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coins, bars or rounds

Which is better to buy and to have on hand for both investment purposes and to use for money/trade in the future. Would it be wise to buy pre-1964 U.S. dimes and quarters or to buy .999 silver bars (5/10 gram) or 1ounce silver rounds from silver manufaturers?

Coins are silver-alloy rounds made by government agencies. Privately owned mints cast 99.9% pure silver into a wide range of shapes including rounds. A 1964 US silver dollar is a 1-ounce round of 90% pure silver. Because of their shape, they sell at a significant premium over quarters of the same manufacture. There is nothing really special about them to warrant the premium.

That US currency will soon turn to dust is certain. Nothing can survive prolific printing press like the recent Federal Reserve and US Treasury have been operating. What they hope we will turn to is The Rube or other world currency. While they can force it on is in markets they control, these things always beget black markets.

It is the unofficial market that most of us are holding our silver for. Of course its value in current market conditions continues to rise. 90% silver coins and 99.9% silver rounds either hold steady while paper currencies fluctuate on a downward path or climb relative to those paper currencies, depending on your perspective.

Whether to buy pure silver rounds or government-issued silver alloy rounds is a personal guess based on gut-feel and your crystal ball. I think a good, solid inventory of US pre-65 dimes and quarters are the first step. They carry no premium over spot prices and are well known for their value. Once you get tired of counting those little buggers, adding in some 90% half-dollars is a good idea.

When it comes time to add full-ounce coins, I am less excited about US coins and the “collectible” premium they carry and start to like privately minted 1-ounce rounds of pure silver.

As a related aside, having a good quantity of current $2 nickel rolls is also a good idea. They contain nearly 5 cents worth of nickel at today’s exchange rate, and will forever have that known content – which will help buy things that are cheaper than a silver dime. Storing them now is insurance against short term as well as long term need, as you can always take them to the store for a dozen eggs if a paycheck doesn’t arrive on time.

Even the humble, cheap zinc-copper penny will be worth more than a paper dollar someday soon. But between now and then there will be gallons of them available for free.