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Bullion Coins & Rounds

Bullion Coin - defined

Bullion coins are legal tender backed by the government who issued the coin.

Legal tender is a medium of payment recognized by a government to be a satisfactory payment for any monetary debt.

Legal tender is established by a statute (law) which specifies the material to be used as legal tender.

In addition, the legal tender statute gives authorization to an institution to mint and issue the form of money to the public.

Legal Tender gives all forms of money, including bullion coins, their "Face Value," for instance, the 1oz. American Eagle Silver Bullion Coin (right) has the face value of "ONE DOLLAR."

Although the intrinsic value of the silver coin is worth a lot more than one dollar, the United States Government recognizes and authorizes the coin to hold the value of 'ONE DOLLAR.'

On this guide's Junk Silver Buying Guide there is a section titled "Face Value - a True Story," it helps to explain the difference between 'intrinsic value' and 'face value.'

Bullion Round - Defined

pan amer silver roundPan America Silver Round

In most cases, bullion rounds have no face value because 'bullion rounds' are manufactured by a private mint or a privately held entity.

For instance, Pan America Silver is a silver mining company; they had a contract with the now bankrupt Northwest Territorial Mint, to exclusively produce rounds and bars with silver mined from them.

You can see the name 'Northwest Territorial Mint' inscribed along the bottom of the round (left).

There are some exceptions to the 'bullion round' rule above that states that governments do not produce bullion rounds. 

The Mexican Mint produces the Gold and Silver Libertads, under the authority of the Central Bank of Mexico (Banco de Mexico) and the Mexican Government.

Neither the Gold or Silver Mexican Libertads have a "Face Value" and although Libertads are often referred to as bullion coins because they have no face value, they should be called "rounds."

In addition, the New Zealand silver 'Fern' and gold 'Kiwi' rounds are other examples of government bullion that do not have a Face Value.

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Bullion Coins vs. Bullion Round


Premium is a term used by coin dealers as a reference to the markup on a coin or round, above its intrinsic value.

Bullion Coins often have higher premiums, than bullion rounds, because bullion coins are minted by a government giving investors confidence in the coin's weight and purity.

There are a few other factors that may give bullion coins a higher premium, include:

Furthermore, bullion coins often have higher premiums because they are designed by master engravers and award-winning artists, known for their brilliant coin designs.

However, for the last several years, bullion rounds have grown in popularity for their designs and artwork.

In addition, any bullion round that is sought by collectors will have higher premiums.  

The reasons why these rounds are in demand may be because of several reasons; who designed it, what the design is, or the round may have a limited mintage, or the round may be dedicated to a special person, or occasion.

If you want to know the market's premiums on a bullion round that you are interested in, you may want to look it up on the secondary market, like ebay or some other auction site, to find out the round's market value.

Popular series of rounds include the Silver Shield Collection, which is continuously updated and can be found on SD Bullion's website - here.

Other bullion rounds that have higher premiums, than most, are the old Engelhard or Johnson Matthey bullion rounds produced in the late 70's and 1980's. 

SD Bullion
SD Bullion - Customer Reviews link


Private mints often produce bullion rounds that look like government-issued bullion coins, to make bullion rounds appealing to the public,

This has been observed with bullion rounds that resemble the 1oz. American Eagle Silver bullion coin.

Below is a photo of a silver bullion round that may look like a real 1oz. American Eagle Silver bullion coin, to the untrained eye.

one oz roundSilver Bullion "Round"

On the reverse side of the round, above right, you can see the words "ONE TROY OZ."  

This is one of the easiest ways to tell the difference from a bullion round from a bullion coin. 

Bullion rounds will always have their system of weight, 'TROY' spelled out, and it is usually spelled in all CAPS.   

Below, in the section about copper rounds, you'll see how the Avoirdupois system of weight is abbreviated on rounds.

Here are some variations of how you will see "TROY" spelled out on a bullion round: "ONE TROY OZ., TROY OUNCE, or OUNCE TROY.

Another easy way to identify the difference between a Bullion round from a bullion coin is that bullion rounds have NO "Face Value."  

In addition, many, but not all, bullion rounds have NO "Year of Issue" inscribed on them.

The photo below is an example of an Official 1oz. American Eagle Silver Bullion Coin, by contrasting the image of a round above with the coin below you can see the differences between the bullion round and the real bullion coin.

SilverGoldBull- Customer Reviews link

Copper Rounds

Copper rounds have become more popular among bullion dealer's websites.

Copper is not priced the same as other precious metals.

Silver, Gold, Platinum, and Palladium are bought and sold in Troy ounces (ozt.).

This isn't the case for Copper, copper is bought and sold in Avoirdupois pounds (lbs.).

The copper chart, to the right, is the price of copper, per pound (lb.).

Copper per 100 pounds
Avoirdupois (lbs.)

Most Bullion rounds & bars are only worth the amount of the precious metal contained inside them a.k.a. "Intrinsic Value."

The following equation shows what a 1oz. copper round would be worth if copper was trading for $3.00 per lb.

$3.00 per lb. of copper (cu) /16  =  $0.19 per ounce
(16 ounces = 1 lb. Avoirdupois)

Visit this guide's Troy - a System of Weight page to learn more about the differences between the two systems of weight.

copper round"1 AVDP" (Avoirdupois) OUNCE Copper Round

In addition, because copper is bought and sold by Avoirdupois pounds, copper rounds should also indicate this system of weight on the round, as seen circled in red on the round - above. (Avoirdupois is pronounced as; a-vo-du-pwa)

Official Dealer of Silver Bullet Silver Shied for Canada and US!
SD Bullion - Customer Reviews link

Investment vs. Numismatic 

Bullion coins are seen as an investment vehicle, they are not made to be bought and sold as a numismatic or collector's coin.

Bullion coins do not come in special packaging or decorated boxes, nor do they have a certificate of authenticity, like their numismatic counterparts.

For instance, if you were buying 20 - 1oz. American Eagle Silver Bullion Coins they would be delivered to you in a tube of 20.

However, if you were buying 20 - 1oz. American Eagle Silver Proof Coins, they would be delivered in 20 separate boxes, each coin would come in protective packaging, and each coin would have a certificate of authenticity.

List of Reputable
Coins & Round

All the Dealers affiliated with this guide have been vetted to ensure their business is reputable. 

However, we do not expect you to blindly trust our judgement, for that reason, below you'll find Customer Reviews, for each Dealer, to help you determine whether or not you wish to do business with them.

Each one of the listed Dealers is an Affiliated Dealer of this Guide, we receive a commission for every purchase that we refer to them.

Note: the Cookies on your computer must be Enabled for this Guide to receive a commission from our affiliates.

Cookies only indicate, to the merchant, that you linked to the merchant's website from this guide. No Personal Information is Obtained in this process.

Note: As a suggestion to anyone interested in buying bullion from any one of the sites listed below, Please Read each company's ordering instructions and shipping rules carefully.

Note for Bullion Round Links: Bullion Coins are very easy to find on all of the sites below, however, in some cases, Bullion Rounds are not, so we have provided links that will take you directly to each site's 'Bullion Rounds pages.

BGASC - coins page

BGASC is one of the largest coin and bullion dealers in the United States.
Buy Gold And Silver Coins.com's goal is to be the kind of dealer they've always wanted to trade with: to be in stock, ship fast, be fair & reasonable, and operate honestly and efficiently.

They are an Official PCGS Dealer, member of the Certified Coin Exchange (CCE), an NGC Collector's Society Member, and a Bulk Purchaser of United States Mint non-bullion coins.

Every single package they ship is sent fully insured for its time in transit.

BGASC - Bullion Rounds page

BGASC  - Customer Review Links

BGASC - Shopper Approved - Customer Reviews page

BGASC - Better Business Bureau Review page

Stefan Gleason is president of the Money Metals Exchange, which is a national precious metals investment company and news service with over 500,000 readers and 75,000 customers.

Gleason founded the company in 2010 in direct response to the abusive methods of national advertisers of collectible, and numismatic coins.

Money Metals Exchange believes the average investor should never purchase precious metals that are not priced at or near their actual melt value.

Now you can safeguard your assets from financial turmoil and the devaluing dollar – without paying costly middleman mark-ups or fending off high pressure, bait-and-switch sales tactics.

Savvy, self-reliant investors are embracing Money Metals Exchange as their trustworthy resource for gold and silver bullion.

Money Metals Exchange - Bullion Rounds page

Money Metals Exchange - Customer Review Links

Money Metals Exchange

Better Business Bureau Review page

SD Bullion - coins page

SD Bullion is part of the Silver Doctor's network.

In 2011, two doctors started the website SilverDoctors.com with one dream: To educate the masses on the value of hard assets and preparation.

The rapid success of this website gave way to the launch of SDBullion.com in March of 2012. SD Bullion now is one of the most trusted, lowest cost online retailers of bullion.

Since 2012, SD Bullion has shipped more than 300,000 orders and hit Inc. Magazines list of 500 Fastest Growing Companies in the United States twice.

They did all this while staying true to their original mission of offering the absolute lowest prices on gold bullion and silver bullion in the industry, guaranteed.

SD Bullion - Bullion Round's page

SD Bullion - Customer Review Links

SD Bullion - Shopper Approved - Customer Review page

SD Bullion - Better Business Bureau Review page

SilverGoldBull - coins page

SilverGoldBull is your trusted silver and gold dealer.

They provide you with competitive, up-to-minute pricing and we make sure your precious metals are delivered to your door discreetly and fully insured.
SilverGold Bull's in-house customer service representatives will work to assure your satisfaction in a timely, friendly, and professional manner. Never hesitate to get in touch - building relationships with our clients is our number one priority.

If you would like to learn more about what our customers are saying about our service, please view our customer reviews (below).

SilverGoldBull.com has tens of thousands of satisfied customers who have taken their financial future into their own hands by investing in gold and silver.

SilverGoldBull - Bullion Rounds page

Silver Gold Bull - Customer Review Links

SilverGoldBull - Customer Review page

Universal Coin - coins page

Universal Coin & Bullion is dedicated to providing clients with outstanding collecting and investment strategies for the rare coin market.

Universal Coin & Bullion specializes in U.S. rare coins, Precious Metal IRAs and Gold, Silver and Platinum American Eagles, their acquisition and Expert Buying Team has been building premium collections and providing appraisal services to clients since 1995.

Universal Coin & Bullion® President, Dr. Michael Fuljenz has won more than 60 prestigious national and regional awards for his consumer education and protection work in rare coins and precious metals.

Universal Coin & Bullion, Better Business Bureau Accredited since 1995.

Universal Coin - Bullion Rounds page

Universal Coin - Customer Review Links

Universal Coin - Better Business Bureau page

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