Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Spanish Silver Coins

Spanish silver coins are seeped in romantic yet violent history and have formed the standard by which many other coinages have been based.

A comprehensive history of Spanish silver can be found at Spanish Silver Coins.

Good fortune for the avid coin collector as this interesting history has left a legacy of Spanish silver coins from the early 16th century right up to present times.

From the very first Spanish colonial silver coin struck at Mexico during the mid 1500s (pictured) through to the current silver coins minted by the Spanish Mint, (Also known as the FNMT) .

Of course the price you pay for a Spanish silver coin will depend on:

The rarity of the coin
The condition
How much the coin is sought
How easy the coin is to acquire.

If you are interested in purchasing the early historic coins then a reputable coin dealer would be your best option. Current Spanish silver coins are available from the Spanish mint. Most of the issues have a limited mintage and are usually in collector sets. There are coins for collectors, i.e. not meant for circulation, and coins for circulation. The quality of these will be uncirculated rather than proof or brilliant uncirculated.

The 2006 FIFA World Cup GermanyTM - 2005 Issue is an example of a modern coin issue.

Peer the mint, “For the third issue in the series of collector coins dedicated to the 2006 FIFA World Cup Germany, the FNMT-RCM has minted a very special coin.
It is made up of three pieces, joined together during the minting process, in 999 ppt gold and 925 ppt silver.”

What ever coins you collect, modern day silver coins or antique Spanish silver coins, you are sure to have a great deal of fun and may even improve the value of your collection as well.

Monday, February 27, 2006

Silver Coin for Sale

“Silver coin for sale, silver coin for sale!” What comes around goes around the old saying goes and this applies to silver coins as much as anything else.

Silver coins were used many years ago as legal tender before the cupro-nickel became stylish and it is quite possible that silver coins could again be popular as legal tender.

They already are legal tender of course in most parts of the world but try taking one into a supermarket to pay for some groceries and you will find out just how acceptable they are.

But if there is a dramatic downturn in the economy and as the ever increasing printing of paper money being issued begins to be worth less and less, then the thought of silver as a legal tender starts to become more attractive and even supermarkets are not completely silly.

The current cry then from bullion dealers, “Silver coins for sale”, will start to make a lot more sense to the forward thinkers who certainly have no intention being caught with their financial trousers down.

How many people are, even now, hoarding silver coins for an economically rainy day! Are there enough silver coins in the world for everyone I wonder?

The basic silver coin, whether, an American Eagle, Canadian Maple Leaf, Australian kookaburra, British Sovereign or a Chinese Panda, or whatever country and currency is usually one silver troy ounce. Enough to buy around 9-10 US dollars worth of groceries in the supermarket. interestingly enough it always has been sufficient to buy the same amount of groceries for several hundreds of years and is likely to continue that way.

In fact, silver, being in short supply, as little is being mined and any new silver is mostly a byproduct of mining other materials, seems likely to increase in value and there is going to come a time when silver is going to be enough to buy more than a couple of days groceries if not whole weeks supply of food.

So, if you see or hear the cry, “Silver coin for sale”, perk up your ears. It might just be the bargain you have been looking for!

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Silver Coin Dealer

The first question many people ask is, how do you know what silver coin dealer to use when you want to buy silver coins?

One of the important points to check is that the dealer is a member of a numismatic association. In the US this would be the American Numismatic Association for example. In Australia or New Zealand the Australasian Numismatic Dealers Association and in the UK the Coin Dealers Directory will give a list of associations relating to coin collecting and dealers in the UK.

Europe and other areas also have their own coin dealers associations.

The Professional Coin Grading service provides a list of the US coin and numismatic associations available in the US.

So there are plenty of associations which can help to establish the authenticity of the dealer you are looking at using.

Another aspect is to understand if the dealer has a warranty or provides a certificate for each coin and is willing to accept it back if later found to be counterfeit or fake.

Check the dealers Terms of Service. If they do not have one it is probably better not to deal with that company.

Ensure they have a locatable fixed address. An email address only would be insufficient.

Depending on the coins you buy, you may wish to have insurance, particularly if you are purchasing from overseas. Ensure that the dealer provides for insurance and actually includes the insurance.

In many cases the Terms of Service are a legally binding contract which you acknowledge when you make your purchase so ensure you understand it well.

Sometimes there are attractive deals in silver coins on eBay. Check the person selling. Are they a dealer? A Power seller? Do they have a web site? Check it if so and ensure they meet the criteria above.

There are many silver coin dealers so you have plenty to choose from. All want your business and the bona fide will be happy to give you great service.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Antique Silver Coins

Antique silver coins can make a very worth while investment for the coin collector. However some due diligence is required to ensure that one is getting antique coins and not a pig in a poke when one starts out to buy antique silver coins.

Many collectors specialize in antique silver or gold coins and, over time, build up some very impressive collections.

Firstly it is vital one does one’s homework. This means studying up on antique silver coins, finding out that is actually antique and what is not. Also what fake coins exist, and they do, which pass as antiques.

Also where to buy antique silver coins. eBay and other auctions offer innumerable antique silver coins but there are no guarantees that what one is buying is truly antique so you really need to know what you are doing when buying at or from auctions.

Picking a good solid reputable dealer who specializes in antique coins and offers certain guarantees is a wise move.

Check out the dealer. What are their terms and conditions? What guarantees do they offer? How bona fide are they? Importantly, will they accept coins back after sale if they are found to be fake or counterfeit?

One good site to check out is antique silver coins. Here you can see the potential values of American antique silver dollars. The values can range here from 40 or 50 dollars up to over 7000 dollars depending on the quality, date and rarity of the coins.

Here a mine of information on antique silver coins can be found and the dealer also provides a guarantee of satisfaction.

However it is always a wise move to shop around and get a good sense of what is available and how much.

If you have an interest in collecting antique silver coins then by following the above you are quite likely to build up a collection any coin enthusiast would be overjoyed to have.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Panda Silver Coins

The Chinese peoples Bank have been issuing what is popularly known as Panda silver coins for some years.

2006 is no exception and the recent issue of Panda silver coins continues the tradition of beautiful design these coins are known for.

Actually both gold and silver panda coins were issued and information can be found here about the panda gold coins

These coins commemorate the 10th Anniversary of China Minsheng Banking Corp. Ltd and were all minted by the Shenzhen Guobao Minting Co. Ltd in China.

The obverse of the coin features the Hall of Praying for Good Harvest of the Temple of Heaven in Beijing, and the title of the People’s Republic of China, year 2006, as well as some Chinese characters

The reverse design of the one ounce silver bullion coin features a mother panda and her son, The characters ‘1oz Ag.999’, ‘10th Anniversary of China Minsheng Banking Corp. Ltd.’ and some Chinese characters.
The one ounce round silver coin is bullion in quality, containing 1oz. of pure silver, is 40mm in diameter and10Yuan in face value,. It is 99.9% in purity and the mintage was 70,000.

There is also a five ounce round silver coin and a one kilo silver coin also. Both are proof coins with a .99.9 percent purity. The five ounce coin has a face value of 50 Yuan, a mintage of 10,000 and the one kilo coin a face value of 300 Yuan and a mintage of 4000.

The Panda silver coins are avidly collected by coin enthusiasts and many have some impressive collections obtained over the years and the value of the collections increases as they are added to over the years.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

2006 Fine Silver Proof Year Coins

The Royal Australian Mint, in Canberra Australia, has just issued a beautiful set of 2006 Fine Silver Proof Year Coins.

This issue is to celebrate 40 years of decimal currency in Australia.

These coins are quite stunning and feature, for the first time, the original Arnold Machin effigy of the Queen which was first seen in 1966 when decimal currency was first introduced.

The coins, bearing this special obverse, are only available in the 2006 Fine Silver Year Set and make this set the most unique and sought after of all the Fine Silver Year Sets released by the Royal Australian Mint.

These coins and their images are produced in 99.9% fine silver and come as a set of 8 denominations from 1 cent through to two dollar silver coins. These are proof coins and the mintage is limited to 6500. The International price is $209.09 Australian Dollars plus shipping costs.

Further information can be obtained from 2006 Fine Silver Proof Year Coins

This is a very beautiful collection and these 2006 Fine Silver Proof Year Coins will be treasured by coin collectors for many years to come.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Silver Bullion Coins

Silver bullion coins are probably one of the best investments you can find.

Many countries have now jumped on the silver coin band wagon and mint one and ten ounce silver coins.

Of course the most popular are the American Silver eagle, the Canadian Silver Maple Leaf, the Australian Kookaburra, the British Britannia and of course the Chinese Panda.

All of these are considered beautiful coins and all are minted in one ounce pure silver as well as heavier values also.

There are some decided advantages to holding silver bullion coins, not the least of which is the future investments . Silver bullion coins are not difficult to buy. They are relatively inexpensive and are available from a vast majority of coin dealers and auction houses such as eBay.

They are easy to store, taking up very little room and very easy to sell if one has the economic need to sell.

The value of silver is predominantly stable and, in fact, due to a world wide shortage, is steadily increasing.

Some points to watch for when buying silver coins. The larger coins, such as the ten ounce coins can be subject to fraud whereby someone will drill out the silver content from the rim or edge and fill it with lead, then put a small spot of silver to cover the hole. These are difficult to detect but sometimes the weight will give it away or if the silver coating is poorly done it can be seen. Ensure you buy your silver coins from a reputable dealer therefore which will accept the coins back if found to be fraudulent or counterfeit.

As always ensure you do due diligence when buying any coins.

Provided the above is kept in mind, buying silver bullion coins can be an excellent investment for the future and can provide hours of enjoyment and pleasure.

Monday, February 20, 2006

American Eagle Silver Coins

The US Mint has just introduced for 2006 new American eagle silver coins.

These continue to be popular and the 2006 new American eagle silver coins will be no exception.

As per the US Mint

“American Eagle Silver Bullion Coins are affordable investments , beautiful collectibles, thoughtful gifts and memorable incentives or rewards. Above all, as legal tender, they're the only silver bullion coins whose weight and purity are guaranteed by the United States Government. They're also the only silver coins allowed in an IRA.”

“Silver has historically been the most affordable precious metal. Since 1986, the United States has minted one-dollar silver coins called "Silver Eagles." Each contains a minimum of one troy ounce of 99.9% pure silver.”

“The design is based on Adolph A. Weinman's 1916 "Walking Liberty" half dollar, widely considered one of the most beautiful American coins ever minted.”

All Silver Eagles are easy to buy and sell and prices are based on the market price of silver, plus a small premium to cover minting and distribution costs. You will find them available at most reputable coin dealers.

Also available from the US Mint is a highly collectible proof version of the American Eagle Silver Bullion Coin

A collection of American eagle silver coins makes an excellent long term investment for silver and coin collectors.

Friday, February 17, 2006

Rare Silver Coins

Rare silver coins is almost a specialized branch of coin collecting.

Some people only collect rare silver coins and are always on the look out for that unusually or interesting rare coin that is hard to come by.

Examples of rare silver coins include the Morgan Liberty Head and the Seated liberty, proof and high grade. In the 1859 to 1900 year range.

These can sell for a few hundred dollars but the early 1859 silver dollars can sell for several thousand dollars

An 1864 Silver Dollar Seated Liberty with no motto and proof will sell for over 3000 dollars in fact.

A Quarter Dollar Seated Liberty (pictured) with a grade of MS-65 would sell for over five thousand dollars.

So there is money in rare silver coins. Such coin collections of course do not suffer from inflation or economic downturns, In fact in such cases their value is more likely to increase.

Many people collect rare silver coins as a hobby or because they like particular coins or enjoy making up sets. But there are many serious collectors out there than collect for investment purposes.

When collecting rare silver coins ensure that you pick an established and reputable dealer. Check their inventory and even browse other dealers also to compare prices and stock. Go for the proof and high quality coins if you can afford them. They will increase in value.

Ensure you check the year. There can be a vast difference in the value of a coin produced even a year before or after.

For example the 1859 Silver Dollar - Seated Liberty, No Motto MS-62 sells for well over 1000 dollars, yet the 1860 with an MS-63, is only worth one dollar.

It pays therefore, when collecting rare silver coins, to do your due diligence to ensure you get the best and are happy with your collection

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Proof Silver Coins

Proof silver coins are the top quality coins of any issue.

They are the Rolls Royce of coins.

The Perth Mint, Australia, famous for it’s proof coins explains in facinating detail how it manufactures these prized coins.

"Proof coins are the masterpieces of our craftsmanship. Clean, good quality steel is used to make proof dies. The die impression is grit-blasted with very fine zirconium sand to give the surface a frosted finish - the common term for this is sand-blasting. The surrounding background is then highly polished.

Hand polishing of the sections of the die face is performed under a microscope and takes two to three hours. To achieve a mirror-like finish, different grades of diamond lapping paste are applied to the surface and polished with wooden sticks (usually soft birch wood). This is followed by polishing with a soft felt pad attached to a dental drill.

The entire face is covered with clear tape and then, using a fine scalpel, the tape is cut away leaving the design exposed. This area is sand blasted again and given an even frosted appearance and a clean sharp profile around the impression.

After polishing, the die is chrome-plated or titanium nitride coated to resist damage from minute foreign particles and to extend the die life. This in turn reduces the number of times the die is refurbished.

Proof coins are manually and individually coined in a specially designed and air conditioned environment. Laboratory coats, hair ties, gloves, sticky mats on the floor, lint free material to wipe dies, and fans continually blowing air across the die in the coining presses are some of the measures taken to minimize the risk of blemishes on the coins.

On each manually operated press, using forces of up to 360 tonnes, we can produce about 500 proof coins per day.

Within the coining press a collar is used to restrain the blank. The size and shape of the collar determines the shape of the finished product.

Operators, with gloves and/or tongs, place the blank onto the coining press and strike it up to 4 times. The number of strikes is dependent on the size and the depth of relief. The die is wiped with alcohol, to remove any dust, before the next coin is struck.

The operator inspects each coin and then Quality Control randomly examines coins within every batch. If one fault is found the entire batch is thoroughly examined.

Finally, proof coins made from bronze, cupro nickel, aluminium bronze and sterling silver are sprayed with a nitro-cellulose lacquer to protect against oxidation. The coins are inspected once more.

Proof coins are usually packed into capsules and high quality display packaging; along with information about the coins."

Other mints use substantially the same methods although some not quite so extensive. In all cases proof coins are not meant for circulation but as collectors items and for investment purposes.

Proof silver coins are great for investment over the long term. The initial cost usually outweighs the value of a short term investment.

Proof silver coins however are beautiful works of art almost and a pleasure to collect and have.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Silver Coins on eBay

There are literally thousands of silver coins on eBay.

Simply entering the phase, ‘silver coins’ will net you around a thousand pages of silver coins.

So there is no shortage of them.

As there is so many available tt is important to really know what coins you wish to collect and how much you are willing to pay for them., This should be established before you even start looking. Then you can enter the exact coin specifications in the search field and avoid ploughing through thousands of coins that you are uninterested in.

For example if you enter, ‘American silver eagles’ in the search field you will get only American silver eagles and not thousands of nickels and dimes and other coins.

Some of the important points to keep in mind when buying silver coins on eBay are.

Read all the information the seller supplies, including any terms of sale.

Although it is likely you will be looking for specific coins perhaps, pick a seller that has at least 100 feedbacks and the positive feedback is at least 98 percent.

Better of course to get a power seller with 100 percent feedback. They are people that are interested in looking after their customers. Their business is selling on eBay and cannot afford to have negative feedback.

Ensure that the seller is willing to ship to wherever you are. Some will only ship to their country of residence.

Find out what the shipping and insurance costs are. Sometimes the shipping and insurance costs outweigh the value of the coin.

Many have a buy it now price. This means that instead of bidding, if you really want that item, you can select the buy it now button at the bottom of the page, buy the item immediately and bypass the bidding process.

If you have a query about the item for sale always ask the seller. Most of them are happy to answer questions.

Check they have a guarantee and that the cons are packaged correctly and not loose. Loose coins are virtually worthless unless extremely rare and even these would be packaged to protect them.

Rare expensive coins should come with a guarantee or a certificate of authenticity.

It can be great fun buying silver coins on eBay and there are some good deals to be made, provided you follow the guidelines above and do your due diligence!

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Chinese Silver Coins

Chinese silver coins come in a variety of types, and styles and sizes. Probably the most popular and well liked are the ‘Panda’ series.

China is one of the most prolific producers of coins in the world. Most of these coins are for general use of course but China also produces some of the most beautiful commemorative series of coins. This includes the Panda series as mentioned a well as the Lunar series also.

Although millions of circulating coins are produced the commemorative sets are usually of low mintage and this makes them quite valuable as, once they are sold, and this is usually very fast, there is no more of that mintage.

In fact, most series of coins are under the 5000 coins minted and the price or value of the coins can make extraordinary jumps in value, some well over 200 percent. Within a year.

Consequently, Chinese Silver Pandas and Silver Lunars are among some of the most sort after coins by coin enthusiasts.

As with other collections it is worth while seeking to collect all the Pandas, for example, from 1989 through to the present. The collection is worth much more per coin than just the individual coins this way.

It is also possible to get a Red Velvet lined presentation case to keep the pandas in however, they should not be taken out of their protective pouches. Any handling of the silver coins will remove the brilliant uncirculated grading of the coins.

Silver coins should never be touched by hand, cleaned or handled in any way if you want to preserve the value of the coins.

For coin enthusiasts, collecting Chinese silver coins can be a very pleasurable past time as well as an excellent asset for the future.

Monday, February 13, 2006

Custom Silver Coins

Custom Silver Coins is almost a separate field in the fascinating hobby of silver coin collecting.

Whereas silver coins are traditionally produced by government owned or controlled mints around the world (although this is changing with the culture of privatization), custom silver coins are produced, usually to order for specific purposes by private mints or manufacturers.

The North West Mint is a good example. On their site at http://www.nwtmint.com/ custom silver coins.

Here they show you the steps in minting a gold or silver coin designed either as a commemorative coin or for sale as a beautiful object. Custom silver coins and customer gold coins are manufactured with great care and

For commemorative and medallion coins staff artists work from an idea or a very rough sketch supplied by the customer. Once a design is finalized, the artist sculptures the design in relief. Each original sculpture is made proportionately larger than the medallion's actual size, to allow as much detail and depth as possible.

The sculpt is then mechanically reduced to make the die. The die is a reverse engraving of heat treated, hardened steel, and is used to strike the medallion.

The gold. silver, brass, and other alloys that go into our products are melted down and poured into cylindrical shapes called billets. These are then pressed through a small rectangular opening, drawing them into long thin strips of soft annealed metal.

The strips of metal are rolled down to the exact thickness required to achieve the proper size-to-weight ratio so the pressed medallion will meet certified specifications. The strips are then run through the 'blanking' press which punches out blank discs of metal. These are then scrupulously cleaned in preparation of striking the medallion.

The top and bottom dies are locked into the minting press capable of up to 1000 tons of pressure. The impact of the dies on the blank within the collar forces the metal to 'flow' into the recesses of the die and shape the medallion. A proof medallion requires several strikes to achieve it's beautiful mirror-like finish.

An exclusive rim marking system has been incorporated into our manufacturing process to further enhance and distinguish each medallion. Edge options include the traditional ridged or reeded variation, as on a dime. In addition, serial numbers, commemorative slogans and special dedications can also be embedded into the edge.

The finished coins are then packaged according to the customers specifications Most commonly, each is sealed in a clear Lucite protective capsule and encased in a plush lined leatherette display box.

Custom coins and special presentation coins are available from this and other private mints.

Custom silver coins can be a delight to buy and collect and are easily available for the coin enthusiast.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Sell Silver Coins

If you wish to sell silver coins how much you get for them will depend on several factors.

When you purchased them

If you bought your silver coins several years ago you can expect to get a good price for then since the value of silver has risen by over 100 percent over the past 6-7 years.

What type of coins you are selling

If you are selling Morgan Silver dollars, for example, you will get a better price than for Mexican or Canadian silver dollars or even the British silver sovereign as the silver Morgan is rarer and considered more valuable over and above the silver content. Also some dates are more rare than others.

The current price of silver

The current overall trend of silver is rising. The value of silver has continued to rise as the need for industry outweighs the production of silver. In fact silver is not being mined very much at all and new silver is being obtained as a by product of mining other minerals or metals.

Selling your silver coins

You can sell silver coins either through dealers or by auction. Each have their advantages and disadvantages.

Auctions, such as eBay, provide an avenue through which you can sell your coins but it is worth while browsing the auction first to see what people are buying. It is no good putting up silver coins for sale if no one is buying the type of coins you are selling. You also take a risk that you will get a good price provided the bidding is active and energetic.

Selling through an established dealer is somewhat safer but you will only get the current value less the dealers charge for mark up and you will pay for shipping. Checking the dealers terms of service also is a wise move.

You can sell silver coins rather easily provided you keep in mind the above and do your homework.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Silver Certificate

A silver certificate is a bill formerly issued as legal tender by the U.S. government in representation of deposited silver bullion and were used for some time as a form of paper currency backed by silver.

Each certificate or bill, was matched to the same amount of value in silver. A fifty dollar bill therefore was backed by 50 dollar worth of silver.

The silver certificate was issued in response to a successful protest against the introduction of the gold standard which replaced the original bi-metallic gold and silver standard that had been created by Alexander Hamilton.. The result was the Bland-Allison Act, as it was known passed in 1878.

The US government then started minting silver coins but as these were quite heavy they were retained and certificates were issued against the silver dollars a a more convenient form of exchange.

These certificates changed over the years and there were many denominations issued according to the policies of the government of the day.

For example in 1928 the US Treasury decided to reduce the size of the currency to speed up transactions and cut costs.

Silver certificates were continued in various forms and denominations until they were abolished by Congress on June 4, 1963 and all redemption in silver ceased some five years later on June 24, 1968.

There are many silver certificates around as collectors items and the value and price of these depends very much on the condition. As they were used notes it is rare to find a note or certificate in good or mint condition. Most have some creases, folds and even discolor and bits missing sometimes.

Even so it is possible to acquire a silver certificate in good condition for a fare price and as time wears on and the rarity increases the values will only increase.

Although collecting silver certificates is a interesting hobby, it is more likely that collecting the actual silver coins will prove a better investment for the future.

Friday, February 10, 2006

Silver Coin Value

Silver coin value is determined by four factors, rarity, grade, quality and popularity.

Rare coins have the highest value of course due to their rarity. The rarity can be due to the limited number of coins struck by the mint and or the number of coins available or in circulation.

In the US silver coins have often been melted down on governmental order for the silver content resulting in an increase value in the remaining coins. Morgan silver coins are an example of this.

The grade or condition of a silver coin also affects it’s value. Proof sets are special coins that have been struck to a higher quality than uncirculated and have a greater value therefore. Brilliant uncirculated are worth more than circulated coins and circulated coins generally have a very low value unless they are extremely rare and sought after.

The closer the coin is to a perfect uncirculated coin the better the value. Silver coins should have a certificate from an independent grading service such as PCGS (Professional Coin Grading Service) or NGC (Numismatic Guarantee Corporation). Certificated coins protect both buyers and sellers from counterfeit and fake coins.

The quality of a coin is important too. Some coins are considered more beautiful than others and although aesthetic appeal is very much a matter for individual taste, there seems to be a common agreement as to what is beautiful among coin collectors.

Some of the most popular silver coins are the traditional one troy ounce silver dollar, the American Silver eagle or the Canadian Maple Leaf for example due to the beauty of the coins.

Important also is the quality of the coin, how well it is minted and presented. Also the date the coin was minted can have a big bearing on the price.

Price is always a vital factor. How much can one afford. Unlike gold coins, silver coins are quite affordable and one can start a collection off with just a small funding.

Other factors that may have a bearing on silver coin values are:
Silver content in the coin
Amount of coins struck by the mint
Aesthetic appeal of the coin
Value of silver as a precious metal
Browsing the dealers and finding out what coins to buy is part of the fun of being a coin collector.

The more one browses and learns about the various types of coins and the four factors of determining the silver coin value, the more satisfaction one will get out of coin collecting.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Silver and Gold Prices

Silver and gold prices are on the rise.

How can one take advantage of that? If one has silver and gold bullion in the form of coins and bars then it is much better to retain those and not sell them..

When they were bought there was invariably a mark up from the dealer or mint from whom you got them and this should be taken into account when reviewing the actual worth of the bullion.

You might own perhaps, ten or twenty silver and or gold coins, or perhaps bars. Work out the accumulated cost of purchasing these, including the shipping cost. You might be surprised to find out just how much you paid for them.

Dealers are currently screaming for more silver and gold coins and bars. Offering ‘top dollar’ for your coins or bars. Encouraging you to sell. But how much would you really make? And what is the price of losing an asset you have carefully built up over the years?

The dealers are only interested in turnover. Not in collecting coins or bars. It is simply stock to them.

In addition those coins and bars are a highly useful asset in times of severe economic downturn. They are easy to store. Easy to take with you when you travel and, importantly, are always easy to sell.

Just selling because the amount of printed money you can get for silver and gold coins and bars is not really a sufficient reason to sell.

Silver and gold prices reflect real values and it could be said that it is not the value of the silver and gold that is rising but the value of the printed money which is deteriorating.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Canadian Silver Coins

Canadian silver coins are an excellent coin to collect not just for their silver content but also for their aesthetic beauty.

Collecting coins is not just about retaining or increasing ones net worth by collecting silver but it can be an enjoyable and fun activity as well. Silver is also one of the least expensive of the precious metals for collectors and, over time, one can build up a very impressive collection of silver coins.

Probably the most popular Canadian silver coin is the Canadian Silver Maple Leaf.
After the success of the Canadian Gold Maple Leaf coin in 1979, The Canadian Royal Mint, in 1988 produced the first Canadian Silver Maple Leaf.

Canadian Maple Leaf One Ounce Silver Coins are produced by the Canadian Royal Mint and the holographic beauty of the coin is produce by a special advance process in which the hologram is struck directly onto the coins surface. All Silver Maple Leaf coins are sold in the one ounce size and are composed of fine 99.99% pure silver. The total weight is 31.104 grams of which 31.10 grams is fine silver.

The face value is shows as five dollars.

For the original 1988 and 1989 issues, the portrait used was the "decimal portrait" as used on British decimal coins since 1971. From 1990 onwards, the portrait was then changed to one similar to that used on British coins from 1985 to 1997.

The idea of the Canadian Silver Maple leaf coin is to enable people to purchase smaller quantities of silver in the form of coins and the design of the coin was created to appeal to collectors around the world.

The Canadian Mint produces a variety of silver coin which can be viewed at Canadian Silver Coins and it is possible to buy directly from the mint.

However you can often get some excellent deals from established silver coin dealers around so it always pays to shop around.

Canadian Silver Coins are an excellent investment for coin collectors as well as being some of the most beautiful coins available today.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Silver Futures

Silver futures are a way of investing in what you think silver is going to be worth sometime in the future. It is a bet that the value of silver will either increase or decrease over a specific period.

Silver is sought after as a valuable industrial commodity in many varied industries as well as because of it’s aesthetic appeal. Silver coins bullion, especially silver coins, have been used and collected by man for thousands of years. Whereas silver futures can result in a loss if a wrong call is made, the purchase and ownership of actual silver guarantees that you will have the value of the silver all the time you actually own the silver coins or bars.

Apart from the occasional spike, silver has held a stable value for 200 years and is likely to continue doing so.

Currently it is on the rise and if one is investing in silver coins one also has the added bonus of the increase in the value of the coins due to rarity and other factors such as aesthetic appeal and demand for the coins.

Another advantage that holding actual silver over a certificate is that the certificate of silver as in stocks, shares options or futures may incur some tax considerations. This may also apply to silver ingots which are considered an investment commodity. However silver coins have a face value assigned to them and are valid coins which can be used as legal tender and so have no tax considerations. The smaller bars of course rather than the larger ingots, generally do not incur any tax except in the UK where some may incur VAT at the point of purchase.

This can be important when buying and selling rare coins that increase in value during the time you hold them.

If there is a silver future, it is in silver coins and silver bars.

Monday, February 06, 2006

American Silver Dollar

The American Silver Dollar is probably one of the most well known coins in the world. Much has been written about the history of the silver dollar and how it came to be.

Here we shall look at what silver dollars to search for and buy.

Although many millions of silver dollars have been minted since the late 1800s there have been times where production has been low or coins have been melted down and the silver content reused. This occurred, for example in 1918 when the Pitman
Act legislated that silver coins be melted down
and converted to silver bars. This meant that 270 million Morgan dollars were melted down and there are now some rare dated coins as a result. In 1921 Morgan coins were again minted but replaced that year by the Peace Dollar making further Morgan Silver Coins of that date rare also.

In 1960, when the price of silver rapidly rose, more silver Morgan coins were melted and it has recently been estimated that only 17 or 18 percent of the total number of silver Morgan coins remain today.

Silver dollars often have a mint mark to indicate which mint they were struck.

All the silver dollars were minted at the following mints.
Philadelphia 1793-present - Flowing Hair, Capped Bust, Sitting Liberty, Trade, Morgan, Peace, Eisenhower, Silver Eagle (no mint mark or 'P')
New Orleans 1846-1904 - Sitting Liberty, Morgan ('O' mint mark)
Carson City 1870-1893 - Sitting Liberty, Trade, Morgan ('CC' mint mark)
San Francisco 1859-1992 - Sitting Liberty, Trade, Morgan, Peace, Eisenhower, Silver Eagle ('S' mint mark)
Denver 1921-1934 - Morgan, Peace ('D' mint mark)
West Point 1995, 2001-present - Silver Eagle ('W' mint mark)
The most popular collectable silver dollars are the Morgan 1878-1921, Peace 1921-1935, and Silver Eagles 1986-present.

When looking for silver dollars there are a few important dates to look out for. These coins command the best prices and have the most value.
Carson City 1889 and 1893
New Orleans 1893, 1895, and 1903
San Francisco 1893, 1894, and 1895
Philadelphia 1893, 1894, 1895, 1899, 1921 and 1928
West Point 1995
Three of these coins that are particularly difficult to find and of high value are the 1893 'S', the 1895 'P' and the 1995 'W'. Of these, the 1895 'P' is rare enough to fetch an impressive eleven thousand US dollars in fine condition. A excellent quality condition 1893 'S', if you ever find one, is worth around $250,000. big money for any collector.

This is an area of coin collecting that demands a lot of study. The rewards, however, of collecting rare silver dollar coins can be most satisfying!

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Spot Silver

What is spot silver?

Firstly, Spot is the price for cash (immediate) settlement. Spot Silver then is the price for cash on the day. Another way of looking at it then is, The present delivery price of a given commodity being traded on the spot market, also called cash price.

One can get the price for silver, or the value for silver anytime by going to Spot Silver. the value of silver can be seen here as it raises and falls on a daily basis. Generally the value does not change.

The bullion market operates on a two-day settlement (the value date is on the 2nd business day following the trade date).

Apart from a peak in 1980, silver has been a relatively stable precious metal for many years . Since 2001 the value has started to steadily rise and possibly in part due to the fact that silver is industrially in short supply looks set to continue that rise for some time.

This makes spot silver an excellent buy.

One can purchase silver in the form of stocks in silver on the stock exchange, silver jewelry or silver bullion.

The value of stocks can depend not only upon the spot price of silver but the management habits of the company in whom one has shares. Along with the tax implications of owning shares, this introduces variables that can interfere with the value of your holdings. Jewelry commands a high mark up and poor resale value so, as beautiful as it may be, is not a good option for the investor. Silver bullion however, in the form of silver coins and bars, can provide a satisfactory investment in the long term.

The mark up is small, especially when purchasing larger bars such as one kilo, for example, and silver coins often improve their value due to other factors such as rarity and quality of the coin. The storage and transport of silver bullion is manageable by most people also.

In terms of spot silver then, bullion is probably the best way to accumulate and store your silver investment.

There is nothing quite like having the real thing when it comes to spot silver!

Buy Silver Coins

To buy silver coins can be a fun activity as well as an excellent investment strategy.

Many coin collectors collect silver coins as a way of supplementing their savings portfolio and at the same time enjoy the process as many silver coins are very beautiful and pleasing to the eye.

Collecting money in the bank is a dry process and, with inflation and recession, there is little guarantee that the value of the funds will retain their value.

If you buy silver coins however you are buying a precious metal that retains its value and does it in a pleasant and aesthetically pleasing way.

Silver coins, such as the

American Silver Eagle
Australian Silver Kookaburra
Australian Silver Kangaroos
Australian Chinese Lunar Calendar Series
British Silver Britannia’s
Canadian Silver Maple Leaves, and
Chinese Silver Pandas

Are well designed beautiful coins. Although there are available larger and smaller coins, in each type of the most popular is invariably the one troy ounce silver coin.

Most of these can be purchased from coin dealers and some mints. Purchasing from a mint is a safe and secure activity but if you are going to use a dealer, ensure you pick a reputable dealer who has been authorized by a mint and who can provide a certificate of authenticity for proof coins.

Also when purchasing online it is important that you understand how the dealer operates and what the returns policy is. Although many people don’t it is good advice to read the dealer’s terms of service.

Although there are many silver and even part silver, where the silver content is forty percent or less, the above silver coins are the best to buy.

With the above in mind, to buy silver coins can be a worth while activity and also give endless hours of fun!