What are silver coins? Now chances are good that it might at first seem like a pretty silly question with a straightforward answer, but it’s actually not that simple as we shall explain…

Whenever we write in reference to “silver coins” on the Silver Bullion website, except where we explicitly state otherwise, it’s always in reference to silver coins which are:

  • Silver bullion: Silver coins that can be classified as silver bullion or silver bullion coins, silver coins of which the melt value of silver is more than the face value of the relevant coins (despite any collector’s value or numismatic value).
  • Not colorized: Colorized silver coins, even in the instance where it can be classified as silver bullion or a silver bullion coins, must be avoided as far as possible, except if it can be bought at a substantial discount to the melt value of the silver it contains. Colorized coins here are in reference to genuine mint products that have been modified by adding coloring (or even holographic stickers in some instances!). It’s frown upon by serious silver investors, especially serious silver coin investors, since such silver coins are for one considered to be “damaged.” These silver coins in general attract far lower prices than their genuine unmodified counterparts. However, a silver coin that’s colored by a mint that issued it is considered to be an official issue or officially issued silver coin. Such a coin, besides the melt value of the silver, may have a collector’s value (numismatic value) depending on its rarity and other factors. The problem arises when a private mint takes an officially issued silver coin and colorizes it with the idea to sell it at a premium. This might sit well with the novice or first time silver investor, but it will not earn him/her any brownie points with serious silver investors, especially serious silver coin investors.
  • Collector’s value: Silver coins that might or might not have collector’s value or numismatic value attached to it.
  • Non-plated: Non-plated silver coins refer to silver coins that are not plated with silver (or anything else for that matter!), but that consist of a silver alloy or at least some substantial percentage of silver. Needless to say, silver-plated coins should be avoided like the plaque itself.

  • Rare silver coins and medallions excluded: Rare silver coins and privately minted limited edition medallions that are minted to commemorate an event or a person are not part of the “silver coins” or “numismatic coins” as defined here on the Silver Bullion website. Both the rare silver coins and medallions sell at ridiculous premiums to the melt value of the silver and must be avoided like the plague itself, except if a rare silver coin or medallion can be acquired or purchased for a fraction of the collector’s value (numismatic value), not outstripping the melt value of the silver by a substantial percentage.
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