One troy ounce coins are the most frequently-produced silver coins worldwide. The American Eagle Silver coin and the Canadian Maple Leaf coin are popular examples of one ounce coins made of .999 pure silver. Why are 1 oz silver coins so popular? Easily bought, sold, stacked, stored, and counted, the one-ounce size makes a wise choice for first-time buyers and seasoned investors alike.
Avoirdupois Ounces vs. Troy Ounces
It is important to remember that 1 oz silver coins do not weigh the same as the ounces used to measure other materials (formally known as the avoirdupois ounce). They actually weigh one troy ounce, which is approximately 10% heavier than the more commonly-used avoirdupois ounce, which most people are familiar with. Unless you have previously purchased precious metals, you may never have encountered the troy weight as a unit of measurement.
Today, troy ounces are rarely used as a unit of measurement except when describing the weight of precious metals. Many beginning coin collectors don’t realize that the troy ounce is not the ounce unit they are used to, and wonder why the troy ounce is still used for this purpose. The use of the troy ounce originates from the Roman monetary system, and it continues to be used out of an effort to maintain precious metal purity standards and common measures over time.
How large are one ounce silver coins? This depends on the coin’s design. Each 1 troy ounce silver coin usually measures somewhere between 34 and 42 millimeters in diameter. For example, the American Silver Eagle 1 oz coin measure 40.6mm in diameter, and is 2.98mm thick. About as large as a silver dollar, these coins are easily stacked in tubes for storage.
Both silver bars and silver rounds are commonly produced in the one ounce size. Each weighs 31.103 grams, which the weight equivalent to 1 troy ounce of silver. The spot price of precious metals is typically reported per troy ounce, making it easy to determine what the metal content of a 1 oz silver coin is worth.
The 1 ounce silver coin is a cost efficient way to invest in silver. The price of each 1 troy ounce coin is based on the spot price of silver, plus a small premium to account for the unique design of the coin. This makes a 1 oz-size a relatively affordable investment when compared with other, heavier silver bars and rounds.
For example, silver is commonly available in sizes up to 1,000 ounces, but the price of such bars is well outside the financial means of many collectors and investors. On the other hand, even smaller coins, such as quarter ounce or half ounce silver coins (known as fractionals because they weigh a fraction of an ounce), are not considered to hold enough investment potential.
With the current price of silver, many one ounce silver coins can be purchased in the $35-$40 price range, a comparative bargain that makes 1 ounce coins a much more accessible investment. While their larger counterparts are affordable only for the most serious investors and their smaller counterparts do not contain such a significant amount of silver, a one ounce silver coin can be purchased by beginning collectors and seasoned investors alike.