Silver Coins can be divided into 4 categories: Proof Coins, Silver Coins, Silver Rounds and Junk Silver. Depending on your reason for buying silver coins, one of these may be preferable over another. These different types of coins can vary significantly in the premium they sell for over the spot price, the quantity of silver in the coin, and the quality of the coin. Some may also be more liquid than others.
Junk Silver Coins
Junk silver coins generally refer to older US Minted coins that contained a portion of silver in them. These coins were made of silver. The most popular junk silver coins are the silver quarter, which was produced until 1964. These coins contained approximately 90% silver bullion, with a mix of other metals, including zinc, copper or nickel. For individuals looking to purchase silver purely on content at 'scrap' prices, these junk coins are probably a good option. These coins have normally been heavily circulated, and when buying them, you should not expect to see any appreciation in the coin value - the only appreciation you may see is in the value of silver.
Proof or Numismatic Coins
Proof coins and Numismatic coins are another type of silver coin. A proof coin is one that is produced to a very high standard (high relief). These coins come with greater mark-ups and are geared toward collectors. Much like good art, true numismatists (collector coin experts) are generally lifetime coin collector enthusiasts who have obtained years of technical knowledge. Numismatic coins are high quality silver coins that are made in limited quantities. These coins can gain value over time due to their limited minting and collectibilibty. Frequently, although they may or may not be worth more someday, they can be purchased at a marginal price over the spot silver price.
Silver rounds refer to silver 'coins' that are created with a private mint. With lower premiums than coins that are autonomous and while generally of great quality, they don't come with a face value or the same government backing. Silver rounds are produced round the world. Silver Rounds are produced by mints, and are manufacutred as part of a line of products that the mint sell, or they are manufatured on behalf of other dealers or organisations. The main distinction with silver rounds is that they are not produced by a government mint, and do not have a legal tender value. For EU residents, this can impact the amount of tax payable on the coins, and is a relevant consideration.
Silver Coins simply refers to any silver coins which are manufactured almost exclusively from silver with a minimum finenes of 99.9% silver. These coins are also called "sovereign" coins, because they are both manufactured and guaranteed by this government. All silver coins are manufactured by or on behalf of a government mint, and have a legal tender value. For example, the silver Britannia Coin produced by the Royal Mint, has a face value of £2. They come with a face value; because the silver material makes them worth far more compared to the figure these face values are largely symbolic now. But every government does guarantee they'll always be worth the total stated.
Silver bullion coins have two layers of cost: the dealer premium and the silver metal content. This makes their price transparent since the purchase price is largely based on the "spot price" of silver spot. Suisse Gold prioritizes silver coins and silver rounds for clients, as these two have a minimal premium over the spot price, but are recognised worldwide and are part of a very liquid market.