Silver Bullion Coins & Bars

Silver Bullion Coins & Bars

How to Make Customized Silver Coins

There are many reasons why someone would want to make customized silver coins. Custom bullion has long been a fantastic option for gifts. During this holiday season, bullion enthusiasts all over the world will be buying customized precious metal coins, bars, and other items for their friends and loved ones.

Gifting is not the only reason to buy customized silver coins, either. Some business owners choose to market their company or cause using customized silver coins, like these Donald Trump coins minted with 999 fine silver. They can also help to commemorate special events in the lives of people, clubs and companies close to us.

Event coins are particularly popular. These coins are minted specifically to celebrate a given event, such as a graduation, the opening of a business, or an important anniversary.

Regardless of the reason, personalized silver coins are always a welcome way to celebrate or commemorate. Whether these coins are struck with gold, silver, or platinum, a one-of-a-kind bullion coin is unmatched when it comes to uniqueness and appearance. It’s hard to match the feel of a completely unique coin or medallion minted to your own specifications.

But having customized silver coins minted to order is harder than it looks! Personalized coins come in many forms, and different methods used throughout the design and minting process can dramatically impact the final product. No need to fear, though! Hero Bullion is here with a comprehensive guide to everything you need to know about how to make customized silver coins.

Whether you’re buying a simple coin with custom text engraving as a personalized gift or you’re looking to celebrate special occasions with a unique line of limited edition coins, we’ve got you covered.

Custom Silver Coins

Why Make a Customized Silver Coin?

Like we explained in the introduction, there are many different reasons why someone might want to create a completely unique silver, gold, or platinum coin. Generally, these coins are used to commemorate or celebrate some kind of event or milestone. Some races and other competitions offer minted coins to celebrate the event. Many companies give custom coins to their employees following major promotions or career milestones.

During this part of the year, one exceedingly popular use for customized silver coins is as a gift. Although the process is often expensive, few gifts are quite as memorable as a personalized coin. If you’re looking to absolutely wow someone during Secret Santa this year, look no further than the custom silver coin minting process.

Be warned: completely personalized silver coins are often very pricey because there are many steps in the process. Some mints will only do custom design orders on coins with a certain weight, which can get expensive. But even with smaller denominational coins, the process of designing, engraving, and individually minting a silver coin is relatively labor-intensive. This price is passed onto the consumer, making custom coin design a high-end process in the bullion sector.

A solid alternative for people who want a cheaper gift that still has the personalized feel of a customized coin is to look for companies that do custom engraving. This means that the coin itself will be pre-designed, but you can pay a bit extra and have a name, year, or some other message engraved into the bullion. This is often far cheaper than having completely customized silver coins made, as the cost of pressing a new design onto the coin is taken out of the equation.

Old Versus New School: Designing Silver Coins

The way we see it, there are basically two existing schools when it comes to the customized bullion coin design process. This is important; the method you choose for designing and minting your personalized precious metal coin or bar can impact everything from the appearance of the final product to the total price paid for the piece.

Newer methods of custom coin minting rely primarily on newer technologies, such as digital sculpting programs. These programs still require an artistic professional to oversee the design’s transition into a work of art. However, these newer technologies promise to speed up the process of unique coin minting, and they can also cut down on costs.

Some mints and artists prefer to do things the old-school way. Before the advent of new programs for digital sculpting, creating new coins from scratch involved working more closely with a sculptor. After rendering the initial design with the help of an artist, consumers would mail their design off to the sculptor, who would create a plaster mold using it.

Once the design part of the process has finished, both paths become much more similar. There are a few key differences between approaches to striking the design into an actual bullion coin, and we’ll outline those below.

Which is Better?

But when it comes to choosing the older or newer method of designing coins, there are advantages and disadvantages to each approach.

A few of the upsides to working directly with an old school sculptor:

  • Personalized touch.
  • Analog feel for a unique look.
  • Generally higher relief.

A growing number of people in the bullion community are turning away from the old method and toward more digitized processes. Here are a few of the main advantages of going with new models of custom coin creation:

  • Often cheaper total cost.
  • Speedier process.
  • Very few imperfections.

For the most part, this just comes down to personal preference. Some people love the feel and appearance of classically designed silver coins. Working directly with a sculptor allows you to tap into that artist’s skill set and develop a unique and beautiful piece. The analog feel of coins sculpted this way is also fantastic, and these coins can often be struck with more texture than modern digital sculpting processes allow for.

How to Make Customized Silver Coins

The obvious advantages to making customized silver coins using new technologies are its speed and cost-efficiency. Because these methods require less physical labor from a sculptor, consumers on a time crunch might tend to go with the new school of custom coin minting. People who aren’t big fans of small imperfections might prefer the digital, almost automated design process used by many contemporary mints.

Best Places to Buy Customized Silver Coins

There’s no shortage of places on the internet that offer to help people mint their own completely customized silver coins. Just a couple of considerations might make it easier for you to figure out which collectible coin company or mint is right for your special gift or project.

To start, getting a good idea of what a mint’s previous works look like. Generally, a mint or bullion distributor offering customized silver coins will have a gallery or portfolio where potential customers can look through the projects the company has completed in the past.

Try to get a good idea of what you like to see in customized coins. How much relief do you like? Do you prefer a specific kind of design on the edges of your coins? Starting with a comprehensive understanding of your project before searching for a mint capable of executing your ideal vision.

There are many different mints currently taking on customized silver coin projects. A few popular options include:

  • Golden State Mint
  • Intaglio Mint
  • Cut Saw Mint

Custom Coin Artists

If you’re willing to pay a little bit more, working directly with a reputed artist is also a fantastic way to mint personalized silver or gold coins. The big upside to seeking out an individual artist is that you’re sure to know exactly what you’re in for. Some of the best bullion sculptors in the United States have worked directly with the biggest mints, including the U.S. Mint itself. Their reputation precedes them, and you won’t have to look far to find brilliant examples of their work.

A few big names among the custom coin sculpting community:

  • Heidi Wastweet
  • Thomas S. Cleveland
  • Tom Rogers

This certainly isn’t a comprehensive list. The U.S. Mint has worked with a number of brilliant sculptors who have helped to pioneer memorable United States bullion designs over the past century. It also might be possible for you to work with leading artists outside of the United States.

Artists have a way of establishing a reputation for themselves. While mints are respected for their longevity and government backing, artists are known for the quality of their designs and the perfection of their sculptures. An artist’s portfolio provides a kind of guarantee concerning the quality and type of work they’re able to make for you.

As we said, this option comes with its own additional costs. But if you’re looking to create a coin with lasting value as a work of art, rather than just a store of silver bullion, commissioning a seasoned artist in the field is a great choice.

Start searching around to find artists whose work closely matches the vision you have for your custom coins!

Frequently Asked Questions About Customized Silver Coins

The custom silver coin design process is certainly a unique one. We’re here to answer some of the most commonly asked questions bullion collectors have about making customized silver coins.

Q: How much do customized silver coins cost?

A: This depends on several factors. Personalized coins will certainly cost more than the silver content of the pieces is worth. We suggest working directly with a mint or silver bullion company to figure out a quote for your project.

Q: What are personalized silver coins used for?

A: There are many different reasons companies, organizations, or individuals would have a unique silver piece minted. They’re sometimes used to celebrate major career or organizational milestones, such as new membership, promotions, leadership positions, and more. But a growing number of collectors are crafting their own coins to celebrate personal events, such as weddings, graduations, or retirements.

Q: Do custom coins make good wedding gifts?

A: We think so! There’s something extremely special about a one-of-a-kind silver bullion item. No two custom coins are made exactly alike, so using a coin to celebrate a once-in-a-lifetime event like a wedding seems extremely fitting, personal, and exciting.

Q: Are custom coins different from engraved coins?

A: There is a minor difference between these two kinds of coins. Custom engraved coins have already been designed; it’s only the engraving that’s added to an existing mold. Truly custom silver coins, on the other hand, are designed by the user from the ground up.

Q: Where can I buy custom silver coins?

A: Many leading private mints offer to make custom coins for customers. A few examples include Golden State Mint, Intaglio Mint, and Cut Saw Mint. We also recommend working directly with leading bullion sculpting artists, whose proven artistic visions might make your finished product as unique as possible.

The Bottom Line: Personalized Silver Coins

Customized Silver Coins

Custom coins have been considered incredible gifts for several centuries. While the process used to mint unique coins changes with new technology, the usefulness of these brilliant products remains unaltered. Custom silver coins can help to celebrate graduations, birthdays, marriages, promotions, and so much more. There’s clearly a reason why so many companies prefer customized coins as their go-to gift for rewarding faithful employees.

To secure the perfect personal coin for your event, it’s important to approach the process with a clear idea of your vision for the final product. Being able to communicate this vision with your artist throughout the design and minting process is essential to guarantee that the final coin looks as amazing as possible.

It’s easy to get lost in the weeds when looking for the best place to mint a custom silver, gold, or platinum coin. Looking through a mint or artist’s portfolio of previous works is a great way to ensure that their vision aligns with your own. Choosing whether you prefer the old school or the new school method of minting unique coins is another important factor in your approach.

At the end of the day, it’s hard to go wrong when you’re creating a personalized gift in the form of a customized silver coin. There’s a reason these items have always held such a special place in the hearts of gift-givers.

If you’re ready to take the jump and create your own silver coin, it’s time to develop your vision and begin the search for artists and mints!

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Gold or Silver as an Investment

Gold or Silver as an Investment?

The answer isn’t always straightforward when considering buying Gold or silver as an investment. Novice investors often find themselves confused about what to purchase with the overwhelming number of options available on the market. “Should I purchase a minted bar or stick with coins?” is one of many questions that arise when shopping for precious metals.

There’s another risk associated with these investments. Asking a gold or silver trader for advice is like going to insurance companies for financial information, leaving with an insurance product you didn’t want or need. Other dishonest dealers might trick you into buying collectibles with huge premiums and won’t retain its value.

Choosing gold or silver as an investment is easy if you list your requirements. Your needs differ from other investors; it’s sensible to have an idea about your requirements and needs, so you have the correct information to make the right investment decision. It’s essential to have a working knowledge of precious metals and their markets before stepping into unchartered territories. 

Here in this article, we will cover enough information so you can decide if Gold or Silver is the best investment for you. Let’s go back to the very beginning.

A brief history of Gold & Silver

Looking at the history of gold or silver can sometimes clarify your decision. Gold is one of the first [of five] precious metals initially discovered by man, extracting Gold “nuggets” from the ground and streams. Its rarity became a symbol of royalty and adopted quickly as a commodity used for jewelry. Due to its physical properties Gold replaced the barter system during 700 B.C., simplifying transactions using currency. 

Gold was mined by the Greeks, melted down by Egyptians, and technological strides perfected by the Romans, and became a bimetallic standard for minting money by the U.S. Congress in 1792. The discovery of Gold in the United States is known as the “California Gold Rush.”

Silver is another of the five metals initially discovered by man. Specific dates are unknown but trace back to the Sumerian city of Kish in 3000 B.C.; Greece and Anatolia, 4000 B.C. During the Greek and Roman civilizations, silver coins served as currency. After exhausting Mediterranean silver deposits, Central Europe became the leaders in silver production throughout the middle ages. 

As the Spanish conquistadors plundered across Europe for precious metals, the United States emerged as the frontrunners in silver production creating a global exchange through commodities trading until the 18th century. Today there’s a balanced distribution of silver around the globe; Peru and Mexico the leaders in production.

Gold to Silver Ratio explained

The gold/silver ratio helps identify an opportune time for their trade, purchase, or sale. In short, “how much silver will I need to purchase an ounce of Gold?” For a 15:1 ratio, you would need 15 ounces of silver to purchase one ounce of Gold.

Gold or silver as an investment

As the gap widens, silver becomes a favorable commodity and the purchase of precious metals shifts from Gold to silver. 

The ratio has fluctuated over the years, so let’s consider the trends in Gold or Silver prices.

Trends

Gold prices.  The price of Gold is a hedge against currency depreciation and inflation; making it relatively stable in the long run, although fickle at times. 

Measuring dollar value against Gold caused prices to slump to $236 per ounce due to dollar devaluation in 1970.  In 1980 its value rose to $1,762 per ounce. Investors moved towards Gold, seeking relief from high oil prices sparked by Afghanistan’s Soviet intervention and the Iranian revolution. 

In 2001, the price of gold (per ounce) was $381; in 2011, $1,544.63 – A 305% increase in 10 years. 

Silver is considered more volatile than Gold, seeing highs of $117 per ounce in 1980 and lows of $6.71 per ounce in 2001. Predicting the price of silver is a challenging feat. The ways silver is used vary greatly, creating a highly segmented market. Determining value among such differentiation is a task for the mathematician – maybe a magician. 

Still, people realized silver’s value proposition. From 2001 to 2011, prices soared, resulting in a 547% total increase ($6.72 per ounce in 2001 and $43.48 per ounce in 2011) – a significant rise in 10 years. 

Economic conditions have a considerable impact on investments, and the 2008 financial crisis influenced the movement from stock investment toward a stable alternative – precious metals. The crisis period gave way to increased prices of Gold or silver like never before.

Comparison of the last decade (May 2011 to May 2020)

When trying to compare gold or silver as an investment it is important to look at the relationship between Gold and silver (the ratio concept) in the last decade is apparent in the graphs. 

Gold dictates the price of silver. As you follow the graph, you’ll notice silver prices decrease as Gold prices increase despite minor fluctuations, indicating Gold’s long-term stability; silver, on a steady decline. 

Let’s compare the market trends from 2013 to present-day 2020. The value of Gold increased by 21.7% – $1308 in June 2013, and $1593 in March 2020. Silver’s value decreased by 34.2% in price per ounce – $21.37 in June 2013 and $14.06 in March 2020.

Modern uses of Gold & Silver

According to a Sunshine Profits report, physical Gold is estimated at 190,000 tons, nearly 6.1 billion ounces; a  $7.3 trillion total market worth, calculated using 2018 market values. 

In the last three years, gold prices have reached new highs pushing the total market worth well over reports previous.

Some modern-day uses for Gold or silver will help explain the high demand and low supply. 

According to Statista, 52.44% of mined Gold went to jewelry production during 2018; 9.12% used in the manufacturing of Gold bars and coins; due to its conduction efficiency, another 9.12% utilized in electronic components like switches and connectors and 6.54% used in the aerospace industry.

Looking at silver, Sunshine Profits report an estimated 780,000 tons, approximately 25.1 billion ounces of physical silver for a total market worth of $3.5 Trillion, calculated using 2018 market values. 

Silver prices remained steady in the last three years, sustaining minimal fluctuation, amounting to a $3.5 trillion market value worth. Below, a view of modern-day uses for silver.

According to Statista, in 2018 the majority of the silver produced (42%) was used for industrial electronics – an excellent thermal and electronic conductor; brazing alloys, batteries, dentistry, glass coatings, LED chips, medicine, nuclear reactors, and photography. 16% of the supply is used in jewelry, 13% for the production of silver bars and coins, and 4% for silverware production. 

Benefits and Challenges to owning physical Gold & Silver

Now that we’ve gone over the history, trends, and modern uses of precious metals, let’s get down to brass tax (pun intended) – the main advantages and disadvantages of Gold and silver. 

Gold- Pros and Cons

Higher stability over silver

Risk-averse investors prefer less volatile Gold over silver. In 2019 the Gold supply amounted to 120 million ounces, with a total retail value of $192.6 billion. Silver, however, amassed 1 billion ounces with a lower retail value [in contrast] of $16 billion. Slight changes in silver prices disrupt the market, while Gold short in supply, is minimally reactive and steady. 

Silver has the potential to be an ally for investors. In the bear market (decline), silver prices take a deeper dive than Gold. However, silver is a raging bull and reigns supreme over Gold, when the market rises.

Widely recognized

Gold is one of the most widely recognized metals. Aside from its use in jewelry, Gold replaced the ancient barter system. It’s association to rarity and wealth in times past, it has slowly become mainstream making its way into consumer products, electronics, even human consumption.  

Comes in different shapes and sizes

Gold is an excellent option for investors because it comes in different sizes, shapes, and forms. Too, variations in form such as pure yellow Gold, white, and rose Gold present style choices. It appeals to investors and collectors on the enthusiast spectrum, making it an ideal option for investment. 

Easy to establish value

Gold is quantifiable and it’s monetary value is established easily – spot-price x weight. Use the current spot-price per ounce, and multiply by gold weight. 

If the spot-price per ounce of Gold is $100, and you have two ounces of Gold, the total value is $200. Click now to view the spot price of Gold and see what yours is worth! 

Buy and sell almost anywhere

Gold is considered a highly liquid asset. Due to its popularity, prestige, and recognition, it’s sold and purchased easily at jewelry stores, pawnshops, banks, and the online market.  

Store of value in a small space

The price of Gold per ounce is considerably higher, but easier to store than silver.

Small pieces can be expensive

Not everyone has the means to invest in Gold. More rare than silver, one ounce comes at a hefty price tag; A one-tenth ounce American gold eagle is roughly $200.

Durability

It’s the most malleable of all metals, soft enough to change shape under pressure. Jewelry consisting of Pure Gold scratches easily and cannot withstand the stresses of everyday wear, affecting value. Often gold is mixed with alloys to add strength, compromising product quality. 

Insurance and safe storage

Storing the commodity of gold or silver presents some challenges. You can keep it in a shoebox at home (we don’t recommend it), in a safety deposit box, or a third-party storage firm. Each poses advantages, and natural concerns.

Storing gold or silver at home keeps it within reach should you need it quickly; however, if you lose a Gold bar, it’s probably gone for good. They don’t come with certificates of replacement for a small administrative fee. Too, there’s the potential for reduced liquidity. Gold or silver bars need refining [increasing your expenses] before selling. 

Many prefer to pay the annual fee for a deposit box. It’s secure, and access is strict and procedural. However, access is limited to bankers hours. In a situation demanding liquid cash, fast, make sure the immediate need occurs between the hours of  9 a.m and 5 p.m, Monday through Friday.

And, the contents of your box isn’t insured automatically. Your friendly neighborhood bank is not that friendly. Plan on purchasing insurance; it’s often pricey.

A depository is behind door number three. Investors get a healthy geographical and political diversification of assets. It provides great liquidity, sells quickly, with funds wired to your account the following day.

Trouble ensues should the private firm go bankrupt. “In a serious relationship” one day, to “it’s complicated” in the next. Like a social media status, but a much bigger deal. 

Silver- Pros and Cons

A more affordable way to invest in precious metals

The price-per-ounce for silver is relatively inexpensive and more affordable than Gold or silver, making investments possible for those in every income bracket.

Just like Gold, silver has outperformed the broader commodities market and delivered substantial gains upwards of 16% from Q4 2018 through February 2020.

Many widely recognized coins and bars available at low premiums

Silver offers many options. Intricate, well-designed coins high in purity, have a higher premium compared to other silver products. Market availability for low premium coins allows you to make more money during price increases.  

The same goes for silver bars. The bigger the bar, the smaller the premium. It costs the refiner just as much to produce a silver kilo bar as it does a 1-ounce bar.

Many places to buy and sell 

Silver is widely accepted and favored. It’s purchased, sold, and traded easily online, through brokers, local pawn shops, or obtaining precious metals motifs (investing in a group of mining companies with a single purchase).

Easily divisible

Silver is easily divided, perfect for the barter systems in many ancient civilizations. A silver dime has only 0.0715 ounces of silver, roughly about $1.10. 

Requires a larger storage space than Gold

Storage becomes a concern for any investor purchasing silver. 

Tarnishes/oxidizes without proper care 

Over time, silver goes through a chemical reaction that leads to tarnishing. Consider your kitchen cutlery. Does it have a black film that won’t wash off? It needs polishing, then stored correctly, without high humidity and heat. 

Maintenance and protection becomes time consuming (and a hassle for some) if you have flats of silver lying around. 

Generally higher premiums 

Purchasing more than $1,500 worth of gold or silver comes at a higher premium percentage than Gold of the same value. Based on spot-price, investments of $1,500 or less, are best suited in silver. If you plan on spending more than $1,500, you’re best suited to invest in Gold. Silver premiums increase in concert with amount spent.   

The wrap-up

Main points to pocket when considering Gold: 

  • Gold is less volatile than silver
  • It’s widely recognized 
  • Value determined easily 
  • Stores well in small spaces
  • Available in multiple sizes 
  • Many places to buy and sell. 
  • The commodity is expensive to purchase and insure 
  • Malleable, soft precious metal

Main points to pocket when considering silver:

  • Silver is more affordable, can get at 
  • Lower premiums, 
  • Easily divided  
  • Bought and sold at many places 
  • Requires more storage space than Gold 
  • Tarnishes if not stored correctly
  • Generally has a higher premium percentage than Gold 

Some have a higher risk appetite and invest in one bullion type for more significant gains; it’s a matter of preference and financial ability. Most investors have some of both precious metals, creating a well-rounded and stable portfolio that stands up to enduring economic uncertainties and an ongoing pandemic.

There’s no time like the present to diversify your investment strategy with the secure purchase of premium, authentic precious metals. 

If you’re an investor or collector trying to decide between gold or silver or a seasoned precious metals enthusiast, or just getting started, we can help. 

Browse through our selection and take the first step towards future investments with the click of your mouse (or a tap on your mobile device). 

We hope this article removes the confusion or hesitancy keeping you from exploring investor and collector’s grade, fine Gold or silver.

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