Silver Bullion Buying Guide

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Silver Bullion

There are many opportunities to buy silver coin, rounds and bullion, and this is an aid to making sure you know what you are buying.  Bullion is priced with regard to its weight, purity and the collectability or rarity of the piece.


Bullion is normally measured in Troy Ounces and Troy Pounds. These are not the same as "everyday" Avoirdupois ounces. Alternatively coinds, rounds and bars can be weighed in Kilograms and Grams.

Approximate Equivalent Weights

  • There are 12 Troy Ounces in One Troy Pound
  • There are 16 Avoirdupois Ounces in One Avoirdupois Pound
  • There are 1000 Grams in One Kilogramme
  • One Troy ounce is 0.0311 Kilogrammes
  • One Troy Pound in 0.373 Kilogrammes
  • One Kilogramme is 32.1507 Troy Ounces
  • One Avoirdupois Ounce is 0.0284 Kilogrammes
  • One Avoirdupois Pound is 0.454 Kilogrammes
  • One Kilogramme is 2.20462 Avoirdupois Pounds


Bullion is always sold on its purity.

  • 0.999 (Fine silver used in bullion bars, also known as three nines fine)
  • 0.980 (commonstandard used in Mexico C.A. 1930 - 1945
  • 0.958 (equivalent to Brittania Silver)
  • 0.0950 (equivalent to French 1st Standard)
  • 0.925 (equivalent to Sterling Silver)
  • 0.900 (equivaent to "Coin Silver" in the USA, also known as one nine fine)
  • 0.830 (common standard used in older Scandinavian silver)
  • 0.800 (minimum standard in Germany after 1884)
  • "Tibetan" or "Bali" silver is of lesser purity and the silver content is not consistant, as it was mostly issued before the current standards were in world wide use.


On-line is an easy place to try and sell fake bullion as there is no way to prove purity in a photograph. There are many ways to try to establish purity, but many may damage the item you want to test.

Silver testing kits are available that use chemicals to get an appropriate reaction from the metal. Carefully designed scales and ballances can be used to ensure corect density to size. Silver also has a distinctive ringing sound when struck, and experience can detect fakes this way.




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