Historically considered by many to be the most accessible and affordable precious metal, silver is always a great addition to any coin collection. Prized for their beauty as well as their investment potential, silver coins have a long history in the United States. Here is just a sampling of the coins you might wish to obtain:
American Eagle Silver Bullion Coins - Each containing at least one ounce of pure silver, these one-dollar coins were first minted in 1986, and then every year since then. They feature a design based on "Walking Liberty," created by Adolph Weinman in 1916 for the half dollar.
Walking Liberty Half Dollar - struck at Philadelphia, San Francisco, and Denver between the years 1916 to 1947, this is the original design that was later updated for the American Eagle Silver Bullion Coin.
Morgan Silver Dollar - Struck from 1878 to 1904, this one-dollar coin features a design by George T. Morgan. One more minting of this coin occurred in 1921. Uncirculated coins from this series can be hard to find.
Standing Liberty Quarter - Designed in 1916, this coin's artwork is considered one of the best in the history of American coins. It features Miss Liberty on the obverse, and an eagle with wings spread open on the reverse side.
Mercury Dime - So named because of the wings on the cap worn by Miss Liberty, this coin was struck between 1916 and 1945. It has the distinction of being the only silver coin minted in 1931, during the Great Depression. The design was created by Adolph Weinman, who also designed "Walking Liberty."
Investing in silver goes back for thousands of years, dating to the Mesopotamian traders who used silver as currency. Ancient Greek drachmas were made of silver, as was the traditional Roman denarius. The English monarchy continued the tradition of trading in silver currency, and even the name, pounds sterling, signifies its original makeup.
As an investment vehicle, silver is often looked to as a hedge against hard times. Investors should be aware, of course, that any investment has the potential for loss as well as gain, and should proceed with caution and sound financial advice from reputable advisors. Historically, silver tends to be a volatile investment, so a cool head is needed to ride this market. Recent spikes in the market have caused even more uncertainty.
Coins made from silver were minted by the US from 1792 through 1964. They have been minted in silver dollars, half dollars, quarter dollars, twenty cent pieces, silver dimes, silver half dimes and silver three cent pieces.
Silver bullion coins are available from a number of countries, including the stunning Canadian Maple Leaf, the friendly Australian Kookaburra, the China Panda coin, the Silver Monkey from Somalia, pure one ounce coins from Mexico, the beautiful Elephant coin from Zambia, and the Britannia bullion coin.
Experts recommend that you use the services of a coin broker when investing in silver coins. This will assure you that the coins you are buying are authentic and worth the price you are paying. Make sure any coins you purchase are graded by one of the leading grading services. PCGS (Professional Coin Grading Service) and NGC (Numismatic Guaranty Corporation) are two leading grading houses, and will assure you that the coins you hold are graded to the highest industry standards.
Most likely, silver will always be among the premier trading commodities. Invest carefully, and do your homework before you choose. Always deal with only reputable brokers, and be sure that your silver coin purchase comes with the appropriate authenticity verification.