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Home >> Why Collect Silver Art Bars and Rounds?

Author: Gold Why Webmaster
Updated: September, 2010
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Silver Art Bar Obverse  
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To the left is a picture of the obverse (front side) of my Winter 1973 one ounce silver art bar. Today, I'm going to talk all about silver art bars and rounds. I cannot even begin to explain how excited I am. The more time I spend collecting precious metals and understanding the niches within precious metals investing and collecting, the more amazing things I find. I started out investing in gold bullion coins and stocks. They are still the anchor of my precious metals portfolio and I love them (yes, I am a true gold bug and always will be), but they have now acted as just a starting point. The doors to so many new and exciting niches within the hobby have been opening and again I must underscore that I am a true fan of silver art bars and rounds and see myself collecting and investing in them for many years to come. The purpose of this article is to provide an introduction to silver art bars and rounds in addition to displaying a gallery of my personal collection. It's small right now, but I plan to update this article over time with pictures of my personal silver art bar collection, all high quality of course. NEW: When you're done reading this article, make sure to check out my new video of my silver art bar and round collection!

What Are Silver Art Bars?

As you can see from the picture, silver art bars are rectangular silver bullion bars that contain artwork on them. Each silver art bar is a little different and contains a different picture. The one on the left, for example, contains a winter scene. It is part of a series of four different silver art bars that portray the different seasons of the year. While I just have the winter one right now, I hope to collect all four over the years. Most silver art bars contain one troy ounce of silver bullion, but again there is a lot of variety available among different bars.

The reverse side of silver art bars (see image to the right) typically show the mint which created the bar and the serial number. In this particular case, Coin-A-Rama minted my bar and it's serial number is 02179. From my research, it seems that most silver art bars are from the 70s and 80s. This particular one for example has it's date on the obverse: 1973. They were mostly produced in limited quantities. I read somewhere that each of these seasons silver art bars was only minted 5,000 times. Moreover, many silver art bars in general were melted for their silver bullion value during the high silver prices in the 80s. The quantity of silver art bars that remain today from these series are unknown, but we do know they are certainly rare.

What Are Silver Art Bars Worth?

Silver Art Bar Reverse
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The price of silver art bars is driven by two main factors. The first is the raw silver bullion value. The minimum value of a silver art bar is its raw silver bullion value (the current melt value of one troy ounce of silver bullion). The second driver of price is the rarity of the silver art bar and its popularity within the collecting community. This factor is more of a wildcard and is more difficult to interpret. Standard guides to exist that "price" these silver art bars, but at the end of the day the price is only what the highest bidder is willing to pay. From my research, these price guides are rare because this is a niche hobby. The most popular one is An Indexed Guide Book of Silver Art Bars by J. Archie Kidd and Steven M. Rood (5th edition). You may want to check out Amazon or eBay to see if you can pick yourself up a copy. I personally intend to buy a copy myself, but first want to collect some more silver art bars. Maybe after I own 10 or 20 art bars, I will venture out a try to buy a copy of this book. My personal investing and collecting strategy for silver art bars is to mentally think of their value as their raw silver bullion melt value and consider the premium above that money I am willing to pay for the beauty of the art on the bar. I like collecting stuff and to me it's worth the extra money to own silver bullion that also has a bunch of really neat artwork. This is of course the minimum value of the bar, but I am usually risk averse when mentally pricing the value of my bullion and collectibles.

Where Can I Buy Silver Art Bars?

River City Coins  
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When I type in "silver art bars" on Google, the first result is River City Coins. I did quite a bit of research and champion River City Coins to be the best source of silver art bars on the internet. It is the store with the most comprehensive and diverse supply of art bars (and rounds), in addition to great prices. Honest people run this store and their customer service is top notch. I ordered my winter 1973 silver art bar from River City Coins, in addition to my silver casino token round shown below. My experience was very positive and I will be buying more silver art bars from them because I trust them. My order shipped very fast with my art bar in a nice vinyl sleeve and my round also in a nice protective holder. Looking at River City's about us page, you can see that they've been in business since 1985 and have a lot to offer. This is the epitome of the reputable local coin shop. If you have been reading my site for a while, you will know that I have given a lot of positive reviews. I have been very lucky in my great choice of people to do business with, but must also say that I have had success because of the extensive research I do before spending my hard earned money. I recommend checking out River City Coins for sure. Interested in purchasing silver art bars or rounds from River City Coins? Please visit their website. Alternately, below is their contact information:
          River City Coins & Jewelry
          713 Broadway
          Cape Girardeau, Mo. 63701 USA
          Phone: (573) 334-1108
          Email: rvrcoins@swbell.net

What Are Silver Art Rounds?

Silver rounds are very similar to silver art bars, however they are round like coins. The best way to think of silver art rounds is your typical one ounce silver bullion coin, but issued by private mints with artwork on them instead of government issue. I really like rounds as well in addition to bars and have taken a particular liking to casino token rounds which were offered as special prizes in casino slot machines (back in the good old days when they dispensed real coins instead of everything being electronic). These casino tokens however are a little different than your typical silver art round because their silver content is less than one troy ounce and they also contain brass. The majority of silver rounds are just like your standard American Eagle Silver Coin, but issued by private mints with a diverse array of specialty artwork.

I'm Still Learning About Silver Art Bars

I just started out collecting silver art bars and plan to learn a lot more. This is a fascinating niche within precious metals and coin collecting. There is so much to learn and invite you to check out this hobby as well. It's perfect for someone interested in silver bullion with a unique collection aspect as well. I will be updating this article in the future with more information as I learn more about the hobby. Moreover, I will be uploading more images of my personal silver art bar and round collection below. Please enjoy!

Images of My Silver Art Bar and Round Collection

As you can tell, I'm really excited about silver art bars and rounds. Over the coming years, I hope to collect quite a few of them around my personal interests. I have created two new pages that contain images and information about my personal silver art bar and round collections. I will continue to update these pages as I purchase more silver art bars and rounds.
My Personal Silver Art Bar Collection
My Personal Silver Round Collection
New: You may also want to check out pictures of my Johnson Matthey Silver Bar.

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