Since spot price is based on per troy ounce, a 1 troy ounce bar, round, or coin is easy to resell and also easy to find storage space, making it the most attractive and also the most popular. For this basic reason, owning anything in different sizes should always be carefully scrutinized before you decide to add these to your collection.
Owning strange pieces in a collection should likewise be judged with extreme caution. Remember to build a collection primarily for your own individual taste, but also in the event of selling off parts or all of it in the future. Unless you just have enormous amounts of money to blow, in which case I’d happily accept charity from you, consider your precious metals as also a very good form of investment of which it can be sold into a relatively liquid market sometime in the future. The more strange the piece of silver, the more limited the demand will be for someone else to want to buy it. When it comes to your collection and investment, don’t be that weird person dressed up in a great formal suit, but killing your own look with orange striped Dr Seuss socks. You can still maintain your individuality without literally having to dress like a clown.
Large Bars: These which I generally consider as anything over 1 troy ounce, are more commonly sold in round number ounces (such as 5, 10, 100) and can also be sold in grams (such as 250 grams, 1 kilogram). These are primarily held less for their art appeal and more for increasing total silver ounces in a precious metals collection.
In general, the larger the bar, the lower the premium it will cost over the spot price per ounce. For example, while a 100 troy ounce silver bar may be attractive to buy relative to cost over spot, the demand for it to resell later is extremely low. This is due to its higher cost of owning 100 ounces all at once, the lack of flexibility of being able to sell, say just 20 ounces, and the large area space needed to store the bar itself. And there’s just not a whole lot of surface area for art that can be put on a large silver bar, relative to the surface area of 100 individual troy ounces of silver.
Larger Size Rounds and Fractional Rounds: most 1 troy ounce silver coins and rounds have a diameter between 38mm to 40mm. Due to this universal sizing, even many 2 troy ounce silver coins carry the same diameter but are essentially twice as thick when looking on the edge.
Thicker rounds with the same diameter up to 40mm make storage pretty much just as easy. Storage gets tougher once coins and rounds have a diameter that exceeds 40mm. For example, the 1 troy ounce Perth Mint Lunar Series coins are 45.6mm in diameter. While these coins remain extremely popular, they cannot be stored like most other rounds. Also, if the plastic capsules that hold them get cracked or broken, they are much tougher to find and replace.
As for fractional coins and rounds, these are typically smaller than 1 troy ounce. I’m not really sure what the point of fractional rounds are. I’ve been told that in case of a societal collapse it would be good to have the option to barter with smaller fractions of silver. To each their own, just know that fractional rounds carry a high premium over spot price. And if the world does collapse, I’d rather have something to barter with that didn’t cost me a big premium up front to obtain, like constitutional silver.
Odd Shapes: Have you ever watched a movie that started really bad, and you hoped it would get better as it went on, and then it just never got better? And after it ended, you wondered how a group of people came together and somehow approved and produced such a bad movie? Sometimes I wonder the same thing with how certain pieces of silver get made. I’ve seen 3D pyramid shapes, hexagonal “rounds”, miniature silver statues of dragons or fairies, GI Joe type silver figurines, and even a 3D coin in the shape of an oyster shell with a pearl in it. The shell looked ridiculous in my opinion, but even if the people who bought it thought it looked great, there’s for sure others who also would think it looks ridiculous. The point being, understand that owning these odd shaped pieces would almost certainly hinder its resale value. If you really, really, really love it, well even then think real hard about it before pulling the trigger if you must. But otherwise, beware the grotesque.
I feel the urge to give this reminder…
Holiday Rounds: Holiday rounds are issued by different mints on a regular basis, and most of them look gimmicky with uninspiring art. The premiums to purchase these rounds are high, and of course the websites aggressively promote them as the appropriate holiday approaches. It’s like the designers just threw something out there last minute with little thought, to take advantage of whatever sales they could scrounge up before the holiday ends and the next one comes up. The Christmas rounds seem to be in particular the most notorious for bad artwork. Don’t let your holiday spirit sucker you in. Choose wisely, or don’t choose at all.
Here’s one of the rare Christmas rounds that had some thought put into it, with great art and even a little story in it. In this case, Christmas round or not, a picture truly is worth a thousand words.
Few are made anywhere near as nicely as this Halloween themed round:
Colored Rounds: Just looking at a silver color over and over can eventually get boring, so surely that’s the thought behind where colored rounds were created. And many of these are done spectacularly, giving the coins and rounds a lot of life. Some people will take a silver coin and paint on their own colors with amateur methods, then try to sell them at jacked up prices. Only a greater fool pays for damaged coins like that. Nothing but colored rounds done professionally by the mint should be considered. And even then, remember that the premiums usually shoot through the roof. Colored rounds for the most part are priced as collectibles, and of course that limits its future upside.
A couple more things about colored rounds: some of them no matter how professionally done, still look dreadful. Some of them have so much color, they are no longer recognizable as silver coins. Nor are their sky high prices recognizable either.
The coin pictured below has not been priced as high as a collectible, although it still costs a hefty premium over spot price. The art is done directly by Perth Mint and looks terrific.
Enjoy the art, but getting too fancy could limit your ability to resell in the future if it lacks popularity. It’s easy to say “I don’t care if there is no future market, I would never sell this item anyway”. However, never say never to whatever our future circumstances may be. We may simply dislike that item later, or we may be forced to raise cash for a short term emergency. A liquid market to sell into would be very helpful.