Today’s silver stacker has an amazing variety of choices in terms of silver products from coins with low premiums over spot to those with slightly higher premiums and lower mintages to rounds, bars and much more.
And today’s silver market also offers great opportunities for buyers given that the spot price of silver is at a level that most metal experts consider low and that current premiums for most silver products are lower than they have been in the past.
Whether you are new to buying silver, or have been at it a while, every silver investor should have these five coins products to provide diversity in their silver portfolio:
The American Silver Eagle is the world’s #1 silver coin that surpasses any other silver coin ever issued by any country in terms of the number minted and traded. The coin, which turned 30 in 2016, is the U.S. Mint’s most important bullion coin program; the most widely collected modern silver coin of all time; and a coin that has played a key role in modern American numismatics.
The Silver Eagle is also the modern American silver dollar and with about half a billion coins in existence, it has surpassed the mighty Morgan dollar in terms of the number of coins produced.
Most important for the silver buyer is the fact that the coins, which are U.S. legal tender backed by the U.S. government, have by far the deepest and most liquid market within the U.S. This means you will never have any trouble buying them or finding buyers for them when you want to sell.
Minted from 1878 to 1904 and again in 1921, the Morgan dollar is the king of 19th century American coins and remains to this day the most popular and widely traded classic U.S. coin of any type with hundreds of millions of coins in existence, even after the millions that were melted.
Go to any coin show, and you will see countless Morgan dollars from the most common to rare ones in all states of preservation, and both certified and raw.
The budget-conscious buyer can purchase circulated or MS60 examples of common dates like 1881-S and 1921, while the more experienced buyer is likely to be interested in the Morgans that were struck at the Carson City Mint, which are the most popular subset of Morgan dollars.
Peace dollars, which were minted from 1921 to 1935, are the other classic U.S. silver dollar that is also widely collected and traded. The coin will turn 100 in 2021, and the U.S. Mint is expected to issue a coin to mark this event.
Values for common, lower grade examples of both silver dollars tend to move with the price of silver, while higher grade and rarer coins trade at constantly changing values determined by supply and demand and other factors.
Launched in 2010, this 56-coin series of 5 oz. silver coins that runs through 2021 honors the national parks, reserves, and historical sites of every state and territory.
The America the Beautiful, or ATB, was the first U.S. silver coin ever issued that weighed more than 1 oz. of silver. In many ways it was the U.S. Mint’s response to the growing number of larger silver coins, from 5 oz. to a kilo, issued by other world Mints.
Two versions are issued – a bullion coin that often has proof-like and deep mirror proof-like surfaces and a vapor-blasted collector version that includes a “P” Mint mark for the Philadelphia Mint.
These coins appeal to both silver stackers and coin collectors. Compared to Silver Eagles, they have miniscule mintages in some cases as low as 20,000 coins per issue for the bullion and under 15,000 for some of the rarest “P” coins.
These pieces are available both raw and graded with various labels, including the popular John-Mercanti signed ones.
The Silver Maple Leaf, Canada’s official sovereign and legal tender bullion coin, is the world’s second best-selling silver coin whose name is derived from the elegant design that appears on the coin’s reverse of a single maple leaf, an iconic Canadian symbol.
For the silver investor, these coins have the advantage of being struck to the highest purity standard of .9999 fine silver and utilize the most advanced anti-counterfeiting technology of any world silver bullion coin, including laser micro-engraving, radial lines, and bullion DNA, among others.
Earlier this year the mint also added another ground-breaking feature to the coins, a new technology called Mintshield, which is a proprietary process developed by the Mint that reduces the occurrence of white spots, often called milk spots, on their bullion coins.
Silver bullion coins from world mints become more numerous every year, but the various coin series from the Perth, British Royal, Chinese, and Mexican Mints are probably the ones that have the most devoted buyers. That is because they feature beautiful designs of iconic national symbols of each nation, are struck to the highest standards, and have some of the lowest mintages of any major bullion issue.
Not surprisingly, these coins also have a solid track record of performance.
There are many options to chose from, especially from the Perth Mint, which produces more bullion series than any other mint from the Kookaburra and Koala to the Kangaroo, Wedge-Tailed Eagle and others. Each of these coins is issued in a wide range of sizes except the Kangaroo, the mint’s biggest bullion seller, and now the world’s third best-selling coin of its type, which is only issued in a 1 oz size.
The Royal Mint offers two bullion programs, the Britannia series, a modern classic that began in 1997, and the Queen’s Beasts, which debuted in 2016 and will feature ten different designs over a five-year period. The beast coins are issued in 2 and 10 oz. sizes in silver with other versions as well.
The Chinese Mint is best-known for its silver Panda series, which includes coins and medals that feature the cuddly animal that symbolizes China. Typically, only the coins from the last couple years are available since the older pieces are seldom offered.
Finally, the silver Libertad, the sovereign silver coin of Mexico and the world’s only major silver coin that has no denomination, is also the first major silver series ever issued having started in 1982. These coins, which are issued in a wide range of sizes and finishes, continue to gain in popularity and previous issues are hard to locate with many examples remaining in Mexico.
||Louis is an award-winning numismatic journalist and writer specializing on modern coins. He has been writing a weekly column for CoinWeek since May 2011 called “The Coin Analyst,” which focuses primarily on modern U.S. and world coins and developments at major world mints. In August 2015 he received the Numismatic Literary Guild’s award for Best Website Column for “The Coin Analyst,” and in August 2021 the column received the NLG award for best column on modern U.S. coins. He has also received other awards for his writing. He is also a contributor to several magazines, including Coin World, where he writes a bimonthly feature;The Numismatist, the American Numismatic Association’s monthly publication, where he writes a monthly column on modern world coins; and and other publications. He began writing about coins in 2009. He is a founding member of the Modern Coin Forum hosted by ModernCoinMart and has written articles for MCM since 2014. He has collected classic and modern U.S. and world coins since he was about 10 and first joined the ANA in the 1970’s. He has been writing professionally since the early 1980s.|