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.