Silver coins can be a great way to invest in precious metals, both for their intrinsic value and as an alternative to Gold. The trouble is that there are so many to choose from. Naturally, we asked what are the best Silver coins to buy? That can be a hard question to answer because it really depends on what kind of investment you are looking for.
Silver coins can be traced back to the ancients. The ancient Greeks, for example, used both silver coins and hallmarked silver ingots for trade.
The history of silver is too long for this article, but it can help us delineate some of the best Silver coins to buy. Principally, there is big difference between ancient silver coins that were meant for circulation and modern ones. There is an even bigger difference with bullion silver coins. We will mention a few great ways to expose yourself to silver in the former cases, and then focus on what bullion coins are the best silver coins to buy.
As we mentioned in the best gold coins to buy, factors such as premium over spot, melt value, perception of the manufacturing mint, numismatic value, and much more come into play. Our research stayed away from expensive Post Office Coins and royal Canadian Mint Sets, both of which are less than ideal as investments.
As we go through the coins below, be sure to read up on the histories of the countries that made them. A powerful historic tradition and large collecting community will only add value when other factors are controlled. A downside is that you may often end up paying a higher premium over the coin’s silver melt value.
So let’s get on with it. Below are the Top 10 best Silver coins, at least in our opinion. Keep in mind that everyone is going to have a different opinion, especially given the aesthetic value many of these pieces have.
The best Silver coins to buy for their classic bullion design:
The below coins are arranged in alphabetical order. Each is minted of 99.99% + fine Silver and IRA as well as TFSA, and RRSP eligible due to COMEX and LBMA certification.
1. United States: United States Mint – 1 oz. Silver Eagle
First struck in 1986, the one ounce Silver Eagle coin has been produced Philadelphia, San Francisco, and West Point. On the obverse it features Adolph Weinman's famous Walking Liberty Design, and on the reverse John Mercanti's Heraldic Eagle, Shield, and five-pointed star. As one of the hallmarks of the precious metals investment world, these coins regularly sell in the tens of millions to American and international customers.
2. Austria: Austrian Mint – 1 oz. Silver Philharmonic Coin
In 2008, the Austrian mint took Thomas Pesendorfer's famous Philharmonic design and began producing Silver Philharmonics. This classic entry on the list of best Silver coins to buy features the Great Organ of Vienna’s Concert Hall (the Musikverein) on the obverse and an assortment of orchestral instrument on the reverse. The coin has a face value of 1.50 Euro and hit a production high in 2011 when nearly 18 million were sold.
3. Canada: Royal Canadian Mint – 1 oz. Silver Maple Leaf Coin
One of Canada’s most famous exports is the Silver Maple Leaf coin. It has such an appealing aesthetic that it’s no wonder Canadians are proud of their national symbol. Another reason for their popularity is the fact that they are 0.9999 fine silver, while most others are 0.999.
You are going to normally pay a premium of around CAD $2 over spot to get them, but the premiums rise with the coin, so if you ever sell you can expect to make a nice return.
4. Australia: Perth Mint – 1 oz. Silver Kangaroo
The 1oz. Silver Kangaroo coin has been a staple of the Royal Australian Mint since Horst Hahne designed it in 1993. The coin has extensive global recognition these legendary Silver Kangaroo coins hold their own in craftsmanship with any commonwealth nation's . Available for sale in regular and high relief, it is currently minted with a face value of 1 Australian dollar. The reverse depicts Australia's national symbol, the Kangaroo, and the obverse, Queen Elizabeth II.
5. Mexico: Mexican Mint – 1 oz. Silver Libertad
The Mexican Mint makes a nice 0.999 silver coin. As one of the major silver producing countries in the world, the Mexican government wisely jumped on exporting some their exported precious metals.
The coin depicts two volcanoes - Popocatépetl and Iztaccihuatl - with a winged Victoria of Mexican Independance on the obverse. On the reverse is the new Mexican coat of arms sorrounded by the old design. Consider investing while the price of silver remains relatively low.
Moving on: what are the best Silver coins to buy for investors looking at the price to silver ratio.
6. Mixed Origin: Junk Silver (10% to 92.5%)
People love to find cheap junk silver. Canadian, British, Australian and United States dollars, fifty-cent pieces, quarters and dimes were at points made with .925, .800, and .400 silver. This holds true for most countries. These coins still hold value for their silver and can be a much cheaper way to invest in precious metals. They are also a great way to build a diverse historic collection taking advantage of their liquidity.
7. United States: Republic Metals Corp – 1 oz. Silver Buffalo Round
Republic Metals Corp (RMC) silver rounds are available in their own design or in the Silver Buffalo design. As a COMEX and LBMA approved Good Delivery Refiner, these rounds meet the highest silver standards without breaking the bank. The design is also one of the most popular in the North American bullion market and is widely sold.
Note: these coins tend to be much more expensive and are considered collectible numismatics rather than bullion..
8. Seleucid Empire: Antiochus VII
The silver coin with the bust of Antiochus VII is quite fascinating. A crease in the silver mold runs diagonally across the upper check of the king’s face, giving the impression he has a terrible scar. It signifies his infamous status as the last Seleucid king of any import, and adds some existential hubris to the bare silver coin. On the other side is a bust of Athena. Perhaps the best things about this coin is its price: roughly USD $450.
9. Egypt: King Ptolemy VI Coins
United States: Sunshine Mint 1/2 oz Silver Round
One thing you don't see every day is minted silver under 1 oz. The Sunshine Mint 1/2 oz. Silver Round is made with the same expertise and .999 fine silver as the Mint's famous 1 oz. round. This stunning piece of fractional Silver costs more to make and therefore holds a higher premium above spot, per oz, than your average 1 oz bar or round.
Having looked at the foundations of the best Silver coins to buy, remember to ask which you would rather own for the long term. While cut and finishing quality have immense impact on the short-term premium of the coin, commodity value takes precedence in the long run.
So regardless of whether you are buying a Christmas gift or an investment, be sure to understand why you are buying a coin. Quite frankly, if you are just looking at the best Silver coins to buy for their Silver value, you might want to have a look at low premium over spot fine Silver bar.