Sunday, March 29, 2009
Buffalo Silver Rounds
Buffalo silver rounds are some of the most popular silver investment items being sold today. Like American gold buffalo coins, their design is based on the Indian Head nickel, also known as the Buffalo nickel, which was minted between 1913 and 1938.
Buffalo silver rounds are not produced by the US Mint, but rather by a private mints, with the most popular version being produced by the Wall Street Mint. They have no official connection with either the Indian Head nickel or the American gold buffalo coin, but is rather inspired by their design.
On the obverse of the Wallstreet mint issued round is a portrait of a Native American man along with the word "LIBERTY" at the top right edge. On its reverse is an image of a buffalo, along with the purity and fineness listing of ".999 FINE SILVER" along the top edge above the buffalo, along with the weight description "ONE TROY OUNCE" below the buffalo at the bottom of the coin. It has a diameter of 37 mm.
If you don't buy directly from mints or reputable dealers, be careful of fake buffalo silver rounds. I have heard reports of fakes made of silver plated copper, which can be spotted by their marking of ".999" or ".999 FINE" instead of ".999 FINE SILVER". Real silver 1 oz. rounds weigh 31.103 grams, but the fakes weigh 3-4 grams less than that.
Since they are not officially minted bullion coins but rather silver rounds, silver buffalos can be bought at significantly lower premiums than officially minted silver coins like the American silver eagle. They will, of course, sell for a lower price to, and since they are not world famous like silver eagles they may not be as immediately liquid. But silver bullion is silver bullion, and buffalo silvers are an efficient way to invest in silver at prices close to spot.