When you’re starting out your precious metals investment journey, you’ve likely come across silver coins and silver rounds. They look incredibly similar, so many people assume they are the same thing—but that couldn’t be further from the truth!
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Silver rounds and silver coins are actually very different from each other, and those differences impact the value of the coin, as well as its purposes for investing.
Silver rounds are flat discs made of silver at a private minting firm. They are not a valid currency; think of them rather as a silver bar. Silver coins, on the other hand, are minted by the government and can be used as a currency. Coins will also always feature a mint date and denomination, and their silver purity is backed by the government.
Silver coins have a value as a currency; therefore, they will always have the denomination amount printed on the face of the coin. Silver rounds have no value as a currency; their worth is purely based on the current value of silver. It is illegal for silver rounds to have a denomination printed on them.
Silver rounds can be minted at any private mint, whereas silver coins must be minted at an official government-operated mint. This difference is huge when considering whether a coin is pure silver. Coins minted by the government are guaranteed to have a certain silver quality and quantity, whereas private mints are not backed by the government, although their silver quality and quantity are likely just as good!
The prices of silver rounds is purely dependent on the current spot price of silver. The value of silver coins, however, also factors in the rarity of the coin, as well as its condition. Certain silver coins that are especially old and rare may be worth much more than the price of silver.
The general size and shape of silver rounds and coins are similar—both are disc-shaped and have a relatively thin height. However, silver rounds cannot be the exact same size and weight as any silver coin.
Both silver rounds and coins are comprised of silver, but the amount of pure silver in coins is backed by the government, which means you will always have a guarantee of the coin’s silver content. The purity of a silver round is going to depend on the reliability and reputation of the private mint; however, it will likely still be pure.
The purpose of silver coins is as a currency. Of course, coins can also serve as collectable items and bullion, as many investors choose to buy silver coins as part of their investment portfolio.
Silver rounds, on the other hand, are often created to commemorate an event, person, or place. There are silver coins that are minted to commemorate the olympics, Walt Disney, or the American Liberty Bell. For any meaningful event or place in your life, you’ll likely find a silver round to match it!
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