One might be forgiven for erroneously assuming that silver bars, especially old pour or vintage silver bars with no artwork on it, have no or little collector’s value. Nothing could however be further from the truth.
A rare 4oz Engelhard old pour or vintage silver bar recently sold at eBay for $3,500 (or $875 per troy ounce). Needless to say, this came as a huge surprise to us and even some hard-core silver bar collectors. We were previously under the impression that silver bars are mostly purchased for the melt value of the silver. Yes, we did know that small silver bars or ingots with artwork on it can sell for top dollar, but we never expected old pour or vintage silver bars to be so highly sought after by collectors. This just shows again, never judge a book by its cover, because you might be pleasantly surprised by what you find. Yes, it seems there is a huge demand for old pour or vintage silver bars, especially vintage silver bars hand poured and issued by reputable precious metals companies such as Engelhard, Johnson Matthey, Academy and Monarch Precious Metals. Therefore, don’t be surprised to pay hefty premiums on old pour or vintage silver bars. It should however be noted that South African-based collectors/investors can save a lot in currency by sourcing old pour or vintage silver bars from overseas, instead of locally. It is also a good idea to shop around, especially at online marketplaces such as eBay, or to be more specific, the eBay Bullion Center. The eBay Bullion Center features: Low prices, no hidden fees, trusted sellers, fast delivery and eBay Buyer Protection. eBay Buyer Protection means eBay covers your bullion purchase price plus original shipping at no extra cost to you. Be sure to check if a seller is willing to ship to South Africa and if not, it won’t hurt to ask. Many sellers are accommodating and it is always best to try and build a solid business relationship with a seller through direct communication. Tell the seller about your needs and in most instances he/she will offer you a better deal than you would get otherwise. Always contact an eBay seller via their feedback page and say it is not a question about a listing, because then the communication should stay private. We will leave the rest up to your imagination. In addition, be sure to take custom duties and other charges into account when buying silver bars overseas. It can cost a pretty penny, but in our experience it is 9 out of 10 times cheaper for South Africans to acquire silver bars that way than to buy locally, especially at online marketplaces such as Bidorbuy. Local resellers of silver bars bought overseas are simply charging too high prices and the steep fees charged by Bidorbuy are not helping.
With the above in mind, be sure to pay a visit to the eBay Bullion Center or your local precious metals dealer. You might be lucky to find rare old pour or vintage silver bars at a price that’s close to the paper-manipulated spot price of silver.