Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Silver Eagles vs. Silver Rounds!

A never-ending debate raging within the silver buying community revolves around the merits of owning American Silver Eagles (ASE's) vs. generic silver rounds. Despite the basic logic of one troy ounce of silver is one ounce silver is one ounce of silver, I believe the ASE's are clearly superior to rounds for trading for several market reasons.

Firstly, ASE's are minted by the US government. Silver rounds are minted by numerous private firms. Every American alive today has been raised with the notion that the only valid money is money minted or printed by the US government. Any privately minted items would be subject to inherent prejudice as counterfeits.

Secondly, the American Silver Eagles are uniform in design and weight since 1986. Americans are used to seeing the same basic pennies, nickels, dimes, quarters etc., for decades. Sure, the Mint will change the obverse portrait of Washington slightly and the reverse for the state issue quarters, but anyone can pick out US circulating coins fairly easily. Silver rounds, on the other hand, come in a bewildering number of designs from prospectors to easter bunnies, Santa Claus, and even a wizard (see above)!

Thirdly, the ASE's are one official US dollar. Some silver round proponents think that this assigned denomination will damage the ASE's buying power. However, based on historical hyperinflationary examples in Weimar Germany, Argentina and others, a silver dollar will trade for a lot more than the US paper ones.

Silver rounds will be more problematical because of the wide variety of pieces made. In addition, most companies go out of their way to describe their product as a round or medallion, not a dollar or a coin. The man behind the Liberty Dollar, Bernard Von Nothaus, didn't use the same care as other private manufacturers, and designed coins with recommended dollar denominations that appeared dangerously similar to US coins. As a result, he was recently found guilty of counterfeiting and faces fines, expropriation of millions of dollars of bullion, and 15 years in prison! At any rate, the non-denominational silver round will require a lot more selling and explaining by the prospective trader to convince the product vendor than an ASE holder will likely be required to do.

ASE's are selling for around a 10% premium currently, while rounds are averaging around 5% above the silver melt price. I guarantee that in a case of rampant hyperinflation you will not be sorry you spent the extra 5% over the generic rounds. Besides, I'd feel damn silly as a grown man trying to explain to some merchant why he should accept my coin with a wizard or a freaking Easter Bunny on it! That alone is worth an extra 5% in my book!

Time is running out fast! Hyperinflation seems unavoidable as fiat paper money is being printed as fast as the US presses can run. To protect your wealth and your family, buy gold and silver now from these top companies, APMEX Gold and Silver and Silver American Eagles.




  1. How do you feel about Sunshine Mint rounds and APMEX rounds?
    After reading this article, i'm thinking of diversifying my holdings a little bit to include ASE.

    -- Chris S

  2. When it all comes down you will come out much better if you are offering American Silver Eagles for trade instead of the generic silver rounds.

    I am sure you will need to offer trading discounts for rounds that are not common to the person you are trading with.

  3. He's rite I had over 50 rounds about 4 years ago I had no clue I would have trouble selling them back to coin shop but I did they had every exuse in the book there not popular there not us mint they have to many now and so on. So I ended up selling them at rediculisely under spot just to get some needed money. BUT they all said same thing if I had American eagles and not rounds they would have no problem buying them at or above spot .so the key is invest in something you can sell back witch is the American eagles none graded coins you dont need graded and hold them for a profit.

  4. When the government starts confiscating your silver and gold, they will going right for the gold/silver American eagles because they technically own them!! Unlike generic. Buy generic or risk losing all of your money.

    1. ^
      speaks the truth. Which is one reason I prefer the Canadian Maples. They have a great validation marking, USA does not own them and face value is $5.

  5. What about the new Sunshine Mint rounds with mint marks (holograms) on the reverse of them vs. the silver eagles. I feel it would be easier to prove that it is not a counterfeit from China.

    1. I am aware of the new Sunshine Mint rounds and applaud them for their business ingenuity. However, it takes me two minutes to explain pre-1965 silver coins to the average non-survivalist person. Trying to explain just what a private round is, and why one with a hologram is better, gives me a migraine just thinking about it. I love private enterprise, but I think in the mind of the average person money comes from the government. I explained to a ten y/o at a show why old dimes are better and he understood. I just don't have the energy or the will to try explaining holograms on privately minted rounds. Heck, a US Silver Eagle right know is in the same price ballpark as the new Sunshine Rounds. As far as counterfeits, don't even go there. You'll only open up a can of worms for the newbie.