Tuesday, January 11, 2011

10 Beautiful Silver Products

I thought I’d do something different for a change and discuss what I think are the most beautiful silver products. After all it might be many years until we hit our personal target prices so why not have an investment product whose beauty we can appreciated while we wait. This also gives us all a chance to see a few things not in our own collections. I encourage you to comment with links of beautiful things I’ve missed.

I’m not going to put these 10 items in any particular order as that just leads to petty arguments.

Scottsdale Silver’s Stacker-

I think this is a relatively new product and I can’t tell you how much I love the bevelled shape and utility of these uniform stacking silver bars. These are available in both a 10 and 100 oz bar and I’d love to add either size to my collection. I do wonder however if there is any wear or abrasion between the bars when you stack them, or do they have an adequately loose fit.

First Majestic Silver- 1 Kilo

You might not want an entire collection of these matt finished bars but as a contrast to all the high gloss products you already own I would highly recommend this product with its subdued sandblasted finish. The quality of First Majestic products is excellent but this is the only piece they make that stands out in terms of design and looks. I own many of their rounds and a few small bars but I’m not that in love with their design, this bar is the exception.

Wall Street Mint-

I can’t say that I add any extra sentimental value to this product due to the Twin Towers on the New York sky line but this is still a pretty bar. They came in 10 and 100 oz bars.

Mexican Libertad

Americans have far more exposure to the Mexican mint products than we do here in Canada and that’s a shame. The Mexican mint has quality products and absolutely stunning designs such as the Silver Libertad shown here. I’m sure it varies by year and demand but they have been released in 1, 2 and 5 ounce sizes as well as normal finish and proof.

As you can see here there is also an older design Libertad and while not anywhere near as attractive it’s certainly worth having both to compare.

Silver Canadian Maple

The Maple is a high quality coin with a simple bold image that is not lost in the clutter like many other coins or rounds. Production began in 1998 and coin has the distinction of a higher face value ($5 Canadian) and higher purity than many of its contemporaries 99.99%. There have been 3 different images of the Queen during its years of productions, small runs with special privy marks and 1 year where a 10oz version was sold to commemorate 10 years of production. sadly I missed one of these 10 oz coins on an eBay auction a couple of years ago failing at the time to realize how rare they were.

Australian Kookaburras

This is a nice series of coins with different Kookaburra images each year available in 1oz, 10oz and 1 kilo sizes. Some years images are better than others, premiums on this side of the ocean are high but it’s still a great addition if you want to enjoy the beauty of your investment

Silver Britannias

Some years I really like the images on these coins, other years not so much. I do however like coins that change it up and give you new images even if they can’t get it right every year.

Sunshine Mint

These bars have a good bulky look and a nice design that contrast the detailed coin like area with the brilliantly shiny back ground

Pan American bars/rounds

I really like the simplicity of design and the fetching contrast between the matt and shiny finish. It’s interesting to note that Northwest Territorial Mint makes these lovely Pan-Am products yet their own NWT branded bars/rounds are not attractive at all. In the end manufacturing quality does not matter if the design sucks.

Eagle/Peace Dollar

I’m not adding the American Silver Eagle and I know readers will shit all over me, too bad! I know it’s very popular and many people talk of its beauty but I just don’t like the design. I find the Eagle cluttered around Liberty’s head because of the flag and the bundle of crap over her left shoulder and to my eye they never look struck quite deep enough to give adequate contrast unless you get the proof coins. The proof works the normal coin does not. I also begrudge praise to a high end coin that wimps out by only using 99.9% silver.

Now a Peace Dollar with a nice patina is a beautiful coin suitable to be on the list, to bad you have to pay such a premium to buy one. Perhaps they should revamp the Eagle with this old image. The bird side of the Eagle is quite nice, just replace the cluttered Liberty

Beauty is in the eye of the silver-holder

When it comes down to it, sometimes it’s not the perfection of design that makes a particular product your favorite. While I see the beauty in all these products some of my favorite hunks of silver are odd shaped hand poured ones or the rare 10 oz Bache bar I picked up on EBay very early in my silver fixation. The Bache bar was uncommon, somewhat different in shape and was a piece of the Hunt Brothers story making it a favorite even if its not as shiny and pretty. I’ve never taken a good picture of my Bache bar but I found this little thumbnail online.