2022 has been a difficult year for the United States economy. As the country emerges from the Covid-19 pandemic, it faces the highest inflation rates in 40 years. In light of these events, many people have begun seeking alternative ways to protect their assets and save for the future.
Silver has been used as a currency or a store of value since ancient times. It is a valuable metal used in jewelry, electronics, and industrial applications and maintains a steady value due to its high-demand and many uses.
Silver prices haven’t dropped below $7/oz in the last 20 years and spiked as high as $64/oz in 2011. Investing in silver bullion can help you protect your assets from broader economic trends and save for your family’s future. Read on to learn how and where to buy silver in Michigan and why AU Precious Metals is a trustworthy choice.
What is Silver Bullion?
Bullion refers to a precious metal that has been refined to purify the metal and remove impurities. High-quality raw silver ore is extracted from the ground and subjected to extreme heat to melt the metals in the ore. The silver is purified and formed into 99.5% or 99.95 pure silver ingots. These nuggets are then shaped into bars or minted into pure silver coins.
Silver Bullion vs. Silver Coins
Silver bullion is comprised of 99.5% or 99.9% pure silver, which is poured into different molds after the metal is purified. Silver bullion is typically shaped into bars or rounds/coins, and can be manufactured/minted by a government (sovereign mint) or private business like a refining company (private mint).
Certain coins trade at higher prices than others, because they have a face value/can be used as currency and are not taxable when sold, like the popular American Silver Eagle. Other currency coins with a face value, vary in terms of the percentage of silver they contain, depending on when they were minted.
American half dollars, minted from 1965-1970, contain 40% silver. American dollars, half-dollars, quarters, and dimes, minted prior to then, contain 90% silver. Both are referred to as constitutional or junk silver.
Beyond their use and origin, storage should also be considered when deciding what form of silver to purchase. Silver bars are often easier to store than silver rounds, as they can be manufactured in larger sizes that hold more value, but take up less room than the same value would, in typical 1oz rounds. This is why many governments, banks, and interested individuals prefer to keep their silver in bars instead of rounds/coins.
Michigan Laws for Buying Precious Metals
The sale of silver and other precious metals in Michigan is regulated under The Michigan Precious Metal and Gem Dealer Act. This law requires all precious metal dealers to register with their local government, and keep a permanent record of all transactions.
This law was enacted to protect Michigan consumers from fraudulent traders or unethical actors. Reputable Michigan silver dealers like AU Precious Metals follow Michigan’s laws to protect all parties involved in precious metal sales.
Is Silver a Good Investment?
Many people invest in silver, in times of economic uncertainty. From ancient times to the present day, silver has been used by governments and individuals as a safe investment/hedge against inflation.
Silver is a safe investment because it has uses beyond a stand-alone asset. Silver is used in various industrial applications, including and beyond jewelry. It is a uniquely conductive material that makes many modern devices possible, such as electronics, batteries, semiconductors and more. It is in constant demand, with no end in sight.
Physical Elements to Consider When Purchasing Silver Bullion
When purchasing silver bullion, you must be aware of the following elements to ensure you know what you are buying:
Every silver bar will have markings that will provide vital information about the bar, such as the standard weight, generally given in grams or kilograms, and the silver weight, given in troy ounces.
The markings will also show the percentage of pure silver, generally, 99.5% or 99.9%, and the manufacturer/mint. It may also have a serial number for better tracking and history, but not all bars will have one.
The physical size of a silver bar is derived from its weight. Unlike coins with a preset size and shape, bars can be made in any size the manufacturer pleases. The trapezoidal prism shape is the most common, in weights of 1, 10, or 100 troy ounces, as well as one kilogram. These silver bars are easy to transport and store.
Each unit of silver bullion will contain a specific percentage of pure silver. It is not possible to manufacture a 100% pure silver bar, so the bar will generally be either 99.5% or 99.9% pure silver. The remainder of the bar will be neutral nonferrous metals like lead, antimony, and copper that were not extracted from the silver ore during the refining process. The higher the purity, the more valuable the bar will be.
Silver bars can be made in a few different ways. The purified silver is either cast in a model, minted using a stamp like a coin, or hand-poured. While these techniques may affect the appearance of the silver bar, giving a mirror shine or a more finished look, they do not change the value.
Silver bullion is an industrial product used to store and exchange wealth; while some may look nicer, it is purely an aesthetic choice. Over time, some may gain popularity/trade value as a collector’s item, but it doesn’t change the intrinsic value of the silver itself.
Value vs Trade Value–How Much Should You Pay for Silver Bars?
One of the advantages of silver bars is their price consistency. Unlike silver coins that have trade value based on their design or origin, silver bars are generally consistently sold for the daily spot price of silver, plus a small markup. These bars are the most affordable way to invest in silver, as they are designed to be held as a store of wealth and not used as a currency or a collector’s item.
How to Choose a Silver Bullion Retailer
Silver bullion is an investment. Like any investment, buying from a licensed, reputable retailer is vital, therefore it is necessary to compare different retailers or brokers in your area.
In order to find the best possible investment partner for you, you should research local silver dealers’ commissions and fees, their customer service reputation, their use of daily spot price or silver price, the method/equipment they use to guarantee purity, and what other expertise or add-ons they may offer to improve your experience. For example, they may provide over-the-phone price quotes or mail-based services.
Protect your investment by choosing the best partner for you. If you are in Michigan, the experienced, professional silver bullion retailers at AU Precious Metals have an excellent reputation for selling high-quality silver at low prices to help you build wealth.
Other Precious Metal Buying Options
Silver is not the only precious metal that can be used as an investment. Other precious metals, including popular gold and platinum, as well as palladium and rhodium, offer similar consistent returns on investment that you might want to consider.
Gold is the most stable and prized precious metal. Until 1971, it was used as the basis for the dollar’s value. Since the abolition of the gold standard, gold’s value has often trended perpendicular to inflation. This, and its numerous valuable industrial uses, has made gold the most popular precious metal for investment.
Platinum is one of the most valuable precious metals. It is used in high-end jewelry as well as high-tech products. Its price per ounce is significantly higher than silver, well over $900 in 2022, but it is less expensive than gold and more stable.
Palladium is the most expensive precious metal commonly used as an investment, with prices hovering around $2,000 per ounce in 2022. It is a rare metal used in a wide variety of industrial applications, including catalytic reactions in factories and oil refining facilities. It’s also used in fuel cells, batteries, and dental fillings. It is far scarcer than other precious metals, which gives it a much higher price floor than others.
Rhodium has not traditionally been used as a precious metal for investment, as it is far rarer than any of the other precious metals, but it does hold its value, making it a good choice as well. There are no pure rhodium deposits anywhere on Earth, and this metal is vital for a range of modern products, including catalytic converters and electrical contacts.
Due to the metal’s rarity, the price is above $1,000, sometimes $3,000 per ounce, regardless of the rest of the market.
Buy Silver Bars and Coins From AU Precious Metals
Silver bullion is an excellent way to manage wealth in uncertain economic times. Buy from a reputable local dealer if you decide to invest in silver or any other precious metal.
The experts at AU Precious Metals are your premiere resource in Michigan for precious metals. We can help you weigh your options and decide which metal and form are right for you. Visit us in person or call us at (248) 833-6133 to learn more.