Silver Bullion Bars
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Silver Bullion Bars - General Information
Silver is one of the worlds most valuable precious metals. It has been used for centuries as the basic unit of monetary value. Silver is also very versatile as an industrial product and has many uses other than bullion, jewellery and silverware - for example medical equipment, photography and electronics.
Silver bullion bars are bars or ingots of high quality silver that have been poured (i.e. cast) or minted (i.e. stamped) at specific weights in order to contain a specific amount of silver. Silver bullion bars are used as a commodity and are considered a form of wealth, being traded worldwide in the by both professional bullion traders and individuals. Silver bullion bars are a useful commodity for many reasons - being easily transported, stacked, counted and traded. Silver bullion is considered a highly liquid commodity. This does not mean that it melts too easily - it means that it can easily and rapidly be converted to cash or used to exchange for other assets.
Silver bullion bars have the potential to be an ideal choice for investors and offer some benefits when compared to other investment options such as stocks, bonds and real estate. Silver has real value that is not affected in the same way as paper money by debt or inflation. It is also much cheaper than Gold, thus easier to commence a portfolio.
Silver bullion bars may be a useful asset to have in a portfolio. Some of the benefits to investing in silver include:
• Assets are protected with anonymity in comparison with digital transactions. This means you're safe from prying eyes.
• Bullion carries the same value per weight globally and is sold and purchased at the current market value.
• Silver can offer better protection against inflation than some other assets.
Silver bullion bars are available in a variety of sizes/weights from 1 gram to 1000 troy ounces. A troy ounce is silghtly different from a regular ounce and is used (particularly in English-speaking countries) as a measurement to weigh gold, silver and gemstones. One troy ounce is the equivalent of 1.09714285 regular ounces.
In ancient days, silver weight and monetary value were tied together: The pound sterling (£) originally represented the value of one troy pound weight of silver sterlings, a type of coin. 
In the past decade the price of silver has continued to rise. In January 2000 silver was trading at around $6/ozt (ozt = troy ounce). In 2011 its value had increased exponentially and was trading briefly at $48/ozt.  Silver will continue to enjoy a growth in value because of industry demand and the new uses for the metal that are being discovered. With an increase in demand comes an increase in value.
The most common sizes/weights used to purchase silver bullion bars are 10 troy ounces and 100 troy ounces. These sizes are popular because the bullion is easier to transport, easier to handle and easier to store.
The majority of silver bullion bars on the market today are 99.9% pure. You may often see the term "three nines", "triple nines", or the decimal number .999. This refers to the purity of the silver contained in the ingot.
Note that an absolute 100% pure bullion is impossible, as absolute purity in extracted and refined metals is asymptotically approached. 
When purchasing silver bullion it's considered important to stick with reputable brand names. The top bullion manufaturers have global brand recognition and are accredited by bullion associations such as the LBMA. Bullion that is manufactured by a reputable brand will be easier to sell and more widely recognized. Some of the worlds most reputable manufacturers include:
* Johnson Matthey
* Wall Street Mint
* Royal Canadian Mint
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