Silver is an excellent investment instrument that has been valued for centuries. It has a history of over 4,000 years that stands as a testament to its worth. It has served as currency and a store of value. Some countries produce bullion and collector coins, like the American Silver Eagle, at face value. Millions of Canadian Silver Maple Leaf and American Silver Eagle coins are the most popular silver coins and are bought as investments each year.

Introduction to Silver Coins

Silver coins are categorized as fine silver or junk silver. Fine silver coins, like the one-ounce, 99.99% Canadian Silver Maple Leaf, and the 99.93% American Silver Eagle. These most popular silver coins are minted by governments and often enjoy special taxation treatments due to their legal tender status.

Junk silver denotes silver coins without a numismatic premium. In the United States, this includes pre-1964 90% silver dimes, quarters, and half-dollars. $1 face value contains 0.715 troy ounces (22.2 grams) of fine silver. Also, some Kennedy half dollars from 1965-1970 and certain 1976 quarters have a 40% silver composition, while “War nickels” from 1942-1945 contain 35% silver.   

History of Silver Coins

The history of Silver coins started around 600 BC when the first coins were made in Lydia, Asia Minor. They were made of a mix of gold and silver called electrum. This coin idea spread quickly to nearby places like Aegina, where Greeks mostly used silver coins. The Greeks traded these coins throughout the Mediterranean.

When the Romans took control of Italy, they first made silver coins and later switched to denarius as their main coin. In the East, Parthians made steady silver coins, but after being overthrown by the Sassanians in 226 AD, Persia started making thin, spread fabric silver coins until the Arab conquest in the 7th century AD.

In the Arabian Peninsula, after Muhammad’s Constitution of Medina in 622, the Caliphate started using Sassanian drachms as silver coins. In medieval Europe, Silver sceattas and pennies were common. When silver came from the New World in the Early Modern period, standardized coins were made. In the Americas, Spanish silver coins became widely used internationally. In the United States, silver coins were made until 1964. Commemorative and bullion coins, while legal tender, are not meant for everyday use.

Most Popular Silver Coins

Here are some of the most popular silver coins that you can invest in:

1) American Silver Eagle- United States Mint

American Silver Eagle

Authorized by the Liberty Coin Act of 1985, American Silver Eagle has been available since 1986 in bullion, proof, and burnished options. The history started in 1986 with 1 Troy oz, .999 purity, and $1 (USD) face value. Lady Liberty is on the obverse, and the heraldic eagle is on the reverse, a design consistent since 1794. Proof American Eagle Silver coins, introduced in 1986, had a production pause in 2009 due to high demand. Burnished coins, introduced in 2006, were suspended in 2009 and 2010 but are back in production. 

2) Canadian Silver Maple Leaf- Canadian Mint

Canadian Silver Maple Leaf

The Canadian Maple Leaf silver coin is minted annually by the Canadian Government with its high quality 99.99% silver content. The obverse side depicts the current monarch of Britain. The reverse side has a detailed illustration of a Maple Leaf. The Canadian Maple Leaf Silver coins, first minted in 1988, have seen various editions like the 25th-anniversary edition, colorized versions, gilded options, and the Magnificent Maple Leaf. Introduced in 2014, security features include precision-engraved radial lines and a micro-engraved laser privy mark beneath the sugar maple.

3) South African Silver Krugerrands- South African Mint

South African Silver Krugerrands

The first-ever South African Silver Krugerrand was introduced in 2017 on the 50th anniversary of the Krugerrand series. President Paul Kruger’s image graces the obverse, and the reverse features the Springbok antelope, a native species. The Silver Krugerrands coins were produced with a unique Premium Uncirculated condition with luster and detailed engravings. The 2017 Silver Krugerrand had a limited mintage, and a proof version with a small privy stamp was also available. These most popular silver coins feature 1 oz of .999 pure silver and a face value of 1 Rand. 

4) Austrian Silver Philharmonic- Austrian Mint

Austrian Silver Philharmonic

The Austrian Silver Philharmonic started in 2008 and is part of the Austrian Philharmonic series. Thomas Pesendorfer, the Chief Engraver, designed these coins. The Austrian Silver Philharmonic coins depict Musikverein’s pipe organ on the front. The Musikverein is where the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra performs. The back shows musical instruments, like a cello and violins. The coins are only available in 1 oz size. They contain .999 pure silver. The engravings on the coins are in German. One side says “Wiener Philharmoniker,” and the other says “Republik Osterreich” and “1 Unze Feinsilber.” The face value is in Euros (€1.50), and the year is also present. There are special versions like gilded and colorized Silver Philharmonics.

5) Australian Silver Kangaroo- Perth Mint

Australian Silver Kangaroo

The Perth Mint produces the 1 oz Australia Silver Kangaroo Coin with changing designs each year. Starting in 2010, these most popular silver coins are known for limited mintage and annual design makeovers. The mint releases them as proof coins and frosted uncirculated coins. These Silver Kangaroo coins have a rarity and collectibility value along with the silver bullion they contain. Each 1 oz Kangaroo Silver Coin contains exactly one troy ounce of .999 pure silver with a face value of 1 AUD. The obverse features Queen Elizabeth II’s portrait, and the reverse showcases a Kangaroo, changing annually.

Benefits of Investing in Silver Coins

Physical silver is considered as an excellent asset that ensures security. Silver prices may face challenges or decline in an economic downturn, given its strong industrial uses, which could see a drop in productive demand. However, silver has historically performed well when stock markets underperform. You can invest in silver coins without any second thought.

Similar to gold, silver can act as a hedge against inflation, tending to rise in price when interest rates fail to keep pace with the increasing cost of living. The real interest rate, considering inflation-adjusted returns from cash holdings, can impact the performance of silver. It tends to perform positively when real interest rates are deeply negative, as seen in the 1970s and the early 2000s.


If you are planning to invest in high-quality silver bullion coins, you can choose online sellers like JM Bullion, SD Bullions, APMEX, and BOLD Precious Metals. These are the best bullion dealers online, where you can purchase genuine bullion products from top-class mints and refiners. Check out their collection of the most popular silver coins today to make sound investment decisions.