Table of Contents Hide
- What Is Bullion?
- Why Is Bullion Important?
- HM Bullion Silver Bars & Rounds From Highland Mint
- Reasons To Choose HM Bullion
- HM Bullion Silver Bars & Rounds
- Pros Of Investing In HM Bullion Silver Bars & Rounds
- How To Collect Or Trade HM Bullion Silver Bars And Rounds From Highland Mint?
- Wrapping Up
Highland Mint is a reputable bullion-making company. They produce bullion under the label of HM bullion which is very popular among bullion traders and sports fans. As the Highland Mint maintains a top-notch quality of its bullion, people trust them.
HM silver bars and rounds from Highland Mint are a great way to invest your money if you are interested in bullion.
Want to know more about HM bullion and Highland Mint? Then keep reading to find out information like what is bullion, how they are made, what their value is, how they are traded, and much more.
What Is Bullion?
Before talking about HM bullion and Highland Mint, we have to know what bullion actually is. So, let’s start from the very beginning.
What is bullion? Bullion is silver and gold with very high purity that has been kept in the form of coins, bars, or ingots. The main condition of bullion is that it has to be of high purity. The purity of bullions has to be at least from 99.5% to 99.9%. The purer the bullion is, the higher its value. So, the companies try to make them as pure as possible.
Bullions are often used by governments and central banks as a reserve asset. They help the government to control the market and currency inflation. So, you can say bullion plays a pretty important role in the economy.
How Bullion Is Made?
When you look at bullion, you might think that it is fairly simple to create one. Just pour liquid gold or silver in a frame and it’s done. But from extracting the mineral to striking the brand mark, the making process of bullion is way more elongated and complicated than that. And it takes a lot of man-hours too. Here are the steps that are followed to create bullion.
The first step is the extraction of the mineral. Whether it’s gold or silver, it has to be located and extracted properly. Before, hydraulic mining machines were used to find and separate precious metals like gold, silver, or platinum. But time has changed and people are using different methods which are more convenient and effective. The most common ways to mine precious metals like gold and silver are Placer, Hard Rock, By-Product, and Processing Ore. Let’s talk a little about them.
Placer- This method is mostly used by amateur miners. In this method, people use metal detection, panning, dredging, sluicing, and cradling and utilizes gravity and water to isolate the precious metal from other materials.
Hard Rock- Hard Rock is the most used method for the extraction of precious metals. In this method, miners use underground tunnels or open wells to retrieve silver, gold, and other precious metals like platinum and palladium from rocks.
By-Product- The By-Product method is very similar to the Hard Rock method. The main difference is that in this method precious metals are not the target. Though the miners get a decent amount of precious metals like silver and gold, the main purpose of the By-Product method is to mine gravel, copper, or sand.
Ore Processing – In the Ore Processing method, miners use cyanide to crush the rocks containing small amounts of gold or silver. This method is avoided by many miners as it is expensive and the yield is comparatively very low. Another reason for avoiding this method is that this method deals much greater damage to the environment. Nobody wants to mess with the environment right?
Refining And Pouring
After the extraction, it’s time for refining the metals. In this process, workers purify gold, silver, platinum, or the targeted precious metal. They use high temperatures from a large furnace, pressure, and chemicals to remove impurities.
Nowadays, most bullion manufacturers refine the metal by using any of the two processes. They are- 1. Electrolysis 2. Pyrometallurgical Chlorination. Both of these processes can purify the metal to a great extent.
Electrolysis- In the Electrolysis process or the “Wohlwill Process”, manufacturers use electrolytes made of hydrochloric acid or gold chloride. The metals are poured into this electrolyte and electricity passes through them. After that, 99.99% pure gold will be deposited at the cathode. Then they wash and dry the deposit and melt it to pour into bars.
Pyrometallurgical Chlorination- In the Pyrometallurgical Chlorination process or commonly known as the “Miller Process” the manufacturer uses chlorine gas to purify the metals. They pump the gas into the molten bullion. The base metals start reacting with the chlorine and form chlorides. The chlorides either form a slag by rising up to the surface or just evaporates. When the purity of the metal reaches around 99.5 to 99.7 percent, purple fumes begin to appear. These chloride fumes are a sign that the process is complete now. Cool right?
Parkes Process- The extraction process of silver is different from gold. Manufacturers generally use a method called the “Parkes Process”. This method is also a pyro-metallurgical process but there is no use of chlorine. But back in the early days when there was no advanced equipment, manufacturers had to pour the silver into dies before removing the silver bars and cooled ingots. The result of this method was not that satisfactory as the surfaces of the bullion bars had uneven surfaces. Though this method is obsolete, many companies still use this method as it’s cheap.
After the processes are done and the metals are purified, they are brought to a laboratory to test them. Workers check the purity as it has to be 99.9% pure. If the metals are pure enough, they are melted in a ceramic or metal container. Then experts conduct analysis to ensure the purity and the composition of the metals. This process is the most efficient and effective method in maintaining the standards of the content manufactured in the mints.
Pressing And Striking
After the metals are done with refining and pouring, the next step is pressing and striking. This process is opted by mints and manufacturers because it gives them more control over the quality and the consistency of bullion bars and rounds.
Pressed gold and silver bullion bars are made from very high-quality poured gold and silver. The process is conducted by using very powerful machines for cutting and stamping the precious metal into pressed bars. The refined liquid metal is formed into long thin bars by pouring into a casting machine. Then these thin bars are pressed several times till they reach their approximate intended thickness. This process is done in a rolling mill and annealing of the strips might be needed when the process is ongoing.
In the next step, the thin strips are transformed into the desired thickness by using a precision machine. This machine is called the “Gauging Mill”. Then the workers create blanks from the strips. They heat the strips in a furnace until they become soft and punched blanks from them. Then the blanks are tested and weighted. Blanks that fail the quality check are recycled and the blanks that have passed the test are polished, cleaned, and struck with a die. Recycled blanks follow the exact same procedure from the very beginning.
In the striking procedure, the mirror design stamped into the blanks with extreme pressure. Then workers do a final inspection and voila! The bullion is ready for shipping.
The mints and bullion manufacturers can create poured bars from metals like platinum, gold, silver, and palladium. The melting point of pure silver is 1761 degrees Fahrenheit where 24 karat gold takes approx 1945 degrees Fahrenheit to melt. Thus silver is way easier for mints to transform into bullion than gold.
Why Is Bullion Important?
Just like I’ve mentioned before, bullion plays an important role in our economy. But why is that? The answer is simple. Bullions are used by governments and central banks as a reserve asset. Yup, you heard me right. They help the government to control the market and currency inflation. Are you still confused? Read on for the detailed discussion.
Bullion is used by central banks to back its value. Central banks used to keep a reserve of gold (preferably bullion) to maintain the total value of the currency as it was mandatory to do so to stop hyperinflation of the currency. The country prints its currency according to the reserve it has. But if there was no such rule for countries to keep the value backed by gold, then every country would print an infinite amount of money. It would result in hyperinflation of the currency and that country would suffer a huge crisis in every financial sector possible. Look at Venezuela and you will know how bad currency inflation can hit a country.
However, nowadays, there are many countries that have stopped using gold as their reserve and started using US dollars instead. This action makes the US dollar a fiat currency!
As countries are moving from gold bullions to US dollars as their reserve, businessmen and investors who want to diversify their portfolio, are targeting bullion to invest in. It is giving them several options to invest like gold, silver, platinum, etc.
What About The Legality?
Banks can not keep illegal stuff as their reserve. Or can they? Jokes apart. Bullion is legal and that’s why central banks keep bullion as their reserve. Almost 20% ( it can be more) of gold that has been mined is being used as reserves by the central banks. These banks use these gold bullions to conduct economic activities like paying off debts or lending them. Central banks lend this bullion in exchange for an amount (differs from country to country) and raise capital for government projects and other important stuff.
How Bullion Is Traded In Banks?
There are many bullion banks that trade in bullion. Central banks lend their bullion to these banks and raise capital. Whenever central banks are short in capital or need some big amount of money to complete government projects, they offer these banks to trade their bullion in exchange for money. They maintain some profit margin that differs from country to country.
Central banks generally lend bullion to other banks for a fixed amount of time like three or six months in exchange for cash with payable interest. The interest rate varies from one country to another. Then central banks distribute or lend the money to other local banks in exchange for a certain percentage. Generally, the percentage remains higher than the percentage that the central bank is giving to the bullion trader banks. So, the more the percentage is, the more lucrative the bullion trading becomes. Though in the general scenario, this is how the central bank deals with the local banks, there are several times when central banks actually had to lend money to local banks with less interest percentage than bullion trader banks.
Now you might be wondering what do the bullion trader banks do with the gold they take from the central banks? The reason is pretty clear. Bullion trader banks lend the gold they get from central banks to other organizations and mining companies. By doing this, they get an additional amount of money (interest) from the same gold that they were dealing with the central banks. There is another way in which the bullion trader banks make money. They sell gold on the spot market in exchange for money. As anyone can sell commodities on the spot market with the current rate, the bullion trader bank sells their gold in the spot market with the current rate. And when the rate falls down, they again buy the same gold with less amount of cash. Nice scheme right? But there’s one disadvantage. If the lent gold is still in the market and the price starts to rise, bullion trader banks can not make any profit from the spot market. They repurchase that gold at the current market price from the spot market and give them back to the central bank.
Sometimes bullion trader banks lend gold to mining companies. But why would a mining company take gold on a loan from bullion trader banks? The reason behind this action is that the mining companies often take orders from other companies. And if they can not complete their task in the given time, they lose their contract. So, they take gold from bullion trader banks to maintain their contract. Wanna know a fun fact? The bullion trader banks lend gold to the mining company pretty eagerly. Because instead of cash, they always get repaid with gold later on.
HM Bullion Silver Bars & Rounds From Highland Mint
After knowing what bullion is and how they work, it’s time for us to discuss the main topic- Hm bullion gold and silver bars and rounds from Highland Mint. Let’s hop in.
What Is Highland Mint?
Highland Mint is preferably the most reputable mint service among the private mints in the US. It was established in the early 1980s. The Highland Mint boasts a 40,000 square foot building equipped with state-of-the-art facilities. Highland Mint creates bullion under the level of HM bullion with a variety of precious metals like gold, silver, palladium, platinum, bronze, etc. But the most popular HM bullion is gold and silver bullion.
Highland Mint is also associated with many major sports leagues like the national hockey league, major league baseball, national football league, national basketball league, etc. They produce sports memorabilia for these sports leagues and companies.
Is The HM Bullion Licensed Properly?
Highland Mint, the producer of the famous HM bullion has a high reputation among bullion traders as they hold the licenses to many major sports leagues, league players, accessories, and much more. They also have partnerships with many companies and they have produced some of the most famous memorabilia for sports fans. If you don’t know, memorabilia is also known as collectibles. These collectibles/memorabilia hold great value. Even there are many who think of these memorabilia as investments.
Since Highland Mint started the production of HM bullion, they never had to look back. The business grew pretty quickly and they started to produce more collectibles and mints items and like photo mints, mint coins, etc. They even have a dedicated art department to create designs for HM bullion and other mint collectibles.
Highland Mints Art Department For HM Bullion
Just like I mentioned before, Highland Mint has its own art department to design HM bullion and other mints for sports league fans. The head of the Highland Mints art department is a very capable man and his work can also be seen in many famous places like the Cathedral of Washington, the Metropolitan Opera House archives, and many other places.
Highland Mint has created several HM silver round designs with America’s history. One of the most popular silver bullions is the Morgan round. It features the design of Buffalo Nickel round and Incuse Head. Though the design looks exactly like the original coin but the inscriptions are different as they are not real currencies. The Morgan rounds are minted from pure silver. They have hallmarks stamped on them as the verification of their purity and weight. These bullion coins have a diameter of 39mm, the same size as the American Silver Eagle coin.
What About The Quality Of HM Bullion?
As I’ve mentioned before, Highland Mint is a reputed company. They are considered as one of the best private mints in the world. They are famous for their HM bullion where they have shown their awesome craftsmanship. Each and every HM bullion coin or bar are tested and sorted. That’s why they are superb in quality and superior to other bullions.
Reasons To Choose HM Bullion
After all these discussions you might be wondering if you should invest in HM bullion or not. There are several reasons why you should invest in HM bullion rather than some other bullion available in the market. Here are some of the main reasons. Take a look at them.
HM Bullion Is Completely American
One of the main reasons why many choose HM bullion over other bullion is that the HM bullion is completely American. It means that each and every process of HM bullion production is completed in America. Even the raw materials are extracted from American soil. As the Highland Mint is a completely American company, people trust them and invest in them.
Highland Mint Ensures Secure Online Transactions
There are many people who don’t like to pay online because their account details can be misused. But that is not the case with HM bullion. Highland Mint has ensured and always maintained an extra layer of security in case of online transactions. So, there is no chance of your account credentials being stolen or misused if you pay through PayPal or your credit card. This is another reason why people invest in HM bullion rather than investing in some other materials.
HM Bullion Offers Free Shipping
This might not be important for everyone but free shipping is a pretty solid reason for many to invest in HM bullion. Suppose a fan wants to buy a collectible of his favorite baseball team and he has to pay a good amount of money just for shipping. Of course, he won’t be paying a large sum like a businessman does when they invest in bullion. As the amount is limited and there is no monetary benefit involved, the fan will never accept a shipping charge of $20 for memorabilia worth $80 or $100. So, paid shipping can be a deal-breaker for many out there.
Though Highland Mint offers free shipping on HM bullion, that’s limited to the US only for now. And there’s one more catch. You have to buy at least $50 worth of bullion to enjoy the free shipping. And for the customers outside of the US, they still have to pay the shipping charge.
Highland Mint Has A Top-Notch Customer Service
Highland Mint has top-notch customer service. This is another reason why their customers are loyal to them. If anybody has any queries regarding HM bullion, they can directly contact customer care. Customer care will guide them through anything they want to know regarding their products.
HM Bullion Is Properly Licensed
Owning silver or gold coins is cool. But you know what’s more exciting? Having your favorite baseball or football team on that gold or silver coin. This is another reason to choose HM bullion. Highland Mint holds the licenses to many major sports leagues, league players, accessories, and much more. They also have partnerships with many companies and they have produced some of the most famous memorabilia for sports fans. So, if you are buying HM bullion, you are getting authentically licensed bullion with your favorite team on it. And they have plenty of designs to choose from. Awesome right?
HM Bullion Can Be Custom Made
The Highland Mint has a 40,000 square foot building equipped with state-of-the-art facilities. Customers can mint their coins according to their preference in that facility. Customers can choose the material, the thickness, the design and it can be put on the face of HM bullion with utmost precision. You won’t find this kind of flexibility and precision in some other minting facility.
HM Bullion Silver Bars & Rounds
Just like the gold bullion bar, silver bars and rounds are very popular both among businessmen and sports fans. Businessmen who don’t want to invest huge amounts of money at once, skip the gold and invest in silver. It is almost the same with sports fans. As gold collectibles are costly, fans go for silver. This way they can have their desired collectibles but at a significantly lower price.
Pros Of Investing In HM Bullion Silver Bars & Rounds
Here are some of the benefits of investing in HM bullion silver bars and rounds.
Silver Is Cheaper Than Gold
The most obvious reason to invest in silver bullion instead of gold is its price. Silver is way cheaper than gold. So, small businessmen can easily invest in silver without thinking much about the money. And as the price doesn’t fluctuate that much, it remains profitable.
Sports fans, who love to collect memorabilia of their favorite sports team also most of the time prefer silver over gold. By buying the silver bullion, they can collect what they want without spending an extra amount of money.
Silver Bullion Is 99.9% Pure
When you are investing in HM bullion silver bars and rounds, you are getting 99.9% pure silver. Highland Mint has a long reputation for maintaining its top-notch quality and the case is exactly the same with silver bars and rounds. They check and ensure the quality of each and every silver round and bar. So you don’t have to worry about the quality of them.
Silver Bullion Rounds Are Pretty Popular
You might think that silver is not that popular due to its low price than other precious metals like gold or platinum. But that’s not the truth. Silver bullion is popular in America. Some of the most popular silver bullion items are the Morgan Silver Rounds, 1-oz Horse Silver Rounds, and the Walking Liberty Silver Rounds. All of these rounds are limited edition and bear individual significance.
How To Collect Or Trade HM Bullion Silver Bars And Rounds From Highland Mint?
HM bullion silver bars and rounds have physical forms. That means you can literally buy them and keep them in your house. You can get them from a trusted bullion seller or you can contact the Highland Mint facility. They will deliver your product to your doorstep.
You can also keep your bullion in your bank (if they have locker options for that). By keeping bullion instead of money gives you an upper hand in case of bankruptcy. As banks do not have ownership over your bullion or can not invest in them, they will be safe even if the bank goes bankrupt.
Exchange-Traded Funds (ETFs)
Exchange-traded funds or ETFs are pretty good for investing in gold or silver bullion bars and rounds. Exchange-traded funds are funds like mutual funds where they deal with certificates instead of gold or silver. It means that there is no physical silver or gold involved, instead, the certificates prove your ownership. Investors who invest a large amount of money in bullion, prefer ETFs. By doing this, they eliminate the headache of storing physical silver or golds.
Future contracts are another way to trade your bullion. This method is called the future contracts as you sell or buy at a predetermined rate on a specified date. Generally, investors agree with bullion traders for a specific date to buy or sell their bullion. By doing this, they can only receive their bullion after the contract expires. Future contracts can be very profitable because they deal in big volumes.
Future contracts are pretty costly as the rate might reach even six-digit numbers, making them suitable for big investors. But what will happen if an investor ever wants to get his money before the contract ends? The answer is simple. He can sell his contract to other buyers and get his money back.
Bullion is an important part of our economy. They are used by banks and traders to accelerate the business. Even sports companies use bullion to create memorabilia or collectibles to celebrate special occasions. Whether it’s from Highland Mint or some other company, bullion trading is becoming more and more popular every day. But, as Highland Mint is a reputed bullion maker, people often prefer them and their HM bullion silver bars and rounds. So, if you are interested in bullion trading or bullion collectibles, go for Highland Mint. You won’t regret it.