Precious metals bars and rounds present collectors with a variety of options that are not available with coins. Bullion bars and rounds typically have much lower premiums than coins, which are government issue. This makes them especially attractive options for collectors who are primarily concerned with weight. Art bars and rounds present more options to collectors than government issues, although some government mints also offer bars. These often have themed designs from unique places, time periods, or other niche interests, including designs from historic coins. Finally, private mints tend to have more flexibility than government mints on the subjects of politics and religion. Accordingly, collectors looking for pieces with their favorite politicians or religious figures or pieces that advocate particular views, typically have to turn to privately issued bars and rounds as opposed to government products. Keep reading to learn about, and to browse, the multitude of bar and round options that are waiting to be added to your collection.
One of the world’s leading mints, PAMP Suisse offers its customers stunning minted ignots and cast bars in a variety of metals and weights. The mint is perhaps best known for its Fortuna bars. Struck from gold, silver, platinum, and palladium, these ignots feature the Roman goddess Fortuna along with several symbols that are frequently associated with her. Many Fortuna ignots come in packaging that is convenient for carrying them in a wallet, and still more come in multigram portfolios. Other PAMP bars feature religious themes, such as the Buddha, the Cross, and a bar with a Hebrew inscription that translates to “The Jewish nation lives,” and lunar year issues.
Historic Coins as Rounds
One of the most popular themes in privately minted bars and rounds is the use of historic coins as models. Some of the most popular among these are Morgan and Indian Head Cent rounds. Nothing quite compares to the originals, but historic coins that were issued for circulation virtually invariably have some marks, wear, or other imperfections that prevent today’s collectors from appreciating the designs in the condition in which they were first released. Private rounds, and, in some cases, bars, offer that opportunity to collectors.
In most cases, these rounds are struck from 1 oz of .999 fine silver bearing designs that are adapted from their smaller original sizes. These rounds typically replace inscriptions of things like the country and face value with those identifying the mint at which they were struck. However, the devices appear just as their designers intended, and the rounds often reach collectors in GEM Brilliant Uncirculated condition. These rounds offer modern collectors the opportunity to appreciate and own these historic designs free from damage, wear, and high premiums.
Political & Religious Bars & Rounds
With a handful of notable exceptions, such as releases from the Holy Land Mint, the Ukrainian Archangel, and the Armenian Noah’s Ark, government mints tend to avoid issuing coins that touch on religious or political matters. Private mints have more flexibility. Intaglio Mint and Golden State Mint are among those who often produce politically charged pieces, while the latter offers several religious designs as well.
Precious Metals Silver Bars
Although coins dominate government issues, some government mints also issue a limited number of bars. The Perth Mint, for example, has a lunar series collection of silver bars, while the New Zealand Mint produced a very popular colorized Star Wars Poster Series for the island nation of Niue. Other notable recent issues include Tuvalu’s Silver Chinese Wedding Cranes Proof Bar and the Royal Canadian Mint’s Silver Maple Leaf Flex Multibar. The multibar is a particularly compelling product, as it enables collectors to divide their silver in a variety of ways.