What is silver bullion? This is probably the first question the potential silver investor will ask after reading or hearing that silver bullion is the preferred form of physical silver to invest in or to own. Silver bullion in a modern sense is in essence in reference to a silver item of one of various forms of which the value is mainly derived from the intrinsic value (underlying value) of the silver content. The forms of silver commonly referred to as “silver bullion” are: Silver bullion coins (silver coins), silver bullion bars (silver bars) and silver ingots.

Metal value outstripping face value…

There is more than one definition for “bullion,” and to be brutally honest, it can be downright confusing to what exactly “bullion” is.  This is first of all, mainly due to differences between the various definitions, and secondly, due to the fact that most precious metal coins that previously circulated as money, after withdrawal from circulation (due to the “paper gimmick”), had gained status to bullions coins. The reason for this is because the intrinsic or underlying metal value of the relevant coins started to outstrip the face value of the coins. A website such as Coinflation.com gives an excellent take on how the metal value (including the silver value) of the relevant coins are outstripping the face value by far today.

Definitions of “bullion”…

Cambridge Dictionaries Online

  • gold or silver in the form of bars  

Collins English Dictionary

  • Gold or silver in mass.
  • Gold or silver in the form of bars or ingots, suitable for further processing.

Legal Dictionary

  • In its usual acceptation, is uncoined gold or silver, in bars, plates, or other masses. 1 East, P. C. 188.
  • In the acts of Congress, the term is also applied to copper properly manufactured for the purpose of being coined into money. For the acts of Congress, authorizing the coinage of bullion for private individuals, see Act of April 2, 1792, s. 14, 1 Story, 230; Act of May 19, 1828, 4 Sharsw. cont. of Story’s Laws U. S. 2120; Act of June 28, 1834, Id. 2376; Act of January 18, 1837, Id. 2522 to 2529. See, for the English law on the subject of crimes against bullion, 1 Hawk. P. C. 32 to 41.

Longman English Dictionary Online

  • bars of gold or silver

Macmillan Dictionary

  • gold or silver in the form of solid bars

 Merriam-Webster’s Word Central

  • gold or silver especially in bars or blocks


  • bar, button, cast, casting, coin gold, coin silver, copper, earth metals, gate, gold, gold dust, gold nugget, ingot, metal, metal foil, metal leaf, metalleity, metallicity, metallics, metalloid, metalware, metalwork, native metals, nickel, noble metals, nugget, pig, precious metals, rare metals, regulus, semimetal, sheet metal, silver, sow, yellow stuff

Oxford Dictionaries Online

  • gold or silver in bulk before coining, or valued by weight.
  • ornamental braid or fringing made with twists of gold or silver thread.

The Newbury House Online Dictionary

  • bars of precious metals (gold, silver, platinum)

Webster’s 1913 Dictionary

  • Uncoined gold or silver in the mass.
  • Base or uncurrent coin.
  • Showy metallic ornament, as of gold, silver, or copper, on bridles, saddles, etc.
  • Heavy twisted fringe, made of fine gold or silver wire and used for epaulets; also, any heavy twisted fringe whose cords are prominent.


  • A mass of precious metal
  • Gold or silver in bars or ingots

World English Dictionary

  • gold or silver in mass 
  • gold or silver in the form of bars and ingots, suitable for further processing
  • Also called: bullion fringe a thick gold or silver wire or fringed cord used as a trimming, as on military uniforms

WordNet Dictionary

  • a mass of precious metal
  • gold or silver in bars or ingots
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