What is the Difference Between a 999 and 999.9 Silver Bar? Does it Matter?

What is the Difference Between a 999 and 999.9 Silver Bar? Does it Matter?


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Silver has been valued for its beauty and utility for thousands of years and used as a form of currency, jewelry, and various industrial applications. One of the most common forms of investing in silver is through silver bars, which are produced in various purities. Two common purities are 999 and 999.9 silver bars. This article will explore the differences between these two types of silver bars and what sets them apart.

Purity Levels

The primary difference between a 999 silver bar and a 999.9 silver bar lies in their purity levels. The number before the decimal point represents the percentage of pure silver in the bar. A 999 silver bar contains 99.9% pure silver, while a 999.9 silver bar contains 99.99% pure silver. Both purities are considered high-quality and are commonly used in the bullion market, but the 999.9 silver bar is slightly more refined and contains a higher concentration of pure silver.

Manufacturing Process

The variance in purity is due to differences in the manufacturing process. Refining silver to reach a 99.9% purity level involves multiple stages of purification, including chemical treatments and electrolysis. On the other hand, achieving 99.99% purity requires further refining processes, such as fractional crystallization, zone refining, or pyro-refining. These additional steps result in the more precise removal of impurities, producing a silver bar with an even higher fineness of silver.

Investment Value

999 and 999.9 silver bars are popular for investors looking to diversify their portfolios and hedge against economic uncertainties. However, the higher purity of the 999.9 silver bar makes it slightly more desirable for some investors who prefer the assurance of owning the purest form of silver available in the market. As a result, 999.9 silver bars may command a slightly higher premium over 999 silver bars due to their increased value.

Market Availability

999 silver bars are more widely available than 999.9 silver bars. While both types can be found in reputable precious metals dealers and mints, 999 silver bars are produced in larger quantities, making them more accessible to investors. On the other hand, 999.9 silver bars are often produced in limited quantities and may be preferred by collectors or investors seeking a rarer form of silver.


While 999 and 999.9 silver bars are primarily sought after for their precious metal content and investment potential, some collectors may value the higher purity 999.9 silver bars for their rarity and uniqueness. Collectors often appreciate the craftsmanship and beauty of silver bars, and the 999.9 purity level may add an extra element of fascination for some numismatists.

Does All of This Matter?

So most people buying gold and silver buy bullion silver rated above 99.5% pure silver and often considered a good buy. So, worrying about that last 0.001% of impurity is bother line nitpicky and can begin to add unnecessary complications to the purchase process. 


Instead, focus on why you are buying precious metals in the first place. Investing in gold and silver has been a popular strategy for centuries, and these precious metals continue to be sought after for several compelling reasons:


  • Store of Value: Gold and silver have long been considered stores of value throughout history. Unlike fiat currencies that can be subject to inflation and lose purchasing power over time, gold and silver tend to maintain their value and act as a hedge against economic uncertainties and currency devaluation.


  • Safe-Haven Assets: During economic turmoil, political instability, or stock market volatility, investors often turn to gold and silver as safe-haven assets. These precious metals are perceived as a safe store of wealth and tend to retain their value even in times of crisis.


  • Diversification: Including gold and silver in an investment portfolio can provide diversification benefits. Precious metals often have a low correlation with traditional financial assets like stocks and bonds, meaning they may not move in the same direction as the broader market. This can help reduce overall portfolio risk and enhance its resilience during market downturns.


  • Tangible Assets: Gold and silver are physical assets that you can hold in your hand. Unlike paper investments, owning tangible assets provides security and ownership. Some investors prefer this aspect, especially during uncertain economic times.


  • Inflation Hedge: Both gold and silver historically have shown the ability to preserve purchasing power over the long term. Inflation erodes the value of paper currencies, but precious metals tend to rise along with inflation, acting as a hedge against rising prices.


  • Global Acceptance: Gold and silver are recognized and valued worldwide, making them highly liquid and easily exchangeable for cash or other goods and services. Their universal appeal allows for easy trading and liquidity, regardless of location.


  • Industrial Demand: Besides precious metals, gold and silver have extensive industrial applications. They are used in electronics, medical equipment, renewable energy, and various other industrial sectors, which creates additional demand for these metals and can influence their prices positively.


  • Long-Term Investment: Gold and silver are often viewed as long-term investments that can provide stability and potential returns over extended periods. They are suitable for those who prefer a buy-and-hold approach and are willing to withstand short-term fluctuations in value.


  • Portfolio Insurance: Owning gold and silver can act as insurance for an investment portfolio. If traditional financial markets experience significant declines, the rise in gold and silver prices may offset losses in other asset classes, providing a measure of financial protection.


In conclusion, the primary difference between 999 and 999.9 silver bars is their purity levels. While both are valuable investments in the precious metals market, the 999.9 silver bar contains a higher concentration of pure silver, making it slightly more desirable for some investors. Ultimately, the choice between these two types of silver bars depends on individual investment goals, preferences, and budget considerations. Regardless of your choice, investing in silver can be a prudent strategy to protect and diversify your wealth.


So you have decided to buy silver online.

Great choice. Let’s talk about silver.

Silver is exceptionally popular today. Part of the reason for this is the belief that it’s potential for upside value increase is even greater than the same belief in gold. In fact, there is a very good book on this subject entitled: “ Why Silver Will Outperform Gold by 400% in the coming years”. It’s a very scholarly book and quite convincing. Give it a read if you have the time.

Silver Bullion Prices

Mind you, one need not look as far as that book to find evidence of the common belief that silver has great potential for growth in the near future. All one has to do is go to the web or even Youtube and there are advocates of this thought at every turn.

At Durham Precious Metals we believe that silver is an easy choice because it gives a sense of substance due to its lower cost per ounce than gold.

Silver Bullion

Probably 90% of our business is silver sales so this sentiment is fairly unanimous throughout the public. 10oz bars seem to be the most popular. Generic rounds and Silver Maples seem to be the next most popular and 1oz bars a close 4th place. It is our opinion that 10 oz bars and 1oz rounds are your best value as their premium over spot is very reasonable. However, there is no wrong choice when it comes to our silver product line because we try to concentrate on product lines with low premiums anyway.

Silver has always been a form of money. There are those that will argue that silver has been demonetized but we beg to differ. All one has to do is refer to the (CCRA) definition for 999 bullion. It is deemed by Rev Can to be a “ financial instrument”. Enough said on that subject!

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From a utility standpoint, silver has somewhere in the neighbourhood of 60,000 industrial uses including painting the backs of mirrors to create the reflective surface to collecting radiation in solar panels. If nothing else, the lack of an above ground supply of silver ( which is relatively new historically) will keep the demand for this metal strong since for most applications there is no viable substitute.

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Can you imagine the mayhem that would ensue if all the major electronic manufacturers came grinding to a halt due to a silver shortage? It would be catastrophic to the economy. We believe that this fact alone will be a major driver of support for the silver price when the powers that be run out of tricks in their attempt to suppress the price of silver. And yes, we agree that this practice goes on in plain sight and that the regulators turn a blind eye. Let’s hope justice prevails and that the historic silver/gold ratio returns to its traditional level.

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In the meantime…keep stacking!

So you have decided to buy gold online.

Great choice! Let’s talk about gold then, shall we?

Gold is, and always has been, a favorite of collectors of precious metals. Its 6000-year history of sustaining wealth is unprecedented. The yellow metal has launched wars, bought fortunes and has been a form of money throughout that history. It is one of the densest metals and also one of the densest elements on the periodic table. It weighs in at a density of 19.32 grams per cubic centimeter. Water, by contrast, has a density of 1 gram per cubic centimeter.

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Platinum is the densest of the common 4 precious metals at 21.45 grams per cubic centimeter.

People will often ask when gold is the right choice to buy as opposed to other metals such as silver. This is a very common question. There is no easy answer that anyone can give to someone so we always boil it down to practical applications.

Gold Bullion

Consider how much of an investment you are planning to make over-all throughout the course of your precious metals buying.  If you are planning on purchasing, for example, $10,000 worth of metals and then cap your spending then it really doesn’t matter which metals you buy. The volume of the purchase will be relatively small in terms of weight and size. Our main concern and Durham Precious Metals comes down to simple things like , cost of storage, cost of shipping and bulk. We are always trying to help our customers have the best experience as metals collectors.

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For example, if you were to tell us that you are considering selling a piece of real estate and use the proceeds to buy metals then gold would be our suggestion. The reason comes down to volume and weight at this point. Several hundred thousand dollars of silver would be an incredible amount of bulk at this spend level. Hundreds of pounds of silver would be hard to store practically and would be more expensive to store as well. If you are the DIY type it would also be harder to hide than a comparable dollar amount of gold.

Keep in mind that at the time of this writing gold is about 75 times more expensive in dollar terms as the same weight of silver. That equates to 75 times less bulk per dollar spend. This will make it much easier to hide or store if you are looking at large purchase amounts.

Price of Gold?

If you are only considering a small total purchase amount either of the metals is perfectly fine. The one consideration we always emphasize for small purchase amounts really comes down to personal perception. Here is what we mean. Silver is 75 times more bulky per dollar spend. Obviously, it is going to feel a lot more substantial if you buy $5000 worth of silver and have several hundred ounces to admire than only about 3 ounces. It’s a perception thing at this point but perception matters to people since perception can make us feel a particular way about what we spend our money on.

In closing, gold and silver are both great choices and neither is wrong in terms of their value of utility. They have both had a long history as a store of wealth and that isn’t likely to change any time soon.

Buy both with confidence. Buy Gold Online

We often carry pieces that we don’t list on site so feel free to call us for an up-to-date list.

About DPM

When you consider silver value and gold value, the wise choice is to stock up today. At Durham Precious Metals we make it easy and convenient to buy silver and buy gold online.

For those who are serious about investing in gold and silver bullion, DPM is your one-stop store to buy gold and buy silver, whether it be through our website or our retail store.

Many people want to know where to buy gold and do not realize they can avoid the traffic hassle of driving into the city and visit us at DPM located in Oshawa, Ontario. See our Retail Store page for directions. Our customers are delighted with our competitive silver price. We carry mint direct silver bars, silver coins, gold bars and gold coins.

Make Durham Precious Metals your choice for gold and silver bullion.

Consider a Gold IRA as well