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How to Buy & Trade Silver

Will Ellis
Last Updated on April 5, 2023
Silver Investment

Should this precious metal rank first place in your portfolio…? In today’s digital world, it can feel like owning physical silver is an outdated concept. However, there are several reasons to consider buying silver.

In this guide, we cover some of the essentials of investing in silver, including buying physical silver.

Table of Contents:

What is Silver (And Why Would You Buy it)? 💽

Remember, this guide isn’t financial advice. We simply explore topics conversationally. In the end, you must make the decision. We are not financial experts. At a glance: 

  • 🥈 Silver is a brilliant white metal that looks striking against many different coloured backgrounds. It is a soft and malleable metal at room temperature but becomes darker when heated to its melting point. For this reason, this metal alloy is used in the making of coins, bars and ingots. 
  • 🔌 Industrially, of the reasons silver is such a popular choice is that it is a very efficient conductor of electricity. This means that it is very effective at conducting heat, as well as being useful for a range of electronics, such as computers and other electronics that rely on electrons travelling from one place to another. 
  • 💵 Investors trade silver for two main reasons: 1) They want to make money or 2) As long-term value stores of cash. Silver can hold its value because it’s used in a variety of everyday items, such as water filters and dental fillings or ornamentally due to it being a very resistant metal that is also malleable and ductile, which makes it ideal for many different purposes. Read how to invest in gold

Gold as an investment dates back millennia

Silver Coins

The ancient world had a fascination with precious metals. They were valued for their beauty, used to make jewellery and ornaments, and also as a currency. 

People even believed that by wearing gold bracelets they could ward off disease. The demand for these precious metals led to their widespread use in different areas of the world. Here are some interesting facts about the history of silver:

History of Silver 🏛️: Where and how it is mined

Silver is found in almost all parts of the world, including Peru and Argentina. Peru – the country is famous for the silver mine Siete Hermanas which is more than 5,000 years old. 

In fact, Latin, Greeks and Romans have used silver for a long time. The silver is mined from silver ores and then purified to produce silver ingots and silver bullion. Silver deposits are found in many parts of the world, including Europe, North and South America, China, Africa, Australia and Asia.

Silver used in jewellery

Silver was and still is used to make jewellery. It is because silver is a visually impressive and relatively rare metal. Besides, silver jewellery looks beautiful and has a very elegant design. It is not only used in jewellery but also in silver utensils, plates, bowls, tableware, ornaments, ornaments and musical instruments. 

For these reasons, it was used as money in many ancient civilizations, including the Egyptians, the ancient Indians and the Chinese. Silver has been used as currency for more than 5,000 years. Silver is still used as an investment, and it is a good option for many people.

Silver has a long history of use in photography

Silver is used as an antioxidant in photography film as it prevents the film from developing stains and fading. Silver is also used in creating silver prints, which are a form of photographic paper that is created by placing a silver gelatin negative into a sheet of paper. 

It’s both expensive and rare and does not easily corrode, so it is the premium option for producing art photographs. Silver has many industrial uses including electronics, photovoltaic applications, chemical and healthcare.

Silver has many industrial uses

Silver has been used in the production of mirrors, water purification, and air conditioners. It’s also used in electrical technology, sensors, batteries, superconductive materials, bioelectricity, and thermoelectric energy.

Its many industrial uses include the production of electrical conductivity in electrical wiring and the control of mechanical motion in machines and equipment. And even the production of solar panels and in the production of solar energy, although it’s not as commonly used in solar panels as some other metals, such as copper. 

Overall, it’s found everywhere, from batteries and electronics to medical applications such as in the production of silver-based medical imaging materials such as x-rays and MRIs. Silver is used in medical applications, such as in the production of silver-based medical imaging materials such as x-rays and MRIs. The history of silver is multifaceted and it’s worth checking out in order to beter understand what silver is.

Why Modern Investors and People Invest in Silver

It’s popular

Silver is a very popular investment option because it is such a versatile metal. It is useful in a wide range of different industries and is one of the few metals that are resistant to corrosion. This makes silver a very useful investment option that can be used in a number of different ways. It can be used to store wealth, create jewellery, or store food items that are susceptible to spoilage due to bacteria. 

It’s liquid

And crucially, it’s globally liquid. As with gold, coins and bars can relatively quickly be sold back into the market if you know what you’re doing, for cash. Silver is universally and cross-culturally accepted as a form of currency to some degree or the other, making it a decent hedge against inflation from market volatility that fiat cash and stocks are more exposed to.

It’s relatively simple

Being such a versatile investment option, this makes it a particularly interesting (and historically long-standing) choice for those who wish to invest their money, but do not have the time or the expertise to trade in an asset that could be more risky and complex. 

There are many different places that offer silver as an investment—from physical silver to futures contracts available on global commodities exchanges—let’s get onto that. 


Silver is one of the more liquid pressure smells, up there with gold — bars and coins can be relatively quickly returned to the market whenever you quickly need cash. Silver is widely accepted by international businesses and consumers. And it’s been used across history as a store of wealth.

Many cultures value silver. Many investors use it as a hedge against inflation. And it historically has recorded a stable value that at least can hold up better than stocks and bonds.

How Can I Buy Silver in Australia? (Jewellers, ETFs or Futures)

Let’s explore some of the ways to purchase silver in Australia.

To begin with, you can purchase silver bars or coins from a jeweller or dealer. You can also purchase silver bullion, which is typically issued in kilogram blocks or as tokens (coins). Both gold bars and coins are structured to be suitable for investors and collectors, with silver bullion especially designed for investors looking to have a wealth store physically that can hold against fluctuations in the price of other goods.

Note that there are several different forms of silver bullion available on the market with different sizes and prices. Civil bullion items are normally sold per ounce or kilogram. The cost per ounce varies according to how pure the civil falters. The more pure the silver, the higher costs. But before you buy, you should do your research in order to make an informed choice about what the perfect amount of product is for you.

Once you determine how much you want to purchase, you can get this from a jeweller or dealer one of three central ways — note that the first examples work according to the spot price of gold (the current market price), whereas futures speculate on future prices: 

  • 👑 cash payment
  • 📊 ETFs or silver bullions 
  • 📈 Silver futures 

Spot Prices compared to Futures

As we briefly mentioned, there are different ways silver can be priced. Indeed, silver fluctuates in its value just as with any other commodity like oil and gas. The supply and demand forces are responsible for this, although it is very speculative. The main ways these are handled our futures and spot prices.

The spot price is simply the current market price that the assets going for. By comparison, futures prices set a future cost for the asset, using a contract. This lets investors buy and sell silver at specific prices and dates. Futures contracts are structured the same way — there is a standard volume and length; trading takes place on specific exchanges. There is even a bitcoin futures market.

The price of silver as a spot price fluctuates many times during a single day. Whenever you place an order, assuming you are asking for the physical delivery of silver, you are purchasing it at current market price that the broker is seeing – with fees deducted. By comparison, the price of futures silver contracts only fluctuates at specific points of the day on the exchanges. These fluctuations happen when investors trade contracts with each other.

Overall, the silver market is extremely liquid — you do not need to wait for the expiration of your futures contract to convert your physical silver into cash because most silver can immediately be returned to the market. Another difference between this the stock market is that one piece of silver is generally the same as another assuming the quality is the same. So there is an as great amount of variance between individual items, unlike individual stocks which will vary the price but sterilising the silver however is not necessarily an easy matter. 

What is an ETF?


Exchange-traded funds are a type of investment that let you handle fractions of units in a single fund. ETFs operate on stock exchanges no different from shares. A single unit represents a proportion of silver being held by the custodian, for instance, a bank.

By investing in an ETF, you can frequently find tune exactly how much silver you want to own And – typically in answers — and the level of risk you are willing to accept. Many different forms of exchange-traded funds exist on the market with different levels of return and risk.

Once you’ve placed your investment, there is some passive management but it is generally up to you to track whether it is progressing at an acceptable rate. To do this, simply log into your broker, and see your portfolio listing your reports for silver being held by the custodian bank.

How purchasing silver bullion works… 

Let’s suppose you want to purchase physical silver bullion from a jeweller or dealer. There’s quite a bit to know — to begin with, you need to differentiate between store silver and trading silver. Trading silver means the smaller coins and bars that are tailor-made for traders who want to gain a return by selling that silver back into the market for a profit. They are looking for the most tradable form of silver, for that reason.

By comparison, store silver will typically be larger coins or bars made for investors who want to hold their silver investment for longer periods of time. You can get trading silver from most jewellers, although you need to visit a specialised dealer when purchasing this form of silver.

When getting trading silver, it’s crucial to understand what the spot price is and how much your investment is currently worth — so that you can track whether it is growing at a decent rate. Gain this information online or by questioning your local dealer. If you want to liquidate your trading silver, you need to return it to the same dealer you bought it from — they can most efficiently verify that it is the same weight and is authentic. For this reason, it’s obviously very important that your dealer is trustworthy.

Greatest Benefit of Possessing Physical Bullion Compared to Market Derivatives

It might seem archaic to actually own silver bars and coins. But you, perhaps, shouldn’t be so quick to dismiss the idea of physical silver bullion.

One of the great advantages to owning physical silver is that you massively eliminate the counterparty risk. In some cases — for instance, with trading silver — your dealer may be your continued counterparty risk, in the event that you need a specific branch to convert your silver bars to cash.

By comparison, using an ETF or an exchange-traded note, you are depending on a third party to guarantee your holdings and their value. However, shareholders do not actually possess rights to the silver metal — except in cases where they are approved, ETF participants. This is why owning the actual silver makes it more like your own possession. If the world turns upside down, you have a physical, hard store of value health safe in your personal bank vault or hands. This underlines one of the central reasons that traders opt for physical silver — as insurance.

One spectacular example of counterparty risks can be seen in the MF Global bankruptcy that happened towards the end of 2011. Investors who had made purchases in silver bars — with the receipts confirming it being stored in their warehouse — were alarmed to find that the assets with all of the money poured inside of them were frozen. The trustee went bankrupt with court approval and investors only received less than 75% back of their value. Meaning that they lost more than 25% of the value of their bullion.

There are also controversies around manipulations in supermarkets by some of these ETN and ETF affiliates – so you are taking on more complexities. Ultimately, the fees for ETFs also undermine the final payment you will return you can receive.

Silver Investment Rookie Errors

 Buying While High

We don’t mean the other kind of high… An investor could be lured into investing in silver because it is reaching an all-time high. They want to get in so that this can continue. But buying when silver is at its peak is not necessarily the optimal time.

The value of silver is the product of many supply and demand forces, one of them be interest rates and the health of an economy when silver prices increase, this is typically a signal to investors that the pairs are wary about the health of the economy. Or, it could be worrying about Australia’s national security and people are looking for a safe place to store capital.

This means that the market is biased towards pushing up the price of precious metals. But this will necessarily continue in the future. If supply and demand forces shifts, your investment could also stoop. Knowing if you are timing the market right is a hard game.

Selling Using Emotions

Wolf of wall street - Art

So you’re feeling lucky…?

A rookie mistake with handling and trading silver is buying or selling when you’re feeling risky. Admittedly, you could have the magic touch – your sense is time to take risks could be spot on, and is the perfect time to buy or sell. But what if you bought silver at £1,200 per ounce and is now trading at $1,300 per ounce?

In that case, is very tempting to immediately sell any profits. Selling at this stage could be a mistake. The price of silver fluctuates constantly based on supply and demand — Unless you are already systemised for scalping you do professionally, you may want to take a breather and look at the bigger, long-term picture. Silver can be a great hedge, a store of capital, rather than making a few hundred bucks here or there. It’s there to save you thousands of Australian dollars.

You could also allow the price of silver could climb even higher: what if times are unusually chaotic? Your silver may even be able to give you unexpected returns five years from now, particularly if you slowly trickle in more funds to your balance. Selling when things are high gives you a short-term gain, but perhaps a much bigger long-term loss. And selling at a loss, when the price was low, is acting on the fear impulse — the price could swing back up. Ultimately, if it hovers around the same mark, you have still gained a capital hold.

Buying Silver Safely (and Storing Silver)

As mentioned earlier, is simple enough to purchase silver bars, bullion, or coins to physically store as an investment in your vault or under the mattress. Hopefully not under your mattress…

Silver coins come in many different shapes and sizes and even grades – which can make it difficult to concretise Into a predictable value. By comparison, silver bars are typically rectangular and comprised of silver mined from the earth. Gold bullion is a mixture of bars and coins. Unlike an ETF or ETN, there is less counterparty risk.

However, you will need to consider how to securely store your silver. Once again, we don’t recommend the mattress. You don’t want to lose or have it stolen — something like a rugged bank vault or fireproof safe may be a good idea.

While this should be common sense, let’s remind you that you should not talk about your silver or get into the habit of lending it out know about it, the better. Ensure that nobody has the key to the location of your storage. Combination locks are useful, as well as lock boxes and security alarms to make it more difficult for people to access your silver storage.

Precious Metals Uses

Precious metals can be an excellent investment for anyone who wants to diversify their savings and is willing to spend some time researching the market. There are many different types of precious metals, and each has its own unique properties and uses. A quick overview:

  • ✔️ Copper wires are used to produce electric current — While it’s not exactly a rare metal, it’s very important to the manufacturing process of electricity. As you can imagine, a reliable supply of copper is essential to the production of electricity.
  • ✔️ Silver is often used in the production of electronics too — Where it’s used in the production of solar cells. But it’s also extraordinarily beautiful when used ornamentally, so is found in a range of decorative contexts. 
  • ✔️ Gold is often thought of as an investment because it’s so valuable — but it can also be used for everyday items such as electronics and dental equipment. Gold also has many industrial uses such as in the production of light bulbs, batteries, and electronics. 

Investing in Industrial Copper

Copper (45-year historical chart) is used in numerous products and processes and is used to produce structural components, wiring, and a variety of other products. 

It’s also used in electrical power transmission and distribution systems, in automobiles, and in the manufacturing of household appliances such as stoves and air conditioners. Making sure that you have a reliable supply of copper is of course extremely important. 

Copper is an extremely affordable precious metal, and it’s easy to find. You can even buy it in bulk and store it in a safe. Copper is a great investment because it’s not only a necessary component in many products but also in the electrical power transmission and distribution systems, which are sure to be around for a while.


This soft, shiny, malleable metal is often used to make jewellery. However, gold is also used in a variety of other products such as electronics, dental equipment, construction, aerospace, and automotive. 

Gold has been used as a currency for thousands of years, and it’s still used today in some places as an investment or commodity. It’s a very rare metal, making it a valuable commodity. Gold is often thought of as an investment because it’s so valuable, but it can also be used for everyday items such as electronics and dental equipment. And it has many industrial uses such as in electronics.

Silver 💽

Silver is perhaps the best of both worlds between gold and copper…  

It’s a soft, silvery-white metal that’s often used for making coins, silverware, and other silver products. Silver is often used in place of gold when it comes to making coins because it costs less and is easier to produce. Silver is often used in electronics, where it’s used in the production of solar cells. 

But it’s used in many other products such as medicine, where it’s used in the production of insulin, X-ray machines, and other medical devices. Silver also has many industrial applications such as in the production of light bulbs, batteries, and much more. 


As a bonus entry, platinum is an extremely rare, expensive metal that’s often used in the manufacturing of medical devices. Platinum is often used in the production of jewellery and has many aesthetic uses such as in the production of art. Platinum is a very expensive precious metal, making it an interesting investment option for those with a little extra money to play with. 

FAQs: How to Buy & Trade Silver 📀

What Factors Can Could Drive Up the Price of Silver?

Many factors can drive up the price of silver. It tends to be linked to chain events, including the price of oil, gold, and other commodities. Depending on how far the price of these other commodities goes up, they could drive up the price of silver even more. If the price of oil goes up, it could impact the price of anything using it as an ingredient somewhere along the production chain. 

The price of silver could also be impacted by worldwide economic factors. The role of governments in the management of the economy, as well as technological innovations, could have an impact on the price of silver. Long-term, silver seems to hold value well, so is comparable to gold. 

What is Silver Bullion?

Bullion can be defined as any piece of highly concentrated silver that has been mined and refined to 99.9% purity (or more). The term silver bullion can also refer to any type of silver coin or bar that contains 99% pure silver (or more).

What Are Some of the Risks Associated with Investing in Silver? 

Perhaps the largest risk involved in investing in silver is that the value of silver isn’t stable short-term — it’s volatile. However, this is true of anything else. But it’s fair to say that certain assets have more stability than others. In the long run, silver seems to respond well to recessions — the way it was sponsor supply and demand seems counter-current to depreciate forces when markets take a decided downturn. People tend to invest in things that are useful for productivity and manufacturing – silver, to some degree, is one of them.  

How Can Silver Traders Investors Reduce Risk?

One way of hedging against the risk of civil volatility is to take a diversified approach to your portfolio that is centred around a clear, single purpose. For instance, you may put your cash savings into land, family, and provisions.

Conclusion 🌞

We hope you enjoyed this guide on how to buy & trade silver. Although you can’t grow and harvest it on farmland, silver is derived from the Earth and has many hearty uses in everyday life — manufacturing being one of them.

Silver has also been used as currency, ornaments, and jewellery, making it an expensive and rare metal. It’s used in photography as an antioxidant and in industrial applications. These are just some of the many ways silver is used. And it’s has been around for thousands of years, and it will likely continue to be used for many years to come. 

When you invest in silver, you potentially insure yourself against short-term financial instabilities. Gives you a place to put some of your extra capital. Although, it’s not necessarily the best place to put the first part of your extra savings.

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