For thousands of years, the precious metal silver has played a central role as a means of payment and in jewelry making. Since only a few usable silver deposits were known in the past, silver had a higher value than gold in ancient Greece. Thanks to more advanced mining techniques, the availability of silver increased enormously. As a result, silver was overshadowed by gold for a long time. In the wake of the current turmoil in the financial market, the international popularity of bankable silver bullion as a crisis-proof store of value has risen again.
Silver bar tradability
Before buying silver bars, check their tradability. Bankable bar producers can be found on the LBMA's "good delivery" list. Listed producers are regularly subjected to independent inspections. Thanks to the strict criteria applied, recognition by the LBMA is a guarantee of the stated fineness and weight.
Non-bankable bars - including gold bars - are usually purchased by precious metal dealers only at the pure melt value. Both the melting costs and a trading margin are deducted from the material value. These sometimes very high discounts cancel out slight price advantages when buying non-licensed bars.
Modern silver bars
Modern silver bars are made of mined or recycled silver with different fineness. By default, bars consist of 99.9% pure silver. Bars in small sizes are minted - as is also customary for coins. Large bars are produced with the aid of casting molds, which - depending on the manufacturing process - produces the typical solidification lines.
Modern bars are available in different shapes and weights. While very small silver bars weigh only 1 gram, there are also 15-kilo specimens. In addition, the production methods of the various manufacturers differ from each other.
Some silver bullion is considered unbankable. If you would like to use bars as an investment, you should refer to the "Good Delivery" list of the London Bullion Market Association (LBMA). Examples of manufacturers of bankable bars are Austrian Mint or Argor Heraeus. If you are buying silver to have a crisis-proof means of payment, then we advise you to use modern silver coins. Very small silver bars are subject to above-average issue surcharges, which is why it makes little sense to buy them.
In the case of large and medium silver bars, the surcharges are only moderately significant. In addition, they can be stored excellently due to their high value density. Private investors usually prefer bars of 250 grams, 500 grams or one kilogram.
Special silver bars
A very limited but growing market exists for silver bars, which are either in very limited supply or cast by historic bar manufacturers. These special bars serve as both an investment and a collector's item and change hands in specialized stores or at auctions on the Internet for sometimes hefty sums.
Silver price current
The price for tradable silver bars is based on the price of silver. However, lower prices are paid for bars without a good delivery certificate.