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Lunar Silver Bars

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Chinese Lunar Year Silver Bars

Precious metal collecting is one of the oldest known hobbies, and it was once practiced only by nobles and royalty, earning it the nickname “king of hobbies.” People become collectors for a variety of reasons — to learn the history behind each piece or to display their collection — but recently, the growing trend in purpose for this hobby is that it makes for a great investment when talking about owning physical silver.

Commemorative series offer anticipation and eventually satisfaction when you’ve finally collected the last piece. They also add value to your investment portfolio as single pieces or a completed series. Representing each of the twelve Chinese lunar calendar signs, the Lunar Series Silver Bars are smart investments to diversify a portfolio, and they also serve as great conversation pieces.

The Chinese Lunar Calendar and Silver Bars

The Chinese lunar calendar, also known as the Chinese zodiac calendar, translates to “circle of animals.” The calendar consists of a twelve-year cycle and features twelve animal characters. Each animal represents qualities that, according to ancient Chinese tradition, those born under each sign will likely have, as well.

The zodiac calendar remains popular to this day, not only in China and other East Asian countries, but also has influence in western astrology. The Lunar Design Silver Bars commemorate the popular signs of the Chinese lunar calendar with a series of collectible silver pieces that feature an engraving of the year’s representative animal.

Popularity and Collectability

Commemorative pieces that celebrate people or events — such as the 1892 Columbian Exposition half-dollar and the 1951-1954 George Washington Carver-Booker T. Washington half-dollar — are popular among collectors and enthusiasts because of their limited quantity and availability. The Lunar Series features a collectible set of twelve, released during the year they represent. Whether an amateur or an avid collector, the Lunar Series can serve as a complete set or an individual piece to commemorate your zodiac sign or that of a loved one.

Designs

The Lunar Series’ current design in circulation for 2014 is the horse. The design depiction varies by mint, but most often features an engraving of the trotting or galloping horse and Chinese characters of the attributes associated with one born under the sign. Previous designs include the 2013 release of the snake bullion and the 2012 dragon bullion. All designs feature the year they commemorate and the size of the bar. The pieces come shipped in sealed plastic cases to protect the quality of your investment.

1 oz Rand Horse Silver Bar (New)

Common Sizes

The Lunar Series bars vary in size, but usually range between 1 oz and 10 oz. One-ounce bars are most commonly purchased, as they are the least expensive upfront, and they are a good fit for those “getting their feet wet” in the silver-buying game. One-ounce bars are easy to buy, light to ship, and easy to sell later if you choose. Five-ounce bars are less common than 1-ounce or 10-ounce bars but are a great intermediate step for the budding silver investor.

If you want to jump in the deep end of silver investing and have the capital to buy a 10-ounce Lunar Series bar, it is more cost-effective to do so than to buy 10 one-ounce bars. However, if you are looking for a fast turnaround and wish to sell a fraction of your investment later, smaller denominations are more ideal.

Purity

The purity of your investment is important if you plan to sell some or all of your collection later or if you are insuring your collection. Different mints vary in design, but your Lunar Series silver bar should denote the weight in ounces and the purity. The approved purity ranking of “fine silver” or pure silver is .999 —meaning that it is 99.9 percent silver, with only trace amounts of impurities. If your bar is not .999 purity, it is not considered pure silver and will not carry as much weight for a potential investment.

Mints

Mints produce silver bars and other precious metal products. When selecting a mint to buy from, older mints, such as Engelhard and Johnson Matthey, have excellent reputations but haven’t produced silver bars in decades — so they won’t carry the Lunar Series. Newer mints, still with excellent reputations, such as Highland, NTR, and PAMP Suisse all produce variations of this collectible series.

The Lunar Series Silver Bars are a great way to remember each coming year. A variety of mints take part in producing this series, and these silver bars — available in various sizes — are perfect for any silver investor, whether you’re just getting started or are a seasoned silver connoisseur.