Sterling Silver Silverware on Ebay
by Gary T
Louis XV -- circa 1891
Back when silver was $5.05 an ounce, I was buying sets of sterling silver silverware on ebay for a lot less than spot. So, at the time the form did not matter to me at all... just as long as it was real silver! Then, I focused on bars (1-5-10-100 oz) and of course a mixture of branded rounds and silver eagles. Pictured is a box set of "Louie" containing some 60 ounces of sterling silver... the suede-lined hand-crafted oak box came with the highly collectible set, and I am embarrassed to say what I paid for this 122 year-old treasure.
So... yes... this ia a very good (and timely) question!
In my opinion, there are 'branded' silver rounds from several silver refiners that I believe to be just as 'stackable' and American Silver Eagles. OK, when I first started gathering silver birds (as I call them) the premium was between 60-70 cents per coin. At the time, it never occurred to me that the premium would ever become a big issue with stackers and savers. Then, I read an article several years ago suggesting that the day will come where the marketplace will set the premium at or above the spot price of silver birds.
This being fairly likely, based on the recent surge in the premium on silver birds, I have made it a policy not to purchase rounds any longer, and simply be satisfied picking up silver birds and forgetting about the scant quantity disparity--especially when we all can see that the premium on silver rounds has stayed fairly level while the premium on silver birds has been experiencing substantial attention (like this article invites).
One other thing, when the general public awakens to the fact that silver can be purchased at fire sale prices, silver will finally find its place in history. This also means that those who had opted for rounds may run into situation where the buyer will want to have the rounds officially assayed for purity, weight and the like. Silver birds will more than likely be (like they are today) self-authenticating within the USA and worldwide. In short, there might be a very significant premium on silver birds, while silver rounds will be lagging behind in the marketplace--then again, maybe not... after all, silver is silver!
Now, having said that... I will close with one final thought. Whether you buy silver rounds or silver birds... Buy silver and take delivery!