Sovereign vs Non-Sovereign products: How to Choose?


Both sovereign coins and non-sovereign rounds and bars are portable, stackable and durable. Both are pleasing to the eye and are worthy forms of investment. So how do you choose the right Precious Metal product for you?

The choice between non-sovereign bars and rounds and sovereign coins depends entirely on your investing goals. Before making a purchase, it’s important to consider what’s most essential to you and your future objectives: Do you want your investment to have numismatic, or collectible, value? Is it important that you can use it as currency? While both sovereign and non-sovereign products function as worthwhile assets, their qualities and features are very distinct.

The benefits of sovereign coins

Gold eagle

2015 Gold American Eagle Coin

If you answered yes to both questions above, you’re likely interested in sovereign coins. These coins, regardless of their Precious Metal content, have a face value and can therefore function as currency as well as an investment. Examples of sovereign coins are the popular 1 oz Silver Maple Leaf or the 1 oz Gold American Eagle coins.

Why does it matter if they’re sovereign?

silver maple leaf

1 oz 2015 Silver Canadian Maple Leaf Coin

Sovereign products are backed by the government of a sovereign nation. The country that issued them assures their purity and Precious Metal content. Some investors choose sovereign coins specifically because they can be easier to sell back than non-sovereign rounds or bars.

Furthermore, sovereign coins can have substantial numismatic value. Not only do coins often have stunning, historically relevant or patriotic designs, certain coins’ value may exceed their physical worth depending on their age, condition and rarity. This does not apply solely to coins from the United States, like the American Eagle, that are popular with coin collectors. Some of the most popular sovereign coin products on APMEX.com come from around the world, including the Canadian Maple Leaf, the Austrian Philharmonic and the South African Krugerrand.

The benefits of non-sovereign rounds and bars

Like coins, non-sovereign rounds and bars are easy to transport and store and are nearly indestructible. If there’s a natural disaster or catastrophic event, chances are your rounds or bars will be in one piece. Though they may be very much the same physically, non-sovereign rounds and bars differ from coins in one essential aspect: they have no face value and therefore cannot be used as currency.

sunshine round

1 oz Silver Sunshine Mint Round

Non-sovereign rounds and bars can be manufactured by either a national government or a private mint. Their value is entirely dependent on their purity and Precious Metal content. While they have little value as a numismatic collector’s item, non-sovereign Gold or Silver rounds can be a prized investment.

In the event of a monetary collapse, it is more likely that bars and rounds will continue to hold their value. Many choose to purchase this form of asset precisely because Gold has maintained its value while even the most trusted currencies have fluctuated. Furthermore, because they don’t have as much numismatic potential as sovereign coins, non-sovereign rounds or bars tend to require less upfront cost.

Some of the most commonly purchased non-sovereign products on APMEX.com come from widely recognizable private mints like Johnson Matthey, Credit Suisse, Engelhard, Sunshine Minting, PAMP Suisse and even APMEX. Some examples of non- sovereign products are the 1 oz Silver Buffalo round or the 1 oz Gold APMEX bar. Non-sovereign products can be as small as 1 gram and as large a 1,000 oz bar!

Are sovereign coins or non-sovereign rounds and bars right for you?

APMEX Silver bar

10 oz Silver APMEX Bar

If you prioritize an investment in Gold, Silver or Platinum based on the numismatic and currency-based value, consider choosing a sovereign coin. A non-sovereign round or bar, on the other hand, is ideal if you’re more interested in the outright value of the Precious Metal. Many people consult a financial advisor before making any investments to discuss the best options for their personal financial plan. However, with online Precious Metals dealers like APMEX, it’s easy to purchase your products online at any time of the day or night.

Regardless of your preference, APMEX carries a vast selection of coins, bars and rounds. We’re happy to cater to your needs and investment goals. Please contact us with any questions you may have about Precious Metals, including sovereign coins and non-sovereign rounds and bars, at (800) 375-9006.