Silver is a great investment if you are looking for a safe haven that also has a practical use that makes it one of the world’s most sought-after industrial metals.
But, choosing how to buy physical silver and where to buy it can be a time-consuming and confusing process. Below we look at the different types of physical silver, what to look out for when buying silver and we break down the different options available when it comes to making a purchase of silver bullion.
What is physical silver?
When we ask ‘how to buy physical silver’ we’re really asking ‘how to buy silver bullion’. Bullion is the term used for investment-grade silver that is most commonly produced in silver bars and silver coins. They must be a minimum 999.95 purity.
Silver bars and coins come in a range of sizes to suit investors and their portfolios. A silver bullion coin is 99.99% pure silver and is struck by sovereign mints such as The Royal Mint. Popular coins are Silver Britannias, Austrian Philharmonics, Canadian Maple Leafs, US Silver Eagles, and Australian Silver Kangaroos. All of these are available through GoldCore. You can read more about investing in silver coins by clicking here.
Silver bullion bars are investment-grade silver bars of at least 99.95% purity. Here at GoldCore we sell two different types of silver bullion bars:
Silver Bar 100 Ounce: Equivalent to just over 3 kg. If the bar is .999 fine, it contains 3,107.20 grams of pure silver. A .9999 fine bar will contain 3,110.00 grams of pure silver.
Silver Bar 1000 Ounce: Equivalent to 31.1 kilos. If the bar is .999 fine, it contains 3,107.2 grams of pure silver. At 3110.0 grams, a .9999 silver bar contains only a tiny amount more silver, which means investors do consider there to be a difference between the two.
Also read: What is silver?
How to buy physical silver?
There are some very key things you should look out for when thinking about how to buy physical silver bullion:
- Premiums charged - The premium on a silver bullion bar is the amount charged on top of the market price. The premium covers the costs incurred during the refining, fabricating, minting, and marketing of the bullion. You will typically find higher premiums on packaged coins and smaller silver bullion bars.
- Hidden costs - In the case of some silver bullion bar outlets you may be charged ‘additional charges’ for say insurance, product handling, shipping fees. These are always worth questioning and assessing if they really are necessary.
- Range of Products offered - different investors have different requirements and it's important to be able to see a range of silver bullion bars and coins, so you can make the right decision for your portfolio strategy.
- Storage options - Once you have decided to buy silver bullion your next decision will be how to store it. You might want to store it at home or may want to reduce the hassle of VAT expenses and insurance costs by asking your silver bullion dealer to store them for you. Not all outlets will offer this and if they do be sure to look for fully segregated storage in secure vaults.
- Buy-back options - Whilst we wouldn’t recommend liquidating your silver bullion holdings we do recognise that if you have made some gains it is nice to be able to realise them by selling some of your holdings. However, this isn’t always easy or even possible if you haven’t bought from a reputable silver bullion outlet.
- Reputation - we know that this is a hard one to garner, but having a look at online review sites, forums and even just new articles is a really good way to see how a company treats their customers. Here at GoldCore we have over 14,400 happy customers in over 130 countries. You’ll be sure to find some good reviews online, or even see one of the many interviews our CEO has done in the mainstream media!
Where to buy physical silver?
- Royal Mint - The Royal Mint is a great institution given its history and reputation. However, it only sells coins that it mints itself. It’s also not possible to sell your bars back to the Royal Mint even if you bought from them originally, this can be limiting if you one day would like to sell some of your holdings to realise your gains.
- Post Office - The Post Office only sells products from the Royal Mint and even then they are usually beautifully packaged silver bullion bars, for gifting purposes. The premiums are also quite high, which can eat into any gains you might make.
- Shops - The advantage to buying your silver bullion from a physical shop is that you can touch and feel it prior to taking it home, on the same day. However, the premiums are usually much higher than silver bullion dealers by nature of the costs of running a physical shop. They are also unlikely to offer secure storage to the standards your investments require.
- Online marketplace - Online marketplaces might appear to be an attractive place to buy silver bullion because of the vast range of silver bars and coins that are available. This is because there are many, many sellers all on the same platform but it is very difficult to verify who you are buying from and the authenticity of the products.
- Dedicated silver bullion dealer - A dedicated silver bullion dealer will have a wealth of experience, products and customer reviews to help you feel comfortable when you decide to buy silver bullion. Here at GoldCore we are proud to offer our clients a state-of-the-art trading platform, a range of gold and silver bullion investment products and secure storage facilities in a range of safe jurisdictions.
Also read: Where to buy Silver?
Do I pay VAT on my silver bullion?
Value-added tax is payable on silver bullion. It is due on all silver coins and any bars stored in private, at-home vaults. Silver that is stored in GoldCore’s Swiss vaults is not subject to VAT.
How to buy physical silver with GoldCore?
GoldCore has made buying physical silver bullion a simple process. Simply click on the "open account" button on our website to set-up an online trading account with us.
Choose from five different account types, you can create as many as you want in a currency of your choice.
GoldCore is a long-standing company that has served over 14,400 clients in over 130 countries. If you need more information about how to invest in physical silver bullion, please contact us at one of the following numbers: UK +44203 0869200, Ireland +(01) 653 3426, US +1 888 381 8130. Our experts are happy to help.
Also read: Is buying silver a good investment?