Buying into a precious metal exchange-traded fund (ETF) is typically the easiest way to invest in silver for most individuals. Investors have a choice among three categories: silver futures, physically-backed and mining ETFs. ETF shares are available through online brokerages and offer a high degree of liquidity, according to Bankrate, Inc.
Physically-backed ETFs offer a simple, cost-effective way to invest in silver, according to Zacks Investment Research. The funds try to match the spot price of silver and the net of fees and expenses. As the spot price goes up, the price of the shares rises. The funds are backed by bullion bars. Each share represents a fractional interest in the trust.
Another way to invest in silver is purchasing stock in silver mining companies. This offers a higher risk along with a potentially higher reward, if the investor chooses a company that is successful.
For investors that prefer to own the actual metal, silver is available as junk coins, rounds and bars. Bars are available from bullion sellers and some banks. Rounds, usually 1 ounce of .999 silver, can be privately minted and purchased through dealers or come from the U.S. Mint. Dimes, quarters and half dollars were 90 percent silver through 1964. Dealers accumulate worn coins to sell by the pound or by face for the silver value. Buyers of silver need to be wary of scams and find reputable dealers to buy from.