The Lowdown on Low Premium Silver | Budget Investor’s Guide

Posted - February 16, 2024
low premium silver

2024 is set to be a great year for silver. As prices for the metal continue to rise heading into second quarter of this year, a growing number of investors are turning to silver bars, coins, and rounds to build their precious metal portfolios. 

Finding low premium silver can be tough. Some of the most popular coins for silver stacking on the market are notorious for high premiums and exuberant total costs. If you’re a seasoned silver stacker, you know how frustrating it can be to get hit with crazy premium fees when you go to buy the newest American Silver Eagle or Maple. 

Here’s the good news: you don’t have to pay an arm and leg for your next silver investment. If you’re looking to build a sizable silver stack without breaking the bank, Hero Bullion’s staff can help you identify high quality low premium silver. 

In today’s Bullion Academy guide, we’re giving readers the lowdown on low premium silver. How do you find cheap silver? To find low premium silver investments, you’ll need to find the right products, compare prices across multiple dealers, and consider the total cost of your coins, bars, or rounds. 

Ready to save some money on the next addition to your growing silver stack? Keep reading! 

Background: What is a Silver Premium?

For our returning readers, feel free to skip on ahead past the next two subsections. Silver premiums are a pretty common discussion topic on this blog, so silver investing veterans might not need this info. 

But if you’re new to buying silver, you’ll need to understand the basics of how silver product prices are determined. 

The base price of a silver bar, coin, or round is always determined by the product’s melt value. This refers to how much money the product would be worth if it were melted down and only its precious metal content remained. 

If you have a 1 oz silver coin and silver is trading at $30 per ounce, you can expect the melt value for that coin to be $30. 

But as you’ll note as you take a look at Hero Bullion’s deals on silver coins, these items are always sold for more than the current spot price of silver. This is because silver coins, rounds, and bars are sold at a premium

Here’s what you need to know: precious metal premiums are additional fees added to the top of a product’s melt value. 

How Are Silver Premiums Determined? 

Silver premiums can vary based on a number of factors. Different dealers may sell their coins at varying premium prices, so you’ll want to shop around before settling on your favorite silver dealer. 

The type of product you buy can also influence how much of a premium dealers will charge for it. Low premium silver options like silver bars are easier to produce than coins, so they come with (generally) lower price tags. 

There’s a bit more at play here; market dynamics like supply and demand also contribute to the premiums you pay with every silver purchase. We won’t bore you with the details! The bottom line is that silver premiums are a big part of the industry, and finding low premium silver should be every stacker’s ultimate goal. 

Can You Buy Silver at Spot Price? 

It’s generally not possible to buy silver at spot price. Occasionally, online dealers like Hero Bullion may offer low (or zero) premium silver rounds or bars as part of a special promotion. But for the most part, expect to pay a premium on every silver product you buy – regardless of which product or dealer you choose to go with. 

That doesn’t mean you can’t save some money, though. Below, we’ll outline the cheapest types of low premium silver on the market. 

The Breakdown: Cheapest Types of Silver

Investment-grade silver is generally sold in three main forms: bars, coins, and rounds. All three of these product categories can be low premium silver – depending on how savvy you are while comparing prices and shopping around. 

Silver Bars – The Gold Standard For Budget Investing 

For low budget stackers and investors who don’t like high premiums, silver bars really are the gold standard. Low premium silver bars are pretty easy to find. This makes sense when you think about it, too. 

1 oz Silver Bars
1 oz Silver Bar – Any Mint, Any Condition

While silver coins and rounds often feature intricate, beautiful artwork, many of our silver bars are simple, direct, and straightforward in their art. This doesn’t mean silver bars are ugly – some investors actually prefer the classic look of a silver bullion bar. 

If finding low premium silver is your goal, silver bars are a premier option. 

Are Bars Cheaper Than Coins? 

Silver bars are usually cheaper than silver coins. There are some exceptions. If you take a look at some of the limited release or antique silver bars we sell, these products have bigger price tags than coins of a similar size. 

But for the most part, silver bars are the cheapest way to invest in low premium silver. Like we explained above, silver bars are usually simple and don’t feature the complex designs we find on coins like the British Silver Britannia. This decreased cost of production is kicked back to the consumer, resulting in great deals for budget silver investors. 

Best Silver Bars for Budget Investors

If you’re stacking on a budget, we recommend going with the simplest silver bars possible. Condition also plays a role in the amount of premium you’ll be asked to pay for a silver bar, coin, or round. 

To maximize your savings, you might consider going with Hero Bullion’s Any Mint, Any Condition (AMAC) Silver Bars. Offered in both 1 oz and 1 kilo, these bars come with some of the lowest premiums you’ll find anywhere. 

1 Kilo Silver Bar - Any Mint, Any Condition
1 kilo Silver Bar – Any Mint, Any Condition

How to Find Cheap Silver Coins 

Silver coins aren’t exactly known for their low premiums. In fact, some of the world’s most popular silver coins are sold at extremely high premiums. This shouldn’t be surprising. After all, silver coins appeal to more than just silver stackers; their demand comes from multiple sectors, and even collectors unconcerned with premiums love coins like the Canadian Silver Maple. 

Are There Low Premium Silver Coins? 

Still, it is very possible to find low premium silver coins. To stack silver coins without overspending, you’ll need to do some market research. 

Try to find those hidden gem coins, the ones with low demand and even lower premiums but high potential for numismatic value appreciation. This tip illustrates one of the big upsides of buying silver coins. 

While silver coins do have high premiums compared to silver bars and rounds, you often recoup at least a portion of your premium cost when you’re ready to sell. The American Silver Eagle, as an example, won’t ever go out of style. If you bought it at a markup, it’s also likely you’ll get the same markup from a buyer once you’re ready to sell. 

2024 1 oz American Silver Eagle Coin
2024 1 oz American Silver Eagle Coin (BU)

Low Grade Silver Coins 

If you really want to inject some value into your silver stack without overspending on premiums, consider putting your money into low grade silver coins. Cull coins are a popular option for low premium silver stackers. These coins aren’t the most attractive; they’ve been damaged or worn down over time. 

However, even the most worn-down silver coin in the world is still a silver coin! Dealers are often highly motivated to get rid of their cull or low condition silver coins, which means you can usually buy them at an absolute steal. 

If the appearance of your coin is less important to you than its pure silver content, low grade silver coins are an excellent choice for stacking low premium silver. 

Junk Silver and Silver Dollars

Junk silver is another great option for investors on the hunt for low premium silver. Junk silver refers to circulated silver coins with little or no numismatic value. Despite the name, junk silver coins aren’t junk at all. Until 1964, circulation silver coins in the United States contained a standard .90 silver content. 

Stacking junk silver can be a great way to save on silver premiums. Additionally, junk silver coins are fantastic collectibles that can add a classic look and appeal to your silver portfolio. 

Silver dollars are often used by stackers who prefer low premium silver. This one can get tricky. If you’re looking for low premium silver dollars, we recommend opting for common dates in relatively low condition. Rare silver dollars can sometimes cost thousands of dollars, making them a poor choice for budget stackers. 

Silver Rounds: A Potential Hidden Gem 

Silver rounds are the most volatile silver products when it comes to premiums. Some small mints sell their silver rounds for very small premiums over spot price. Other larger mints may charge an arm and a leg for premium, since they might only make a limited number of a popular silver round release. 

Finding Low Premium Silver Rounds

If you want to invest in low premium silver rounds, your best bet is to start doing some research! Compare prices across multiple different mints. Hero Bullion offers hundreds of silver rounds from mints around the world. Some of our silver rounds are sold at the lowest silver premiums you’ll find anywhere.

Be careful when buying silver rounds from new or very small mints. Make sure you trust the mint behind your round before buying a new investment. Hero Bullion carefully vets all of our low premium rounds to make sure our customers get only the finest silver. 

Silver Rounds Vs. Coins 

Silver rounds and coins might look similar, but there’s one important difference that you should be aware of. 

Don't Tread on Me 1 oz Silver Round (1)
Don’t Tread on Me 1 oz Silver Round

Silver coins can only be produced by a government mint, such as the United States Mint or the Royal Canadian Mint. Rounds, on the other hand, can also be produced by private mints. Hero Bullion even sells our own selection of hand-poured silver rounds to help you build your stack with rare, low premium silver. 

How to Find Cheap (Low Premium) Silver

To find low premium (and cheap) silver, you’ll need to compare prices from multiple dealers and factor in premiums and shipping costs. 

Comparing Dealer Prices

We always recommend that investors check prices across several different dealers. Price shouldn’t be the only factor you consider when shopping for low premium silver. A dealer’s reputation, shipping costs, and security should also contribute to which business you choose to work with. 

Mixing in a few local dealers can also help you get a better picture of low premium silver products in your area. Local silver dealers have a couple of important limitations. Namely, local dealers can’t offer the kind of variety that massive online operations can. Also, local dealers could sometimes charge higher premiums for their silver products to help offset the cost of running a brick and mortar store. 

Still, comparing prices across both online and local dealers can help you find cheap silver to add to your collection. Be sure to check out Hero Bullion’s selection. We offer some of the most competitive prices in the industry, and we’re especially proud of our extensive inventory of silver bars, coins, and rounds. 

Factoring in Premiums and Shipping Fees

Make sure to determine the total cost of your investment before buying your next silver product. Some online dealers may charge hidden fees, so take some time to confirm exactly how much you’re paying for your silver prior to checking out. 

Most reputable dealers should clearly display their premiums for a given product on its product page. Comparing prices for silver coins, rounds, and bars should be part of the fun of stacking silver rather than an annoying chore. 

Final Thoughts: Shop Low Premium Silver! 

In 2024, silver is slated to have a great year. Investors who want to find low premium silver should take careful stock of their options. If you do the right research, finding cheap silver for investing shouldn’t be difficult. Make sure to compare prices, find the right product, and determine the total cost of your investment before buying quality silver coins online! 

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About The Author

Michael Roets is a writer and journalist for Hero Bullion. His work explores precious metals news, guides, and commentary.