About Silver Bars
Why Buy Silver?
For thousands of years people have bought silver for ornamental purpose; its scarcity, reflectivity, and aesthetic appeal are qualities highly prized for the making of jewelry, sculpture, and fine art objects of all kinds. Silver’s antimicrobial properties and resistance to corrosion and atmospheric oxidation have long made it a popular substance with pharmaceutical and healthcare providers. More recently in history, Silver has become prized because it also happens to be a superior catalytic substance and malleable conductor of thermal and electric energy. The electronics manufacturing, industrial, and healthcare industries find it exceptionally expedient to incorporate the soft white metal into the design and production of technology components and merchandise.
Thus the demand for silver has soared lately, and many precious metals companies today extol the “investment” opportunities of silver and other precious metals.
In our view, silver and the other metals are less of an investment and more of an insurance policy. Investments are expected to be income-generating, but silver and the other metals are “dead” assets. In other words, they store wealth but are not producers of wealth. Partly for this reason, precious metals might be better classified as an alternate currency. If silver rises from $16 per ounce to $80 per ounce, the owner is not necessarily five times wealthier. Silver’s true value is not measured in nominal (dollar) terms, but in relation to other assets. In other words, if silver becomes five times more expensive in dollar terms while cars, homes, food, the stock market, etc., also become five times more expensive, you have simply retained purchasing power, not increased it.
The decision to purchase silver or gold is heavily predicated on purpose and risk tolerance. For those approaching retirement age or seeking insurance for a portfolio or currency hedge, gold tends to be a more popular option. For those with greater speculative appetite, silver offers (in the opinion of some) higher upside potential. Additionally, for survivalists concerned with systemic risk or an apocalyptic shock, silver tends to be valued as a solution for trading or bartering in smaller quantities. Finally, precious metal purchases are IRA eligible and, in the state of Texas, they are exempt from sales tax.
In good times and bad, silver has historically been a popular way to diversify financial holdings as a tangible asset. Especially during unpredictable economic environments, investors have turned to silver bullion bars as a reliable source of wealth preservation. Silver is more affordable than gold, and it is much easier for investors to purchase in small amounts and accumulate over time.
Where Does Silver Come From?
Silver is the naturally occurring periodic table element 47 whose symbol is Ag, from the Latin word "argentum" meaning "silver." The name is derived from the Anglo-Saxon word "siolfur" meaning "silver." Archaeological evidence suggests silver mining originated in the regions surrounding Asia Minor approximately 3,000 BCE. Documentation dated ca. 2500 BCE reveals ancient Chaldeans in Anatolia (modern-day Turkey) created a sophisticated ‘cupellation’ process to extract silver from lead-silver ores. Silver coins were not minted in the eastern Mediterranean until about 550 BCE, however.
Two thousand years later, Columbus’s 1492 landing in the New World led to the discovery that the metal was abundant in the Americas. Spanish European investors subsequently conquered and enslaved native populations, forcing them to mine so much silver that Bolivia, Peru, and Mexico accounted for over 85 percent of world silver production and trade between 1500 and 1800.
Silver was first discovered in the United States In 1859, under the eastern slope of Mount Davidson in Nevada’s Virginia Range. The large lode of silver was named the Comstock Lode and mined until the 1920s. Today, thousands of years after ancient cultures first discovered this precious metal, over 880 million troy ounces of silver are being mined per year.
Most of the world's silver is acquired as a by-product of extracting lead from galena mines. Galena is a lead sulfide mineral whose crystalline composition sometimes contains silver. Often, the value of silver present in a mine’s galena ore far exceeds the value of the lead. Unfortunately, lead is a highly toxic material, so miners of silver are usually poisoned by the lead. Most of the enslaved South American lead-and-silver miners, for example, who extracted 70,000 to 150,000 tons of silver between 1500 – 1800, died of lead poisoning within two or three years.
Because silver in its natural state is combined with other minerals such as gold, lead, and copper, nearly half of the silver mined today is obtained when miners are processing other kinds of ore. The chemical process of smelting extracts silver from the ore.
What are the Options for Buying Silver Bullion
Silver bullion is minted in a variety of forms, so buyers have plenty of handsome options to choose from:
- Bullion: Silver in the form of bars that are at least 99.9 % pure.
- Official Coins: Silver coins issued by a government mint.
- Medallions (Rounds): A round piece of silver resembling a coin but not considered legal tender. Medallions may be issued by governments or private mints, such as the Texas Silver Round.
When you buy silver, it is important to consider the fact that smaller, minted silver bars are more expensive than cast or molded/poured silver bars because minting, manufacturing, and packaging processes of the smaller forms raise premiums. Some people choose the form of their silver product based upon how quickly it could be converted or exchanged in the event of a chaotic economic crisis, such as what might accompany a natural weather disaster, a stock market collapse, or hyperinflation. It is expected that large silver bars would be significantly more difficult – and expensive – to barter than smaller ones in the event of a crisis.
What is the Spot Price of Silver?
The spot price is the current price per ounce exchanged on global commodity markets. The retail price for each ounce of bullion consists of both the metal’s spot price and the bullion premium; both of these vary. Premiums, for example, depend upon taxation rates and the cost of minting, packaging, and promotion. The spot price of silver fluctuates depending upon
- global commodity market rates
- supply and demand equilibrium
- global economic conditions
The bullion premium is the additional price charged for a bullion product over its current spot price. Calculation for premiums on gold coins vary depending on current bullion market supply and demand factors, the type of bullion products being sold, the level of government bureaucracy and taxation, and local, national, and global economic conditions.
The demand for silver has accelerated since the beginning of the twenty-first century as electronics manufacturers, construction industries, and technology companies have utilized silver in the creation of components for such ubiquitous items as cellular phones, computers, televisions, robotic equipment, and household electronics. Similarly, medical equipment manufacturers require ever-increasing quantities of silver for use in the production of surgical instruments.
What Silver Bar Sizes are Available?
Clients seeking the largest quantity of silver for the least cost (i.e. the best bang for the buck) often buy 100-ounce and 10-ounce bars. Generic 100-ounce silver bars in various shapes and conditions are offered by TPM from a variety of diverse mints, including Engelhard, Johnson Matthey, and Sunshine. Each bar is tested to ensure that it contains 99.9%+ fine silver and measures a full 100 troy ounces. These 100-ounce silver bars have a much lower premium than newly minted bars, rounds, and coins; moreover, their compact size makes them easily transportable, stackable, and storable.
TPM’s 10 oz. Texas Silver bars feature an exact representation of the interior architecture of the state’s Capitol dome as well as the trademarked silhouette of the state of Texas and are packaged in heat-sealed 8 mils polyvinyl.
The most popular size of silver bars sold is the 1-ounce silver bar, such as the 99.99% pure Texas Mint Silver Bar, which acknowledges Texas’ history and culture in minute, beautiful detail.
For institutional investors, 1,000-ounce bars are also an option; retail investors generally find them less preferable than smaller bars.
There are 1099-B reporting requirements when selling silver bars in increments of 1,000 ounces or more per transaction. All sizes of silver bars offered by TPM meet IRA eligibility.
Is It Safe to Buy Silver Bars Online?
It is safe to buy silver online from Texas Precious Metals because our credibility is untarnished; we have partnered with highly reputable private and government mints around the world (like the Perth Mint in Australia) to provide the best precious metals products money can buy. In addition,
- we are a subsidiary of Kaspar Companies, a South Texas company that has been continuously operating since 1898;
- TPM has processed more than half a billion dollars in client transactions since 2011;
- we have sold more than 10 million ounces of silver (311 metric tons);
- in 2014, TPM was recognized as the No. 1 “fastest growing Aggie-owned or Aggie-led business in the world” by Texas A&M University;
- since 2015, we have been the No. 1 seller of precious metals coins on Amazon.com;
- in 2015, Inc. Magazine named TPM the No. 200 Fastest Growing Private Company in America;
- we are 100% insured by Lloyds of London
To ensure that your silver purchase is not a product of counterfeiters, Texas Precious Metals goes to great lengths to guarantee the authenticity of your silver:
- We test every single product that enters our vault using a combination of methods ranging from water density testing to X-ray fluorescence, as well as other machine protocols.
- Each silver bar is engraved with its guaranteed silver weight in troy ounces, its purity, and a serial number.
- TPM acquires precious metal products from mints which include security features directly on the metal; for example, all Sunshine Mint brand bullion products have a micro-engraving that is only visible by placing the Mint Mark SI™ decoding lens over the security pad.
How to Buy Silver Bars from Texas Precious Metals
Buying silver bullion bars has never been easier:
- Orders may be placed online 24/7/365 or by phone at 361-594-3624, M - F, 7 a.m. - 7 p.m. CST.
- There is no additional cost when ordering by phone.
- An invoice is sent by email when an order is received.
- Payments may be made by credit card, bank wire, check, cash, or ACH pull.
- Upon receipt of payment, we send an email confirmation.
- No sales tax is charged on precious metals purchases.
- All orders ship for FREE, fully insured, no minimums.
We do not employ salespeople at our company, and there are no commissions or sales pitches. Our staff exists for one purpose only: to facilitate a low cost, friendly, and efficient purchase.