We want to provide a brief overview of silver collecting and today we will discuss the categories of Bullion. We divide it in 4 main categories; Junk/Scrap, Generic, Semi-Numismatic and Numismatic. They each have there unique features and benefits. There is also a video we recorded with this overview and some slightly expanded information of you wish to view that. Please click this YouTube Link.
Junk/Scrap-Don't be discouraged by the title, Junk silver is a very important and powerful form of silver to own. Generally it includes things like old silver wear, jewelry and older coins containing silver. Some people will also collect industrial silver from electronic components. This class is the cheapest to purchase with the lowest premiums and also lowest purity. It can be bulky once you start getting large amounts, but it's easy to store. It can also be valuable as a bartering tool and form of fractional silver (if your one of the doomsdayer's expecting to barter with your silver once paper money no longer has any value). These can often be bought for "spot" value or even slightly less then "spot".
Generic Bullion-This is your plain 0.999 percent silver bullion. It usually has more boring designs, plain finishes and unlimited mintages. Many governments and private mints all have there own forms, whether bars, coins or rounds. (Coins are minted by governments with a stamped face value vs rounds not having any face value from private mints). There is no benefit to have bars, vs coins it is simply a matter of preference. As you buy large size of bars the premiums may decrease but they may also be harder to sell. Often you can find many 1oz coins/rounds/bar with low premiums if you watch closely. These will follow the value of silver closely and generally carry a small premium over "spot value" perhaps $1-$5.
Semi-Numismatic-These are items similar to your generic bullion, but usually have some from of collectors appeal. They may have more detailed images, fanciers finishes, and limited mintages. They may be sold in capsules or other upgraded packages. You may want to be more careful when storing and handling these items and some of there value will likely be based on the conditions of the coins. You would expect to pay higher premiums than generics perhaps $5-$50/coin. Their price may sometimes appreciate rapidly if there is lots of collector appeal and limited mintages but this is hard to speculate. This is out favorite category of bullion and there are so many amazingly beautiful designs.
Numismatics-These are higher end silver coins, they have premium finishes, packages and limited mintages. Often they have very unique characteristics or contain licensed images. They may have very high values in relations to spot value, even double to quadruple the value. At times they may appreciate in value but they may also loose value in relation to there original issue price. They are certainly very beautiful items but should be bought for their visual appeal and because you like them as a collector.
I hope this was helpful, it is a brief introductions and these classifications are not hard and fast rules. You may experience debate as to what constitutes generics vs semi-numismatic or numismatic pieces. I do feel this is valuable to understand as you considering what you purchase for your collection/stack.
We also welcome feedback and discussion from any experienced collectors who want to weigh in and add to the discussion.