New vs. Secondhand Silver Bars

Investment in silver is becoming more and more popular today as the relative usage and demand of silver is increasing. Investors looking to capitalize on the growing market are adding different form of silver to their portfolio. Large investors and investors that have been tracking silver for some time claim that bullion bars are the best form of silver to invest in.

Silver bullion is required by mandate to contain at least 99.9% percent silver, so you are investing in a very pure product. Having decided to invest in silver bullion bars, you may be wondering how to go about buying them. What brand should you buy? What size? Most importantly, should you buy silver bars new or secondhand?

Why Does It Matter?

When you’re looking to make any type of investment, it is best to be as knowledgeable as possible. While the silver purity rating of both new and secondhand bullion bars are the same, new bars in mint condition are more valuable than secondhand bars that actually look old and worn out.

You don’t want to hold a scratched bar and face problems later on of not being able to sell your investment for a profit. Similarly, when you’re looking into buying silver bars, know the benefits and downsides to a new and secondhand bar.

New Silver Bars

The most obvious benefit of buying a new silver bar straight from the mint is that it is guaranteed to be authentic.  You do not need to worry about the quality of the bar, and you can also be assured that the name of the manufacturer of the bar will carry weight. New bars come wrapped in plastic packaging, and are protected by any scratches or bruises from shipping and rough handling. These are shiny and aesthetically pleasing.

New bars are highly liquid and will fetch you a grand return when you do sell. When buying new bars, you will have to pay for fabrication costs, shipping costs, storage costs, insurance as well as any applicable premium over spot price. The associated additional fees are costly, making new silver bars one of the most expensive forms of silver investment. If you’re interested in an investment in silver bars, but don’t want to pay all of the extra costs, consider investing in secondhand silver bars.

Secondhand Silver Bars

Silver dealers can carry both new bars and secondhand silver bars. As these bars have had any number of previous owners, they are not in mint condition and so are sold at lower prices.  Associated premiums are not applicable to secondhand bars, and so the price you’re quoted is essentially spot price.

Because you’re not paying the extra fees, your investment is that much more cost-effective. Though you might be wary of purchasing secondhand bars, the risk of being duped is less than you’d think. Most of the older silver bars have serial numbers that make it easy to track down. If you’re buying from any knowledgeable silver dealer, he will have already done a thorough investigation into the history of the bar to verify its authenticity.

To protect his interests, a reputable silver dealer will only accept secondhand bars that are certified to be of high quality. Thus, you’re guaranteed to receive a high content bar at what is basically spot price.

Another benefit of secondhand bars is that some of the world’s coveted brands are not being produced anymore and are only available as secondhand. If you’re lucky enough to stumble upon an Engelhard bar or Johnson Matthey bar, you’re likely to pay a premium but you also hold in your hands a highly liquid and valuable bar that will fetch you a good return.