Every other day you would hear about investment advisors recommending to take an exposure in Gold or Silver using an ETF or buying phisycal metal. A lot of investors prefer buying gold or silver bars instead of putting money in an ETF as the ETF’s have management fee and usually trail the bullion price on any given day.
For those who prefer holding phisycal gold or silver buying the Collectible Bullion coins would be a good idea. Most leading mints issue .999 purity silver coins every year and varying variety of Gold coins from 22kt purity Krugerrands to 24Kt Chinese pandas.
These bullion coins are minted in limited quantities each year and cater to both the collectors and investors market. The coins are usually at a premium to the silver price for the minting charges, transportation and insurance costs.
One would ask that why should they pay a premium for a coin and not buy simple bullion bars?
Yes one could buy the bars but even the bars come at a premium to the spot silver price i.e. include the cost of mintage (shaping silver to a bar), the process of making a bar is simpler which results in a smaller charge.
The differential between the price of a Bar and a coin of similar weight is around 5% but coins come with a potential of collection value as they are minted in limited quantities for each year, with the year mark and are usually sold out even before the year ends – The 1 oz. Australian Lunar coins bearing the dragon for 2012 have already been sold out!!
Additionally the coins are equivalent to a piece of art and carry aesthetic value.
The mintage of the popular Silver bullion coins is listed below
Silver Kiwi Fern – avg 10,000 each year – 1oz. Fine Silver
Australian Kookaburra – 300,000 2011, maximum 500,000
Canadian Maple – 3,526,052 in 2009
American Eagle – 34,662,500 in 2010
So think about buying these coins as investments in silver or gold – a bar minted in say year 2000 would have a small premium over silver price of the day but a coin that was minted in 2000 would always command a bigger premium than the bar.