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Difference Between Silver Coins and Silver Bullion

Difference Between Silver Coins and Silver Bullion

October 16, 202318286 view(s)

If you've been thinking of investing in silver, now could be a perfect time. Silver demand has grown by 38% since 2020, and mining production fell last year, driving the potential for further price increases.

The silver market is currently in the biggest deficit on record. Unless supply constraints diminish, this deficit is likely to continue. 

But before you invest hard-earned dollars in this versatile metal, you'll need to decide between buying silver coins and silver bullion. Both are sound investments, but investing in coins might be more suitable if you have collector tendencies. 

Silver bullion may be best if you're looking to invest larger amounts and lock in a stable price. Keep reading to learn more. 

Silver Coins

For thousands of years, silver coins were one of the world's most common forms of currency. The Greek, Roman, and early Chinese civilizations all minted and used silver coins. Interestingly, the words "money" and "silver" are the same in 14 languages or more. 

Here in the United States, the first silver coin was minted in 1791, when the US Mint was established, and the Coinage Act of 1792 was signed. Silver coins were, and still are legal tender in the U.S. 

The US Mint produces both silver coins and silver bullion. 

During the 19th and early 20th centuries, most silver dollars contained 90% silver and 10% copper. These silver dollars were designed for circulation. 

When circulating silver dollars stopped in 1986, the American Silver Eagle bullion coin came into being. Now, US-minted silver coins consist of 99.999% silver. 

Although silver coins technically still are legal tender, you'll have a hard time paying for your groceries at Trader Joe's with a Silver Eagle. Even if you manage to get change, you'll be doing yourself very short, as a silver dollar is worth far more than its face value. 

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Pros and Cons of Investing In Silver Coins

Silver coins are one of the most accessible ways to dip your toes into precious metals investing. There isn't a big barrier to entry, as many silver coins don't have unaffordable price tags, and they can be less daunting to buy and store than bars of bullion

The basic value of silver coins lies in the amount of silver they contain. But silver coins can also have numismatic value and can become collector's items. Some of the most prized silver coins include the:

  • 1794 Flowing Hair silver dollar
  • 1804 Draped Bust silver dollar
  • 1804 Draped Bust half dollar
  • 1894-S Barber dime
  • 1870-S Seated Liberty dollar
  • 1921 Peace silver dollar
  • 1901-S Morgan silver dollar

Because the value of silver dollars isn't just determined by their weight, it can pay to do your research before you buy. If you're a collector who's interested in the numismatic value of coins, investing in silver dollars can be both interesting and profitable.

On the other hand, if you don't have the time or interest to investigate the numismatic value of silver coins and you're more interested in the raw hedging power that precious metals offer, silver bullion might be a better buy. 

Silver coins can have more room for appreciation, but they also come with more risk. The numismatic value of silver coins is subject to market demand and can fluctuate. 


Silver bullion does not have the numismatic value or collectors' appeal of silver coins. But they come with lower premiums. Not only will you get more silver for your money when buying bullion, but you'll also enjoy less numismatic risk. 

The only thing that will affect the future value of your bullion is the silver spot price. If you're more intent on investing in silver for its intrinsic value as a precious metal, then bullion may be a safer bet. 


Investing in silver bullion is also simpler than collecting silver coins. Getting to grips with the different silver coin designs, mintages, and series can be overwhelming for new investors. Identifying the right coin can take time and knowledge.  

Silver Bullion

Silver bullion is silver in the form of bars, ingots, or rounds. To be bullion, the silver has to be officially recognized as 99.5% to 99.9% pure.

Silver bullion exists entirely for its metal content. It is not legal tender, and it does not have a face value. Silver bullion does not feature ornate designs and is usually purchased for its precious metal content alone. 

The one exception to this rule is silver rounds. Silver rounds are similar to silver coins, but they aren't produced by the US Mint and therefore aren't legal tender. Although they look like coins, they aren't a currency. 

But unlike other bullion, silver rounds are plain, unembellished silver. Most silver rounds feature a variety of artwork and designs and are privately minted. This allows for a lot of creative scope and artwork diversity. Collectors get to pick from a huge array of themes, symbols, and artistic motifs and select ones that have personal meaning for them. 

Although silver rounds feature artwork on their faces, they don't necessarily have numismatic value. Instead, they are bought and sold for their spot price, plus any additional minting and designing costs. They are a great option if you're interested in collecting more than just plain bullion bars, but don't want to invest time researching all the different types of silver coins and their potential values in the future. 

Silver Coins, Silver Rounds, and Silver Bullion


The United States Gold Bureau: Your Provider of Silver Coins and Silver Bullion

Both silver coins and silver bullion are a great way to diversify your assets and invest in precious metals. Silver coins have potential numismatic value and can be rewarding to hold if you have a collector's streak and enjoy hunting down and researching collectibles. 

Silver bullion is a more straightforward way to invest and comes with lower premiums and less numismatic risk. 

Are you looking for a way to buy silver coins and silver bullion? The United States Gold Bureau is America's trusted gold and silver supplier. We will work directly with you to select the top-performing products that will protect your wealth and secure your portfolio. 

Browse our silver coins and silver bullion here to get started. 

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