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Silver investing has skyrocketed in popularity over the past few years. Demand was rising even before the “Wall Street Silver” group kicked into high gear, and this has led to impressive returns on investment. If you’re new to this world, though, you’ll eventually encounter silver proof coins.
When looking at these bullion offerings — particularly online — you may think there’s nothing special about them. After all, the specifications on proof coins are typically the same as regular strike offerings. An ounce of silver has a set price whether it’s proof or not, right?
In reality, some major differences make silver proof coins stand out. At Silver Gold Bull, we strive to make sure each of our clients are making informed decisions. Buying proof coins can certainly be a great investment, but that’s only the case if you know what you’re looking at.
What Are Silver Proof Coins?
Many investors don’t realize it — especially those new to the world of bullion — but all coins come in a variety of different types. This explains why you could come across similar American Silver Eagles from the same year at very different prices. Variances in value can go far beyond condition.
If you’re in the market for the highest quality bullion, silver proof coins are a great place to start. The United States Mint says on their website that proof coins are “the finest quality of coin produced.” This is thanks to a specialized minting process that creates higher definition and luster.
Silver proof coins are silver blanks that undergo hand polishing, chemical treatments, and cleaning before they’re ever struck. They then go through the striking process at least twice. The differences may not be obvious from online images, but they really stand out in person.
Proof coins differ from other strike types in a variety of ways:
- Circulating coins: Coins meant for circulation go through no special processes. The general public has access to these, and the coins wear relatively quickly due to constant use.
- Uncirculated coins: Coins that aren’t meant for circulation go through a process similar to circulation strikes. Special steps are taken, however, to give the coins a more brilliant finish. These typically go into the hands of collectors.
- Bullion coins: Most silver released by mints around the world are not silver proof coins. Bullion releases are meant to hold no value other than their precious metal content.
You can find just about any American coin as a proof offering, and most countries have released at least one proof set from their mints. When these mints use proof striking procedures on bullion blanks, though, you get something really special.
Proof coins are so visually striking that they once went directly to America’s archives. They were the first coins off the line, and their purpose was to ensure everything was working properly. Due to their overwhelming beauty, though, collectors have long sought out these releases.
An important thing to remember is that silver proof coins aren’t necessarily in amazing condition. The type of strike has nothing to do with conditioning. There are no doubt common circulation coins available that are in far better condition than proof offerings.
So, why are these releases so appealing? Are they worth more? The answer is complex.
Are Silver Proof Coins Worth More?
If you base the value of a coin on its selling price, proof offerings are certainly worth more than regular strikes on the market. For instance, an American Eagle proof silver coin typically costs more than double its non-proof counterpart. This seems to settle the question of which is worth more.
Of course, higher prices don’t necessarily equate to a higher value. You can purchase a gold-plated quarter for between $5 and $10, but the quarter still doesn’t hold much more worth than face value. When investing in silver proof coins, though, it’s all about collectibility.
There’s a significant market for silver bullion coins. The price of silver has seen substantial gains in the past, and investors hope they can profit from similar moves. Proof bullion coins appeal to more than just investors, though, thanks to their demand among collectors.
In the case of silver proof coins, collectibility isn’t a theoretical value addition. For instance, a 2019 Silver Eagle proof coin with a Mint State (MS) of 70 sold for around $90 in October 2021. At the same time, its regular strike counterpart was only valued at about $60.
To put it simply, proof silver bullion offerings do hold more value.
Types of Silver Proof Coins
When you get into the world of silver coins, there are plenty of proof offerings to choose from. The value of these items can vary exponentially, though, due to purity, mintage numbers, and other factors. These are all important factors to consider when making a purchase.
Fortunately, premiums for silver proof coins are relatively stable. When you see bullion proof pieces selling for higher prices, it’s typically because there’s something special about them. Still, you can find many of the following offerings from the most reputable dealers:
- Chinese Pandas
- American Eagles
- Canadian Maple Leafs
- Mexican Libertads
- Canadian Lucky Loonies
- Perth Mint collector’s coins
- Private mint rounds
These are the first silver proof coins that most investors and collectors encounter. Fortunately for lovers of variety, they’re far from the only options available. Countries realized long ago that there was a high demand for proof offerings, so these strikings will likely be on the market forever.
Of course, even the best investments can turn costly due to mistakes. This is why it’s important to follow a few rules when buying silver bullion in proof strikes.
Get the Most From Your Investment
If you’re excited about buying silver proof coins, don’t let your exuberance result in common mistakes. If you’re not careful when purchasing these items, you could end up with a beautiful coin that you’ll never see a positive return on investment from.
The following strategies can help:
Reconsider Buying Rarities
Proof coins meant for the general public didn’t hit the scene until the 20th century. The U.S. Mint has struck proof coins, however, since at least the mid-to-early 1800s. This means there are some valuable rarities out there you could add to your collection.
When you buy rare silver proof coins, though, always remember you’re not investing in silver. The worth of these items rests in their rarity and numismatic value. They could still be great investments, but if you simply want bullion, it might be better to go another route.
Only Work With Reputable Companies
Whenever an item holds value, criminals are going to counterfeit it. This has been a growing problem for silver coins, but by working with reputable companies, you can avoid wasting money. Unfortunately, the urge to save a few dollars often overpowers reason.
Even if you find silver proof coins on a platform like eBay, it’s hard to guarantee their authenticity. Private sellers may have spent money on a fake item without knowing it, and they may be equally in the dark when reselling the item.
By sticking with reputable dealers, you’ll ensure the items you purchase are genuine.
Buy Coins With Authentication
High value items often come with a certificate of authenticity, and this is the case with many silver proof coins. When purchasing these bullion pieces, make sure you’re getting this authentication document. Items from reputable dealers are already guaranteed, but the certificate offers even more.
That’s because many buyers are going to want that certificate when you go to resell your item. If you come across two silver proof coins and only one has its certificate, there’s no doubt the authenticated item will sell for a higher premium. Unless a mint didn’t issue a certificate, you should always get one with your purchase.
Invest in Silver Bullion Today!
Proof coins are a different type of silver investment, so buying them requires different thinking. Fortunately, silver bullion coins are a great investment regardless of their strike type. When you opt for these coins, you’re merely getting an added measure of collectibility which could contribute to resell value.
When buying silver proof coins, though, it’s imperative to know what you’re getting. Counterfeit rounds and silver scams are happening far more frequently, so remaining vigilant when investing is imperative. This will help you safeguard your investment now and in the future.
At Silver Gold Bull, we think it’s important that bullion buyers get what they expect at a fair price. That’s why our product pages clearly signify if a coin is a proof strike, and our Best Price Guarantee ensures you’ll never overpay. Visit our Silver Bullion page right now to get started.