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Guide for buying silver bars in Australia

Investors who buy silver bullion bars are typically seeking low cost exposure to the underlying silver price. This article explores some of the considerations for a new investor buying silver bullion bars.

Types of silver bullion bars:  cast vs. minted

Silver bars come in two different forms:  cast silver bars and minted silver bars. As the name suggests cast silver bars are rough poured into a metal casting. The majority of silver investment bars sold across the world are cast silver bars. They typically have the lowest silver price premium to spot. The silver bullion weight and purity are accurate but the finish can be variable with small imperfections. In contrast minted silver bars are aesthetically pleasing with a high quality coin like finish. They are produced from rolled silver sheets and pressed into shape with extreme weight. Due to the additional processing, minted silver bars sell for a small premium over cast bars. They also come in premium security card packaging. As a general rule silver bullion bars above 1kg will be cast and below will be minted. In Australia, the two main selling cast bars are the Suisse PAMP 1kg silver bullion bar and the Perth Mint 1kg silver bullion bar. The Suisse PAMP 1kg silver bullion bar meets international standards and therefore comes with assay certificates and individual serial numbers stamped on each bar. The Perth Mint 1kg silver bullion bar is produced primarily for the Australian market so does not have international accreditation, assay certification or serial numbers. The top selling silver minted bar is the Suisse PAMP 1oz silver bullion bar.

Silver bullion bar weight and purity: Divisibility, tradability and recognition

Silver bullion bars can be purchased in a variety of sizes and weights, ranging from one ounce minted bars to 1,000 ounce cast bars. All BULLIONMARK silver bars are 999 purity or above.

It seems entirely rational that when buying silver bullion you should seek to obtain the most silver bullion you can get for the lowest silver price. Broadly this is true but there are some important considerations before you go and buy silver bullion in the low premium 1000oz bar form:

  1. Exit strategy: Start with the end in mind. Your goal is to obtain maximum returns when you sell, not simply lowest price when buying. You are effectively warehousing silver today for sale at a higher price sometime in the future. Deciding the target market for the future sale has an important influence in your purchasing decisions today. Some questions you should consider are “who will I be selling to in the future? What form will be demanded? Will I want to sell all at once or in smaller lots? How easily can it be transported? Owning the products that will have the greatest demand at your exit point is important.
  2. Portability:  One of the challenges with owning silver bullion is that it is so cheap you get a lot of metal for your money. You have to think about the practicality and cost of moving your silver bars when it comes time to exit. Many clients who have purchased larger bars regret this decision. They are problematic for many people to lift by themselves and almost no carrier will transport them. In addition dealers often mark down buy back rates because of the transport difficulty and low sales rates. Buying 1kg silver bars is a far more practical solution and the premium paid is negligible if you buy in bulk lots.
  3. Divisibility:  Many investors have visions of silver prices jumping to a $500 per oz or even $1000 per oz at some stage in the future. Whilst that is not our house view it is important to consider the implications of this scenario when buying silver today. Let’s say you buy a 1000oz bar today because it is the lowest silver price premium to spot. If silver jumped to $1000 per oz that is now a $1million dollar lump of silver! What if you only want to sell down a portion? It is not really feasible to slice it up into $10,000 chunks. Certainly your buyer would prefer a recognisable form in tradable condition. It is far easier to pay a small premium up front for a more practical size silver bar.

  4. Tradability:  Consider internationally accredited bars with a purity of 999, serial numbers and assay certificates. Internationally accredited bars are often better quality due to superior manufacturing capability and quality control standards enforced by the LBMA. The absurdity of Australian GST legislation means that international reputation and purity are very important for local Australian silver investors. Bars must be internationally recognised and have a 995 purity or higher to avoid GST. BULLIONMARK’s Perth Mint silver bars and PAMP Suisse silver bars are 999+ purity and therefore avoid GST.

About the Silver bars sold by BULLIONMARK

PAMP Suisse Silver Bars

Available in 1oz, 10oz and 1kg

From Geneva, Switzerland, PAMP Produits Artistiques Metaux Precieux (artistic, precious metals products) is the world's leading independent refiner of precious metals. Known as the "Rolls Royce" of bullion, PAMP is the world leader in London Good Delivery bullion, the benchmark in international tradability. PAMP bars have an unparalleled finish and shine, and come with certificates of authenticity. These bars are perfect for the serious investor.

The Suisse PAMP 1kg cast silver bullion bar is our top selling silver bar. These LMBA accredited bars come with and assay certificate, are stamped with serial numbers (ideal for SMSF investors) and come in convenient stackable plastic cartons of 15 silver bars.

Small minted bars produced by PAMP Suisse provide retail investors with a great alternative to silver coins. They have a high quality finish and added collectability with unique designs including the world famous Fortuna decorative motif. Each bar is individually packaged in a tamper proof security card with serial number and assay certificate. They come in storage trays of 25 silver bars.

Perth Mint Silver Bars

Available in 10oz, 1kg, 100oz and 1000oz

Opened in 1899 the Perth Mint is Australia’s oldest mint. It has an international reputation for the highest quality gold and silver coins. Its wholly owned affiliate, Perth Mint refineries (also known as AGR Matthey) produces a range of gold and silver bullion bars sold in the domestic Australian market.

The 10oz, 1kg and 100oz silver bars are stamped with The Perth Mint logo but do not carry serial numbers or come with assay certificates. The 1,000oz silver bullion bars are typically stamped with the AGR Matthey or Perth Mint brand mark and include a serial number. The 1,000oz bars are recognised by the London Bullion Market Association (LBMA).

Please feel free to contact us or call 1300 600 629 for more information about buying silver bars.

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