Considerations When Starting Your Vintage Silver Collection

February 10, 2022


Irrawaddy Counting House Vintage Silver Bars

Collecting vintage silver is a fun and lucrative hobby—here’s what you should consider before getting started.

The act of collecting has been a treasured pastime for ages, and it is well-known that certain collections can be quite valuable. Among the more interesting and valuable collections are vintage silver collections, which can be as fun as they are interesting. Before you jump right in and start collecting, it is important to remember that there are some nuances to this type of collecting. To help you get started, we pulled together a quick list of considerations to help you approach your collection with purpose.

What Style of Bars Do You Like?

Vintage silver bars are one of the more popular options when collecting silver, and they can be fascinating. With these bars, you have the opportunity to learn about their rich history, identify their value, and see how they compare to the rest of your collection—but first, you should consider what kind of bars you would like to collect.


Hand-poured silver bars offer a unique look and style. These are created by pouring molten silver into casts and molds, which is where their namesake comes from. Since they are poured, every bar is unique, offering its own characteristics and traits.


Cast silver is created when silver bars are duplicated using molds or wax. It remains in the mold until it has been cooled, and it is then removed. Despite being placed into molds, each bar is still unique in its own way.


Pressed bars are made by extruding the silver from a larger source. They cut the metal to match a specific size and weight when this happens. People love these bars because they are flashy—often shiny and polished.


Extruded silver faces its own unique process, where the silver is heated and then forced through a specific space to create an even and precise amount of silver. This is then cut into smaller sizes, which can be sold individually.

Do You Prefer a Clean Look or Rough Pours?

Most people assume that anyone collecting silver must be collecting shiny and polished blocks, but that isn’t the case. Vintage silver bars come in all different shapes and sizes, and their looks can notably change depending on how they have been handled and treated.

When collecting, it is common for people to seek out a specific look—and the distinguishing factor often comes down to clean silver and rough silver.

When considering “clean” silver, you can imagine those perfect polished blocks that you would expect to see in a movie. This silver has been refined and treated to ensure that it offers that gleaming look that silver is so well-known for.

While there is no denying the beauty of a nice and clean silver bar, the reality is that it isn’t the only option. Rough bars can offer a historical look that tells the story of vintage silver bars. These pieces are more prone to showing imperfections and the process that they have undergone, which can offer a perfectly charming look as well. It may not be shiny, but that doesn’t mean that it isn’t beautiful!

What Size Do You Prefer?

As you begin collecting silver bars, you will find that the size of them can play a fairly substantial role in your overall investment. It is commonly accepted that small sizes offer higher premiums, which can come as quite a shock.

Determining the suitable sizes for your collection is a personal decision often driven by aesthetics and overall price. Some people prefer to collect silver bars that are all one uniform size because it helps with the presentation of their collection, but that doesn’t mean that there isn’t room for some variety.

Size can also play a role in the overall cost of your investment—or how that cost breaks down. Some people prefer to keep within a certain price range and choose to follow size preferences that align with that need. Of course, paying less doesn’t always mean that you’re paying less for the amount of silver itself.

Do You Want to Collect a Broad Assortment?

There is a surprising amount of variety in the world of vintage silver collecting, and this is where you can really step up and make your collection all your own. There are various ways to seek out pieces, and while you can always pick and choose any silver bars that you want, you can also follow certain themes to make your collection more engaging.

There are many different ways to approach your collection. Some people collect by size, while others look for something more specific, like pieces from different refiners. Creative collectors find new ways to define their collections, whether it is by collecting examples from a specific part of the country or a particular era.

Do You Want to Collect All Varieties of a Particular Refiner?

Silver refineries are committed to providing exceptional, maintained, and purified silver with the highest degree of expertise. They can be a wonderful and interesting way to build out your collection. Many collectors find that collecting from the silver refiners that they are fond of can be an excellent way to build a collection that is both interesting and uniform in its own way.

The Takeaway

Vintage silver collecting is a fun and exciting hobby that offers you the chance to learn and build your wealth at the same time. Since precious metals are known to hold their value, many people see this as a way to invest in something that can be useful down the line if it needs to be. Of course, it is also just a wonderful hobby that can connect you to an incredible community both online and locally. To get started, consider what you want to see in your collection and go from there. You can always change your mind later if something else catches your interest!

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