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Buy silver in Australia: 4 different ways

A guide to investing in silver sources

Updated

Fact checked
Silver has been a valuable commodity for hundreds of years and while its purposes have changed throughout history it has never lost its place on the market. In part due to its inherent malleability silver has managed to adapt to the changing times, keeping its value high even today.

This page will discuss different ways to invest in silver and the risks that you may face.

4 ways to invest in silver

Here are the four most common ways:

1. Silver ETFs

Silver and other commodities exchange traded funds (ETFs) can be an easy way of gaining exposure to silver prices. ETFs trade on stock exchanges and track the prices of underlying assets.

Some silver ETFs simply track silver spot market prices, while others might present an index of silver-related company share prices or combinations of the metal's price and silver company share prices.

This makes ETFs an easy and flexible way of adding silver to your portolio, in different forms. You can learn more about ETFs with our comprehensive guide.

Pros

  • A quick, easy and flexible way of buying, selling and trading silver.
  • Gain far reaching access to silver assets at reasonable prices.
Cons

  • Can incur management fees, trading fees and other expenses.
  • You do not take any personal custody of silver.

Compare places to trade silver ETFs and CFDs

Data indicated here is updated regularly
Name Product Standard brokerage fee Inactivity fee Markets International
IG Share Trading
Finder Award
IG Share Trading
AUD 8
AUD 50 per quarter if you make fewer than three trades in that period
ASX shares, Global shares, Forex, CFDs, Margin trading
Yes
Brokerage discount: $5 on Australian shares for active traders & $0 commission on US and global shares
Enjoy some of the lowest brokerage fees on the market when trading Australian shares, international shares, forex and CFDs, plus get access to 24-hour customer support.
eToro Share Trading (US stocks)
USD 0
USD 10 per month if there’s been no login for 12 months
Forex, CFDs, US shares
Yes
Zero brokerage share trading on US stocks with trades as low as $50.
Note: This broker offers CFDs which are volatile investment products and most clients lose money trading CFDs with this provider.
Join the world’s biggest social trading network when you trade stocks, commodities and forex from the one account.
Bell Direct Share Trading
AUD 15
No
ASX shares, mFunds
No
Special offer: Free ETF trades until September 30th when you join Bell Direct
Bell Direct offers a one-second placement guarantee on market-to-limit ASX orders or your trade is free, plus enjoy extensive free research reports from top financial experts.
Superhero share trading
$5 a trade
$0
ASX shares
No
Trade ASX stocks and ETFs with a flat $5 brokerage fee and a low minimum investment of just $100.
CMC Markets Stockbroking
AUD 11
No
ASX shares, Global shares, Forex, CFDs, Margin trading, Options trading, mFunds
Yes
$0 brokerage on global shares including US, UK and Japan markets.
Trade up to 9,000 products, including shares, managed funds, forex, commodities and cryptocurrencies, plus access up to 15 major global and Australian stock exchanges.
ANZ Share Investing
AUD 19.95
No
ASX shares, Global shares, Margin trading, Options trading
Yes
Earn 1 Qantas Point per AU$3 spent on brokerage fees on certain instruments.
Access Morningstar reports, company announcements and and live pricing via ANZ’s share investing platform. Available for desktop and mobile.
Westpac Online Investing Account
AUD 19.95
AUD 63.50 per year on the global markets account
ASX shares, Global shares, Options trading, US shares
Yes
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Important: Share trading can be financially risky and the value of your investment can go down as well as up. Standard brokerage fee is the cost to trade $1,000 or less of ASX-listed shares and ETFs without any qualifications or special eligibility. If ASX shares aren’t available, the fee shown is for US shares.

Data indicated here is updated regularly
Name Product Minimum Opening Deposit Minimum Opening Deposit Commission - ASX 200 Shares Available markets Platforms
Plus500 CFD
AUD 100
100
No commission
CFDs on ASX shares, global shares, indices, options, ETFs
Plus500 Web Trader
Disclaimer: Volatile investment product. Most clients lose money trading with this provider.
Finder exclusive offer: Open a new trading account and receive a welcome bonus of AU$110 when you deposit your first $370 and enter the bonus code “Special200”. T&C’s apply.
Trade CFDs on Australian and International shares, indices, cryptocurrencies, commodities and more.
IG Markets CFD
AUD 0
0
0.08% with $7 minimum
Indices, FX, Shares, Commodities, Cryptocurrency, ETPs
MetaTrader 4
ProReal Time
Disclaimer: Volatile investment product. Most clients lose money trading with this provider.
Introductory offer: Build confidence by trading at lower minimum trade sizes for the first six weeks. Plus, receive a reduced commission on Australian shares CFDs. T&C's apply.
Trade from over 15,000 markets with Australia's leading service for CFD trading and forex.
eToro CFD
USD 50
USD 50
No commission
ASX shares, global shares, indices, cryptocurrencies, commodities, ETFs
eToro Trading Platform
Disclaimer: Volatile investment product. Most clients lose money trading with this provider.
Join the largest social trading network in the world.
IC Markets CFD (True ECN Account)
$200
$200
0.1% per side
ASX shares, global shares, indices, commodities, forex, cryptocurrencies
MetaTrader 4
MetaTrader 5
cTrader
Disclaimer: Volatile investment product. Most clients lose money trading with this provider.
Trade 230+ different products with fast execution under 40 milliseconds on average.
City Index CFD
AUD 0
0
0.08% with $5 minimum
ASX shares, 4,500 global shares, indices
MetaTrader 4
At Pro
Advantage Web
Disclaimer: Volatile investment product. Most clients lose money trading with this provider.
Trade CFDs on indices, FX, global & Australian shares and commodities, plus access other markets such as metals, bonds and interest rates.
Blueberry Markets CFD Trading
$100
$100
$20 per month subscription plus 2% of trade size
Indices, ASX200 Shares, Commodities, Cryptocurrency
MetaTrader 5
Disclaimer: Volatile investment product. Most clients lose money trading with this provider.
Bottom of the market fees on forex, CFDs and commodities with 24/7 quality customer service.
CMC Markets
$0
$0
0.09% with a $7 minimum
ASX shares, 25+ global exchanges, treasuries, indices
CMC Next Generation CFD, MetaTrader 4
Disclaimer: Volatile investment product. Most clients lose money trading with this provider.
Share CFD and forex ideas with other traders and take your strategy to the next level with over 100 technical indicators and charts on CMC’s mobile-friendly Next Generation platform.
Pepperstone CFD
USD 200
200
No commission
ASX shares, global shares, indices, cryptocurrencies, commodities
MetaTrader 4
MetaTrader 5
cTrader
CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 76.5% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.
Trade stock indices on the global market, via Pepperstone's MetaTrader 4 and cTrader client terminals.
FP Markets CFD (Professional Account)
AUD 1,000
1,000
0.10% with $10 minimum
ASX shares, 6 global exchanges, indices, cryptocurrency
IRESS
Disclaimer: Volatile investment product. Most clients lose money trading with this provider.
Trade CFDs with FP Markets using the IRESSTrader platform. Trade CFDs on international equities, futures and forex.
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Disclaimer: CFDs and forex are complex financial products that come with a high risk of losing money. Most retail client accounts lose money trading CFDs and forex. Consider whether you can afford to lose your money.

2. Purchase silver futures or options

By investing in silver futures you are agreeing to buy an asset at a set price, which you will then receive some time in the future. In other words, you are agreeing to pay today's prices for an asset that gets delivered sometime in the future.

If the price rises between the time the futures contract is purchased and the contract expiry date, buying at today's prices will be a profitable trade. The difference between the price you paid for an asset and its price at the time of delivery is the profit.

This system also lets traders profit from falling prices.

If a trader thinks prices will drop, they can also buy a "short contract." This means they put in an order to sell the asset at today's prices, for delivery in the future. Now, if prices drop between the time the short contract was purchased and the contract expiry date, the price difference will be the trader's profit for the trader.

Silver options trading is similar. The difference is that futures contracts are an obligation to take delivery of an asset, while options contracts are the right, but not the obligation, to take delivery.

In futures trading, buy contracts (predicting the price will rise) and sell contracts (predicting the price will fall) are called "long" and "short" contracts respectively. In options trading they are called "calls" and "puts" respectively.

Futures and options are an extremely flexible way of trading on silver prices. They are often used by day traders, but can be used to buy silver at discounted prices or hedge a silver-heavy portfolio against price drops.

Futures and options trading is risky and more challenging than other options though. It requires both general and silver market knowledge, and some luck. If you’re new to investing you might want to learn the ropes with other financial products before considering futures.

In Australia, silver CFDs (contracts for difference) can be used to speculate on silver prices in a similar way to futures or options trading. Learn more about CFD trading in the complete guide.

Pros

  • Under the right conditions futures can yield solid rewards for their investors.
  • Futures and options can be used to day trade as well as make longer-term investments.
Cons

  • Futures are a real gamble and if you make the wrong choices you could potentially lose a lot of money.

3. Purchase silver stocks and shares

Investing in stocks is a well-known method for approaching the market.

Silver has a number of uses which make it a desirable asset in many modern industries. Its popularity makes it an easy commodity to invest in, with many companies offering their stock and a number of brokers and advisors willing to sell them.

Pros

  • A large variety of stock to invest in.
  • Control over your investment.
  • Leave the market when you want.
  • Tried and trusted way of entering the investment world.
Cons

  • While safer than futures, stocks are still vulnerable to market fluctuations. Valuable metals can be especially volatile, and prices may vary wildly for no real reason.

4. Buy silver bullion

Rather than investing in silver stocks, you may decide to invest in physical silver, in the form of silver bullion bars or coins, to sell on your own terms at a later date.

"Bullion" refers to high-purity silver that is officially recognised as being at least 99.5% pure silver.

When buying silver bullion, it's important to remember that you are purchasing by weight regardless of whether it's in the form of a bar, a coin or anything else.

More collectible forms such as commemorative silver coins will often be much more expensive per gram than silver bars, so it's important to check how much you're paying by weight before buying silver.

While you have full control over the asset, buying physical silver is a longer term investment and you will have to find a buyer to realise a profit. Like other investments, physical silver prices are still influenced by the market.

It's up to you to decide how you want to store physical gold. Some people keep it at home, others entrust it to a custodian. Both options have different costs and risks.

Pros

  • Direct control over your asset.
  • Silver looks pretty in a pile on your floor.
  • Physical silver can sell at a premium compared to the spot market.
Cons

  • Physical storage can be inconvenient.
  • Buying physical silver often means paying premium prices.
  • There is a risk of fraud, especially when buying silver online.
  • It can be difficult to find silver buyers, especially if you want to sell at premium prices.

Compare silver bullion dealers

Data indicated here is updated regularly
Name Product Locations Product types Standard storage fees Standard delivery fee Available metals
SendGold
Online
Unallocated bullion, Allocated bullion
$0
N/A
Gold
ABC bullion
ABC bullion
Sydney, Perth, Online
Bars, Coins, Unallocated Bullion
1.5% p.a
$25 per kilogram + 1% insurance fee
Gold, Silver, Palladium, Bronze
Bullion Capital
Bullion Capital
Online
Bars, Coins
0.6% – 1% p.a
US$230-280
Gold, Silver
Ainslie Bullion
Ainslie Bullion
Brisbane, Online
Bars, Coins, Unallocated Bullion
$13/oz p.a.
Calculated on weight and location
Gold, Silver, Platinum
KJC
KJC
Sydney, Online
Bars, Coins, Collectables
$0 to $1 million - 0.75% pa
$30 + $1.95 per oz
Gold, Silver, Platinum, Palladium, Rhodium, Copper
The Perth Mint
The Perth Mint
Perth, Online
Bars, Coins, Unallocated Bullion, Jewlery, Collectables
1% p.a.
17.50 per kg
Gold, Silver, Platinum
Jaggards
Jaggards
Sydney, Online
Bars, Coins
$252 - $1018 for depending on size
Calculated on weight and location
Gold, Silver, Platinum, Palladium
Guardian Gold
Guardian Gold
Sydney, Melbourne, Online
Bars, Coins, Collectables
From $300 - $3,000 p.a. depending on size
Calculated on weight and location
Gold, Silver
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How much is silver worth now?

Why do people invest in silver?

There are two main ways people think about silver's value as an investment. One is as a practical and in-demand commodity whose properties give it many practical applications, similar to zinc or aluminium. The other is as a precious metal with a finite supply and inherent "folk value" similar to gold.

Silver prices are based on a combination of these two factors, which gives it a unique investment profile.

Silver as an industrial commodity

Silver's chemical and physical properties, such as its conductivity and antibacterial properties, make silver essential for many electronics, healthcare and other applications.

Silver's also malleable, ductile, reflective, relatively corrosion-resistant and not overly common, which historically made it a practical choice of metal for jewelry, coins and similar applications.

These also formed a practical foundation for silver's status as a precious metal.

Silver as a precious metal

Silver (and gold's) innate value as a precious metal is typically described in the context of its finite supply, or scarcity.

It's not certain how much silver is left in the world, but some estimates suggest that Earth will run out of silver by 2050. These estimates, however, depend on a range of assumptions around silver's continued use, how much we recycle and how likely miners are to uncover large previously-unknown sources of silver.

One economic theory holds that a commodity such as silver, which is in constant demand while having a finite supply, should carry a constantly-growing intrinsic value.

Proponents of this theory will often contrast the scarcity of silver with the theoretically infinite amount of government money, such as Australian dollars, that can enter circulation.

For this reason, silver is often regarded as a hedge against inflation and currency devaluation, and its prices have been known to run opposite to the changing values of currencies.

Is silver a safe investment?

As mentioned above, silver is a staple material for many modern industries and there are a number of routes available for investing in it. However, regardless of which way you approach it, your investment will inevitably come with risks:

  • Fluctuating prices: Valuable metals have a tendency to fluctuate in price over small periods of time, sometimes with no real cause.
  • Storage: Finding somewhere to store physical silver can be a hassle, and storing it with a broker will come with a fee.
  • Fraud: While it is tempting to look for the best prices, if it is too good to be true, it probably is. When buying physical silver, trade with reputable dealers to avoid being fleeced.
  • Political and environmental events: Political and environmental issues can make the mining, refining and trading process more expensive for companies, causing price fluctuations.

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