" and "money" are the same in at least 14 languages.

Silver is, ounce for ounce, around 1/45th the value of gold at the time of writing but this is changing as both silver and gold rise in value with silver proportionately rising faster than gold!

Some of the best ways of accumulating silver are as bars or coins. Pure silver bars and coins are very easy to obtain, store and sell again. How much you can buy depends on your budget of course. Johnson Matthey 400 ounce silver bullion bars are good if you have the funds but one and ten bars and ounce silver coins are also a good investment.

Whatever your preference, buying and storing silver is a great way to keep the value of your assets up and at the same time give you a ready supply of silver to cash out if needed.

Friday, May 26, 2006

Antarctic Territory Silver Coin

The Antarctic Territory silver coin is the third release from The Perth Mint's popular Australian Antarctic Territory Series and celebrates the establishment of the Edgeworth David summer base.

This is a base that lies 85 kilometres inland from the Shackleton Ice Shelf in the Bunger Hills area. The base is named in honor of Australian geologist and explorer Sir Tannant William Edgeworth David, who led the first successful ascent of Mount Erebus, Antarctica’s only active volcano, and led the first team to reach the Magnetic South Pole during Shackleton’s famous expedition of 1907.

This silver coin is a proof quality one ounce 99.9 percent pure silver coin. It is housed in a blue-colored quality presentation case, which comes within a stylish outer shipper. A numbered Certificate of Authenticity accompanies each coin.

The coin is issued as legal tender under the Australian Currency Act 1965. The coin’s obverse depicts Ian Rank-Broadley’s effigy of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

The Antarctic Territory silver coin is called the ‘Edgeworth David Base:1986-2006’. ‘Australian Antarctic Territory’ and the Mint’s traditional ‘P’ mintmark is stamped on the coin.

The main design, which appears within the outline of Antarctica, is symbolic of the site of Edgeworth David, where permanent sea ice is suitable for use as an aircraft runway. Coloured elements include an Albatross and its chick, as well as the inscriptions.

There is a limited Mintage with no more that 7,500 individual one ounce silver coins

The cost of the Antarctic Territory Silver Coin is 52 Australian Dollars ($52.50) which is around 40 US dollars plus shipping.

Coin specifications:
Australian Antarctic Territory Series
Edgeworth David Base 1986 - 2006
Proof Quality 99.9% Pure Silver
Coloured Reverse Design
Australian Legal Tender
Presentation Packaging
Numbered Certificate of Authenticity
Limited Mintage

The Antarctic territory silver coin will make an exceptional addition to any coin collection and it is worth while getting the entire set.

Friday, May 19, 2006

2006 Channel Islands £5 Silver Proof

The British Royal Mint has announced the very splendid handsome crown piece set for the Channel Islands.

Side by side, the three handsome crown pieces from the three Channel Islands display the three first coin portraits of the Queen, a decorative banner surrounding each one displaying 21 April 2006 as the Queen's 80th birthday. The current royal effigy by Ian Rank-Broadley features on the obverse of all three. Alderney authorizing its use for the first time especially for the Queen's 80th birthday celebrations.

The 2006 Channel Islands £5 Silver Proof coins are struck to Proof quality in .925 sterling silver and would make a delightful numismatic tribute to the Queen.

For the first time ever the three coins bear matching obverses as Alderney has authorised the use of Ian Rank-Broadley's portrait of the Queen.

There are just 5,000 sets issued, each coin having been taken from its individual issue limit of 10,000. The set is housed in a beautiful blue presentation case.

The 2006 Channel Islands £5 Silver Proof Crown Cameo Set costs just £119.95.

The 2006 Channel Islands £5 Silver Proof will make a fantastic addition to any coin enthusiasts collection!

Landmarks Silver Series Uluru

The Perth Mint, Australia have issued the next in the series of Australian landmarks, The Rock known as Uluru. The coin is struck from one ounce of 99.9% pure silver in proof quality.

The coin's reverse depicts Uluru. The giant monolith, which has a 9.4 kilometre circumference, rises almost 350 metres above the surrounding plain. At dawn and sunset, its awe-inspiring appearance turns fiery red. Once known as Ayers Rock, sacred Uluru belongs to the Anangu, traditional owners of the land whose presence in the area spans more than 10,000 years.

The coin's reverse depicts a colored image of Uluru. The design includes a representation of an indigenous Australian and desert vegetation. The year-date and The Perth Mint's traditional ‘P’ mintmark also appear in the design.

Issued as legal tender under the Australian Currency Act 1965, the coin depicts Ian Rank-Broadley's effigy of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II on its obverse.

Each coin is housed in a superb presentation case with a lid made from Australian Sheoak timber. The case comes in a protective outer shipper featuring Discover Australia's distinctive logo.

Each coin is accompanied by a numbered Certificate of Authenticity.

The Perth Mint will release no more than 7,500 of these coins worldwide.

Coin Specifications.
1oz Proof Coin
Features Australia's Iconic Landmarks
Proof Quality 99.9% Pure Silver
Landmarks Theme - Uluru
Coloured Reverse Design
Australian Legal Tender
Uniquely Australian Packaging
Numbered Certificate of Authenticity
Limited Mintage

Available as an individual coin or in a five coin set.

This is truly a beautiful coin and anyone collecting the landmark series will definitely want the ‘Uluru’!

Landmarks Silver Series – Canberra

The Perth Mint Australia has released the next in the Landmarks Silver Series featuring the Capital of Australia, Canberra.

The coin's reverse depicts Canberra, the Australian national capital. The city was designed by US architect Walter Burley Griffin, winner of the Federal Capital Design Competition launched in 1911. Built around Lake Burley Griffen, Canberra's grand scheme includes wide boulevards, imposing buildings and beautiful green spaces aligned with pleasing symmetry.

The coin's reverse depicts the evening sky in color above Parliament House, which overlooks Canberra. The year-date and The Perth Mint's traditional ‘P’ mintmark also appear in the design.

The coin is issued as legal tender under the Australian Currency Act 1965, the coin depicts Ian Rank-Broadley's effigy of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II on its obverse.

Full Specifications
Canberra - 2006 1oz Proof Coin
Features Australia's Iconic Landmarks
Proof Quality 99.9% Pure Silver
Landmarks Theme - Canberra
Colored Reverse Design
Australian Legal Tender
Uniquely Australian Packaging
Numbered Certificate of Authenticity
Limited Mintage
Proof Quality 99.9% Pure Silver
This 2006-dated coin is struck from 1oz of 99.9% pure silver in proof quality.


Each coin is housed in a superb presentation case with a lid made from Australian She Oak timber. The case comes in a protective outer shipper featuring Discover Australia's distinctive logo.

Each coin is accompanied by a numbered Certificate of Authenticity.

The Perth Mint will release no more than 7,500 of these coins worldwide.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Superior Silver Coins

What are superior silver coins? Are they any different to ordinary silver coins? It is really a matter of perception. Superior silver coins can be coins that are the best quality possible such as Proof or Brilliant Uncirculated.

The coin grading system that applies to all collector coins, silver or gold is as follows:

1. AG = About Good
2. G = Good
3. VG = Very Good
4. F = Fine
5. XF = Extra Fine
6. AU = Almost Uncirculated
7. MS = Mint State (Uncirculated or Unc.)
8. BU = Brilliant Uncirculated
9. PR = Proof
10. RAW = Owner Graded (Uncertified)

Number 10 is extremely rare and regarded by some as the perfect coin. 9 is proof coins as purchased from a mint or coin dealer. These coins are not intended for circulation but issued as collectors or commemorative coins only.

Numbers 7,8, are ideal also and could also be considered superior coins. These are traded prolifically and if you are buying coins for a collection then such coins should come in these categories.

6 through to 1. are ordinary coins and are generally not worth a great deal unless they have a marked and distinct rarity and then may be much sought after. This is for the experienced Numismatic coin collector.

Superior silver coins also applies to some early ancient in good condition and rare silver coins from era’s such as the early Greek. A Coin of Alexander the Great (2300 years old) is an example. Some of these coins will sell for up to one thousand dollars depending on condition.

In dealing or collecting superior coins doing due diligence is paramount. It can be so easy to mistake a condition of a coin or a rarity value and that can be a costly mistake.

Having a good understanding of superior silver coins will make a big difference to ones ability to buy and sell superior silver coins.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

2006 Buddhist Silver Coins

Three commemorative coins to mark the 2550 Buddha Jayanthi have been issued at the request of the Ministry of Religious Affairs, Sri Lanka.

The Central Bank of Sri Lanka, issued the three commemorative coins in the denominations of Rs2000, Rs1500 and Rs5. to mark the 2550th anniversary of Buddha.
They were gifted to President Mahinda Rajapakse and a few other dignitaries at inauguration of the 2550 Buddhist year ceremony held at the Presidential Secretariat at 4 PM on Thursday May 11th.

The Rupees 2000 silver coin feature the Bodhisathva Siddhartha and seven lotus blossoms plated in gold. The reverse of the coin depicts a lotus lake below a 24 spoke Dharma Chakra as found on the stone pillar built by the Emperor Ashoka at Saranath in Varanasi.

Rupees 1500 silver coin has the same obverse and reverse designs as the Rs 2000 coin, except the stated face Value and excludes the gold plate.

The round frosted Proof coins minted in sterling silver and milled edge have a diameter of 38.6 mm, and weigh 28.28 grams. Issued in an attractive presentation box with numbered certificate, they are Non Circulating Legal Tender (NCLT). They will be sold at Rs 7000, and Rs 5000 each to the general public from l5th May 2006. Limited quantities will be available at the Central Bank, The Currency Museum located at the Center for Banking Studies, in Rajagiriya. Ministry of Religious Affairs, and selected branches of Bank of Ceylon and Peoples Bank.
Denomination Rupee 2000/-
Alloy Silver (0.926Ag) + gold
Diameter 38.61 mm
Thickness 3.0? mm
Weight 28.28 gms
Shape Round
Edge Milled
Issue 10,000,000
Mint Royal, Llantrisant
Obverse : Birth of Bodhisatva Siddhartha where, according to the traditional belief, he took seven steps under which seven lotus blossoms have bloomed while announcing the forthcoming Enlightenment. The words BUDDHA JAYANTHI appear within upper part annulus in Sinhala at apex and Tamil and English to left and right. 2550 appear within annulus at bottom.

Reverse : A lake with lotus below a 24 prong Dharma Chakra (wheel of doctrine) found on the stone pillar built by the Emperor Ashoka at Saranath in Varanasi, where Buddha preached his first sermon. Within the upper Annulus the name Sri Lanka appear in Sinhala at apex, with Tamil and English to left and right with year 2006 just below. Face Value 2000 in large numerals and RUPEES below at center in Sinhala, with Tamil and English to left and right, within the lower Annulus.

These 2006 Buddhist silver coins will make an interesting addition to any coin collection.

Friday, May 12, 2006

Classic Cars Silver Coins

The Perth Mint, Australia, has announced a 2006 Silver Coin Set celebrating the legendary classic sports cars.

Each 2006-dated coin is struck from one ounce of 99.9% pure silver in proof quality and these classic cars silver coins have a limited mintage of just 1500 sets only.

Each set comes with a numbered certificate of authenticity and is available from the 26th of May 2006 so it is good to get one’s order in fast!

The Perth Mint has reproduced images of five of the world's legendary sports cars in gleaming color on the coins in this stunning collector set. They depict five superb reverse designs of the following famous cars:

Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Gullwing
The famous German sports car, unveiled at the 1954 International Motor Sports Show in New York, which took its name from its upwards-opening 'gullwing' doors.

Jaguar E-Type
The definitive British sports car, which created nothing less than an absolute sensation when it was unveiled at the 1961 Geneva Motor Show.

Corvette® Sting Ray™
America's first volume production sports car, which awoke US drivers' passion for sports cars in the 1950s.

Datsun 240Z
The sleek and speedy Japanese sports car, which transformed the reputation of Japan's car industry in America in the 1970s.

Lamborghini Countach
The Italian masterpiece launched at the 1971 Geneva Motor Show, which dominated the super car sector until 1990.

The reverse of each coin includes the year-date of the model portrayed and a triptych (three small background pictures) showing details of its dashboard, engine and wheels.

Issued as legal tender under the authority of the Government of Tuvalu, each coin bears the Raphael Maklouf effigy of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II on its obverse.

Each set is housed in a stylish black presentation case and shipper both sporting a logo in the style of a grille.

Having this set of famous classic cars silver coins will be a treasured set of any coin collector.

Monday, May 08, 2006

The Value of Silver Coins

The value of silver coins is largely determined by four particular factors.

Rarity. A scarce or rare coin has a value simply because there are so few of them. An example is the 1913 liberty Head Nickel which would sell for over one million dollars while the plentiful 1000 year old Chinese coins sell for just a few dollars.

The condition of a coin is most important. Proof and Brilliant Uncirculated coins are worth hundreds more than coins which have been used. Collectors are always looking for the best quality and best preserved coins available.

The value of the metal, such as gold or silver, will have an effect on the price. Some coins are more in demand because of their precious metal content rather than the rarity value. Gold, silver and even platinum coins will rarely sell for less than their precious metal value.

Lastly demand plays an important part in the value of silver coins. Some coins are in high demand by collectors and of course this elevates their value as they are prepared to pay more. As an example, there are more than 400,000 1916D dimes in existence compared to 30,000 1978 dimes. You would think the 1978 dimes would fetch a better price as there are less of them and they are much older. In fact the 1916D dimes are more in demand and so collectors are prepared to pay more. Consequently they have a higher value.

All of the above factors play a part in determining the value of silver coins and it is important therefore that one does due diligence when seeking a good quality silver coin. Lots of study and scouting around and finding out what is considered valuable and what isn’t can save you from making a loss and a lot of heartbreak.

The value of silver coins can be established easily provided you keep in mind rarity, condition, precious metal content and demand.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Silver Bars

Silver bars are becoming very popular with the rising value of silver. There is little silver being mined these days and most of the silver is a by product of mining other metals. Consequently silver is becoming more in demand.

One of the best ways of accumulating silver is through silver bars. These come in all sizes from one ounce of pure silver up to ten ounce and even one kilo bars.

In some countries however the purchase of silver bars is subject to tax. In the UK for example, one has to pay VAT (Value Added Tax) which takes away some of the interest, not to mention the financial advantages, of purchasing silver by the bar. Fortunately in those countries one can still purchase silver coins with out paying tax.

But for those that can buy silver bars it is important that you select a reputable dealer who will ensure that each bar is properly packaged and authenticated and comes with a certificate. This should provide a guarantee that you are getting exactly what you paid for.

The bigger bar you can manage to buy the better, in terms of value. Each dealer or mint has to add administration costs and some profit and there is shipping and possibly insurance to consider. This can make the cost of buying a one ounce bar as against a one kilo bar quite considerable. The closer you can buy to ‘spot’ (spot = the actual price of a metal on the markets) the better and this usually means buying larger amounts.

Silver bars are easy to move and store and easy to sell also. They are an ideal way of moving assets around for the busy traveller.

If you do your due diligence when shopping for silver bars you will be able to provide some future security relatively easily.

Saturday, April 29, 2006

Junk Silver Coin Prices

Junk silver coins are very popular among survivalists who are concerned with future financial and economic crisis as they can be purchased in bags of coins for not much above the spot price and remain legal tender and can be spent in small amounts.

Junk silver coins refer to those coins minted prior to 1964 and which contain a certain amount of silver, something today’s coins do not.

The condition of the coins is largely immaterial as it is the silver content people are after not the beauty or even the historical value of the coins.

The most popular U.S. junk silver coins are Mercury and Roosevelt dimes, Washington quarters, Franklin half dollars, and the Kennedy half dollars, which were minted on or before 1964. All these coins have a 90% silver composition and called "coin silver".

Although when minted many coins contained 0.7234 troy ounces of silver, it is a standard practice to assume the silver content being .715 due to the inevitable erosion of the coin and therefore the silver content. The less common junk silver coin, however is the Kennedy half dollars from 1965 to 1970, which was composed of only 40% silver.

One of the advantages of silver junk coins is that as it is known the silver content is only a percentage of the total weight, there is no certification or authenticity demanded of the coins as there are with silver bullion bars.

So the U.S. minted coins in 90% silver through 1964 stopping in 1965, the exception being the Kennedy half dollars which continued to be minted but with only 40 percent of silver through to 1970 when it was then discontinued. From then silver all but disappeared except in commemorative coins and special proof issues.

“Junk” really refers to the value of the coins in terms of numismatic collective qualities and not the silver content. A coin collector is generally uninterested in such coins with the exception that you might rarely find a very rare coin in excellent condition. Other than that the coins are bought and sold purely for the silver content and, currently, as the value of silver is rising, so is the price of junk silver coins.

Junk silver prices are tending to rise and so the cost of buying junk silver coins rises too. However the junk silver can usually be bought for a very small mark up or premium over the spot price of silver, particularly during these periods of economic stability.

Although junk silver coin prices remain set to rise as the value of silver rises, they are still an excellent buy for the future whether you are a survivalist or not.

Monday, April 24, 2006

When to Sell Silver

When to sell silver is important and judgment must be made as to sell too soon or too late can mean a loss on one’s original investment or potential future improvement in investment.

Currently the value of silver is increasing weekly and it is a great time now to buy silver.

When to sell silver should really not be dependent on the value of silver but on your need to convert it into cash. It is a good idea to own a selection of silver. Coins, valuable and just those for the silver content (junk coins they are called) and small and large silver bars are a good mix. Then you can keep and or sell what ever is required at the time. Owning just one large 400 ounce bar of silver restricts you in that you would have to sell the entire bar. However owning some coins and some smaller bars as well as larger ones, say 10 ounce, and 100 ounce bars and one ounce coins, gives you a choice and enables you to still retain some of your assets.

Take special consideration when selling silver coins especially. Sometimes they are hard to replace due to limited mintage or rarity.

Consider who you sell to. If you belong to a coin collectors club or know a reputable dealer, that can provide good outlets to sell silver. Advertising in newspapers and auctioning on eBay are other avenues. Make sure, in these instances, you know and can trust the buyer, especially if the value you are selling is high.

It really is better never to sell your silver asset unless you really need to and then sell only enough silver to convert to what you actually need.

It is very important knowing when to sell silver just as it is important knowing when to buy silver.

Silver Roman Coin

Collectors of the silver roman coin will understand the long history behind roman silver coins and how they came to originate.

In fact there are even books written about the roman coins with lists of the coinage available.

Generally the silver coin range was from around 27BC to several hundred years AD, with most coins featuring the head of the Roman empire.

To acquire these sorts of coins one would have to have a keen interest and some experience to know just what you are buying. There are specialist dealers that deal exclusively in ancient coins so it pays to shop around.

Buying ancient roman silver coins would not be advisable through an auction such as eBay unless one is very well versed in the types and conditions of such coins and clearly knows what one is buying.

Nevertheless it can be a very interesting hobby and such coins can usually be had for a few hundred dollars or less.

Just some important points to keep in mind.

Pick a reputable dealer. There are some fake silver roman coins around and, although there are people who like to collect those, mostly they are sold with a view to cheat people and so you would not be getting genuine ancient silver roman coins.

Ensure you can get a certificate of authenticity or at least a guarantee that the coin is genuine.

Make sure you can return the coin of found not to your satisfaction.

Don’t buy coins from people you do not know or who advertise coins in newspapers.

Coin collecting clubs are also a good source of coins, especially clubs that specialize in ancient coins. This is also a valuable resource to learn more about roman coins.

You can build up a very good silver roman coin collection provided you do some due diligence and ensure you study well and know what you are buying.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Silver Coin Collector

Nowadays, with the steady increase in silver it is becoming popular to be a silver coin collector. So it is important to keep in mind some guidelines when becoming a silver coin collector.

The most important thing to do when collecting silver coins is due diligence. Acquaint yourself with the world of silver coin collecting. Knowledge is power so you need to ensure you make a jolly good study of silver coins and what is available.

Knowledge of such things as the condition of coins, the types and how much silver is contained in silver coins will help you make good choices. You can collect silver coins from around the world and there are many articles on this web site that describe many of them.

You can collect entire rolls of silver coins as well as individual specially made silver coins such as Proof or commemorative coins.

Knowing who to buy from is important. Choosing a reputable dealer or even buying from a established mint is always advisable.

Understand the terms and conditions of the seller. For example, can you return the coins if you are not satisfied?

Buying coins from auctions is an area where extra due diligence and knowledge is needed. Perhaps not to be ventured into until one has some experience and a good understanding of the values of silver coins.

Antique and rare silver coins also require extra knowledge .

The good thing about being a silver coin collector is that it is an interesting and fascinating hobby or interest as well as potentially quite profitable. If one is interested purely in collecting silver coins then the value of the silver may not be an issue. Some people collect purely to own a beautiful coin or set of coins with a particular theme they like.

What ever the reason you collect silver coins to be a silver coin collector is truly an interesting and absorbing interest and, with the price of silver these days, can become an excellent asset for the future.

Friday, April 21, 2006

When to Buy Silver

When to buy silver is very important especially if you are accumulating silver for the future.

In times of economic turmoil people tend to turn towards precious metals such as silver and gold. Gold is an excellent asset to hold but silver has some advantages among which it is cheaper per ounce and easier to buy and sell quickly.

What sort of silver should you buy? Probably a variety of silver is the most optimum. A selection of silver coins, small bars or ‘biscuits’ or 10 and 100 ounce bars would be prudent. Then you can sell the quantity you might need to sell to raise a more specific amount of money.

Gold tends to be more expensive and selling an ounce of gold may net you more that you would be willing to convert into cash whereas you can sell one or several ounces of silver to cover a specific need.

The best time to buy silver for the long term is always now. What ever the price, the cost of the silver will average out in the long term. The more you can buy at one time will reduce the dealer and shipping costs and bring you closer to spot price (Spot price is what the current going rate for silver is on the daily markets. You can see this by checking the charts at the top of this web site).

Always ensure you buy silver from an authorized mint or dealer and if you are buying silver coins get a certificate of authenticity as well.

The above basically tells you when to buy silver but always do your due diligence and remember there are no certainties in investment!

Thursday, April 20, 2006

100 Ounce Silver Bars

With the rocketing price of silver, 100 ounce silver bars are becoming more popular with investors as well as collectors.

Silver investors know that the cheapest and most efficient way of accumulating silver is in the form of 100 ounce silver bars. However there are a few pointers it is important to keep in mind when collecting 100 ounce silver bars.

Firstly ensure that you buy your silver bars from an established dealer in silver or even the refinery itself. Johnson Matthey is one such refinery. Established since 1817, the hallmark of Johnson Matthey is known world wide. And as a result of this, it is imminently possible to liquidize or ‘cash in’ a Johnson Matthey silver bar almost anywhere in the world.

If possible, one should take personal delivery of your silver bar. Also store it in a safe place. It is a good idea to keep your affairs in this regard private and not tell your friends and acquaintances you have a 100 ounce silver bar. Some companies offer to store your silver and gold bars but this should be avoided as a general rule. Instances of companies ‘removing’ the bars have been known and in the event any government wishes to ‘call in’ any metal such as silver or gold, these storage houses are the first to be visited by the government.

With 100 ounce silver bars, the amount you pay over ‘spot’ (spot is the actual value of the metal on the exchanges and markets) is much less than for a coin or a small one or half ounce or even ten ounce bar. This makes it much more worth while to accumulate as your silver is worth more much quicker when the value of the silver rises as it is doing now.

Buying a small one or even ten ounce bar would include a heavier mark up which must be accounted for and covered before you make a profit as it were.

Accumulating 100 ounce silver bars is an excellent investment and a good way of providing for your future if you do your due diligence and be aware of the points above.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Collecting Silver Dollar Coins

Collecting silver dollar coins has been called the hobby of kings and if you are into collecting the rare coins worth many thousands that would of course be true.

Thankfully you do not have to be a king to collect some fine silver dollar coins. There are some very nice coins available modestly priced and with a regular purchase every so often it is possible to build up an very impressive collection of quality silver dollar coins.

The US government has been minting silver coins for many years now and these are silver eagles, mostly. You can buy silver eagles from many dealers around the country.

Usually the composition of the US silver dollar is 90% silver and 10% copper (to add strength and durability). The actual silver weigh is .7736 troy ounces.

There is now a trend towards including more silver and producing silver coins with 99.99 percent silver. These would be proof coins and Brilliant Uncirculated (BU) and as they are not ‘in circulation’ do not need to be so hard or durable.

The last circulating silver coins minted were in the 1970s and were only 40 percent silver the rest being nickel.

Many people collect silver dollar coins in sets by year. They will collect each issue that comes out and eventually will have a set of silver coins. This tends to improve the value as a set is worth more per coin proportionately than individual coins.

It pays to browse and do due diligence, make a good study of the coins available and the prices and values for them. There are many hundreds to chose from and thousands have been minted over the years. From the 1804 coins worth many many hundreds of thousands to the latest issues worth a few dollars.

With silver increasing in value almost on a daily basis, it seems that collecting silver dollar coins is a worth while hobby and one that can make us all kings in our own way.

Monday, April 17, 2006

2006 silver eagle coin

Adolph A. Weinman's Walking Liberty was originally designed for the 1916 half-dollar but now graces the obverse of the American Eagle Silver coin and this is no less true of the recently issued 2006 silver eagle coin. Silver Eagle coins are congressionally authorized and produced by the United States Mint.

Since their launch in 1986, the American Eagle Silver Dollar has become one of the the most popular collected coins in U.S. history. The design of the coin is considered by many to be one of the most beautiful coins ever produced.

As per the US Mint, “The United States Mint produces proof versions of the American Eagle Coins for Collectors. The American Eagle Proof program was first introduced in 1986 with the sale of gold and silver proof coins. Platinum was later added to the American Eagle Proof line-up in 1997.”

“The term "proof" refers to a specialized minting process that begins by manually feeding burnished coin blanks into presses fitted with special dies. Each coin is struck multiple times so the softly frosted, yet detailed images seem to float above a mirror-like field. After scrutiny by white gloved inspectors, each American Eagle Proof Coin is placed in a protective plastic capsule and mounted in a handsome satin-lined velvet presentation case. An official Certificate of Authenticity accompanies each coin.”

The American Eagle Silver Proof Coin is available in the traditional one ounce size and can be purchased directly from the United States Mint as well as professional coin dealers. Always ensure the coins are properly sealed in their original plastic and are accompanied buy the Certificate of Authenticity.

They are the genuine article produced by the U.S. Mint at West Point, New York and have a face value of one dollar and are one-ounce of .999 fine silver.

The US silver eagle coin is one of the most beautiful coins to collect and they are well worth adding to your coin collection.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

US Silver Coin Values

US silver coin values can vary tremendously depending on their rarity, condition and other factors.

The Hawaiian silver half dollar pictured recently sold for over 65,000 US dollars for example, at a Bowers and Merena Auction.

Many early silver coins sell at auction repeatedly and the price or value increases each time.

The silver content in such coins is not very high and certainly is not a factor in the sale of such coins. But the condition and rarity certainly is.

Probably the rarity of these coins is the biggest factor in determining their value. Such coins are usually well looked after so the condition hardly changes at all over the years. The more time marches on, however, then the rarer such coins become. It becomes less and less likely that more of that same coin will surface and so the number of that coin remains limited.

One can do a search for rare silver coins and keep a record of US silver coin values and watch as, over the years, they increase in value.

This means if you intend to buy a rare silver coin the chances are you will almost certainly improve the value of your coin simply by holding on to it and reselling it at a later date.

Such coins should be kept in a protective case away from prying hands and fingers as they can easily damage and reduce the value of a coin just by handling it.

Such coins, over a few years then, can increase by 100, 200 or even 300 percent in value. It is a good idea to get the coin properly and professionally appraised each year to keep track of the value and also for insurance purposes.

US silver coin values are only likely to increase over the years so if you are fortunate enough to have any US silver coins it will pay to look after them very carefully.

Friday, April 14, 2006

Silver Eagle Proof Coin

American Silver Eagle Proof Coins were first created by Adolph A. Weinman in 1916. Later in 1986 the US Mint selected the world famous design, "Walking Liberty." For the obverse of that coin.

The silver eagle proof coin is a one ounce 99.9 percent pure silver coin. It has a face value of one US dollar and each coin undergoes a specialized minting process with special die administered to the coins which have had fed to the press. The coin is scrupulously checked for any imperfections and then sealed in a protective bubble or case and presented in a velvet lined presentation case.

When you buy a silver eagle proof coin you should ensure that the protective plastic case is still sealed and has not been tampered with and that the presentation box is intact also. There should be a certificate of authenticity which matches the coin.

Silver eagle proof coins have continued to be produced by the US Mint since 1986 and are considered, by some, to be the most beautiful of all silver coins produced in the US.

There are also the Brilliant Uncirculated (BU) versions of the coin but these coins can deteriorate as they are not in a plastic protective case but come in rolls and so can get marked, scratched or even chipped. This can affect the value of the coin quite dramatically.

For serious collectors the silver proof coins offer the best long term value.

Many collectors build up an impressive set of coins and to have a set going back to 1986 would be an impressive collection indeed.

Collecting the silver eagle proof coin is a fun activity for collectors. As well as being able to appreciate the beauty of the coin they can rest assured knowing the value is increasing with time.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Silver Coin Series from the Perth Mint

From January this year was issued the first of a Silver Coin Series from the Perth Mint series of three 99.9 percent pure silver coins featuring Australia’s iconic landmarks.

The first of these landmarks is the City of Melbourne.

As the mint states, “The coin's reverse depicts Melbourne. The capital of Victoria and Australia's second largest city, Melbourne is famed for its culture, cuisine and sporting obsessions. Founded on the shores of Port Phillip Bay during the 1830s, Melbourne was shaped by the discovery of gold in the middle of the 19th century. Among the modern city's glass and steel skyscrapers, grand civic buildings and imposing facades built with gold rush wealth embody the essence of 'marvelous' Melbourne.”

“The coin's reverse depicts a view of Melbourne from the Yarra River. The design includes rowers and Southgate pedestrian footbridge with towers of the Central Business District represented in colors in the background. The year-date and The Perth Mint's traditional ‘P’ mintmark also appear in the design.”

This coin is available as a single coin or as a subscription set. Collecting coin sets is always a great idea as the value is well enhanced by virtue of it being a set.

This 2006-dated coin is struck from 1oz of 99.9% pure silver in proof quality and is issued as legal tender under the Australian Currency Act 1965/ The coin also depicts Ian Rank-Broadley's effigy of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II on its obverse.

With a limited mintage of only 7500 and a price of around 52 US dollars plus about 20 dollars shipping this coin is set to be a valuable addition to the Discover Australia series.

Each coin is housed in a superb presentation case with a lid made from Australian sheoak timber. The case comes in a protective outer shipper featuring Discover Australia's distinctive logo and each coin is accompanied by a numbered Certificate of Authenticity.

The Silver Coin Series from the Perth Mint is a magnificent collector coin program . All the coins are scheduled for release between 2006 and 2008 and will surely make a valuable addition to any coin enthusiasts collection.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Commemorative Silver Coins

Some coin collectors collect commemorative silver coins.

There are heaps of these available from the gold and silver commemorative coins commemorating the new Zealand win of the Americas Cup in 1995 to the 2005 marine Corps commemorative coins of the US to the heaps of commemorative coins of the Slovak Republic commemorating a host of events and people. Just about most countries that produce coins will produce commemorative coins are one time or another if not on a regular basis.

Commemorative coins are usually proof quality if not proof coins and come presented in special attractive boxes or containers with numbered certificate of authenticity..

They are usually more expensive than the usual coins and also have a severely limited mintage in the thousands rather than the tens or hundreds of thousands. As a result they usually increase their value quite well.

When buying commemorative coins always buy from the mint if possible. This reduces the profit margin to the mints rather than dealers also, and also ensures that you will get a guaranteed product. If the coin is not up to the standard expected the mint will invariably exchange it or issue a refund.

When your commemorative coin or set of coins arrives check carefully that they are sealed within their plastic bubble and have not been tampered with. Check each coin, with a magnifying glass to ensure there are no hairline cracks or specks which would show that the coins had been touched by hand or there had been specks of dirt between the coin and the die when it was struck.

Lastly, check the certificate against the coin to ensure it is accurate and relates to that coin.

Collecting commemorative silver coins can be a lot of fun and increase your asset value very nicely provided you ensure that what you have bought is what you got.