Scottsdale Mint Bar 100 Troy Ounces

Bars vs. Rounds: What is the Best Way to Buy Bullion?

Some precious metal collectors prefer rounds and others swear by bars, but what makes one better than the other?

Rounds got their name from their round shape. They look like coins, but are usually bigger depending on the weight. (Coins usually refers to metal backed by a government for circulation.)

Bars are rectangular blocks of precious metals. Picture the classic image of bars of gold, although bars are made for copper, silver, and palladium as well.


Pros of Buying Rounds:

Rounds often come with attractive and intricate designs. These designs and to the eye-appeal of the metal, and also add to the security of the coin. It is harder for forgers to replicate intricate designs.

Cons of Buying Rounds:

Although rounds are attractive, the extra work needed to design and polish the coins makes rounds more expensive to produce than bars. Rounds usually carry a premium over the spot price, thankfully, they will also sell for above spot.


100 Oz Silver Bars

from: Money Metals Exchange

Pros of Buying Bars:

The best part about bars is that it is a much cheaper way to buy silver in bulk (usually). The premiums on silver rounds drive the price up when buying in bulk.

Cons of Buying Rounds:

Rounds are fake fairly often. Since they are so expensive, I would make sure to purchase from reputable dealers.

Buyers Guide:

I would recommend choosing between bars and rounds based on how many ounces you are looking to buy. If you are buying a couple ounces of silver at a time, then I would buy rounds. For larger purchases, I would buy bars.

Here is what I would recommend for each weight:

Less Than 1/2 Oz: Bars

1 Gram Gold Bars

from: Money Metals Exchange
  • These are just adorable little bars. They are really cute, but carry huge premiums!

1/2 to 5 Oz: Rounds

  • 5 ounces is the cut off point for where I would decide between bars or rounds. A 5 ounce round is a very satisfying and hefty coin, whereas a 5oz bar feels lacking.

Greater than 5 Oz: Bars

10 Oz Gold Bars

from: Money Metals Exchange
  • Larger bars have a really satisfying feel and can be cheaper than buying that many ounces of rounds. Plus, bars are more compact for storing.

Final Thoughts

Of course, like any hobby, there is no right or wrong answer. Many people prefer one or the other just for the looks. Most people have a mix of both. Personally, I buy whatever is cheapest!

Interested in becoming a silver stacker? Read “What Is A Silverbug? How To Start Silver Stacking!”

How do you prefer to buy bullion, bars or rounds? Add a comment and vote in the poll below!

I’m an affiliate with Money Metals Exchange through Share-a-Sale. Any purchases made through links help support my site. Thanks!

Silver Rounds Coming Out of Bag

What Is A Silverbug? How To Start Silver Stacking!

A silverbug is someone who collects silver usually in the form of bullion or old coins, but they may also collect silverware or jewelry.

There is a thriving “silverbug” community online where people like to post their silver stacks and recent purchases. Most silverbugs prefer to talk online for anonymity, since large amounts of silver would make them good targets for burglars.

How to become a silverbug?

Start buying silver! Here are some tips to be smart about buying silver when you are getting started.

No one knows how silver prices will change on any given day, but we can use historical data and confidence intervals to help make smarter silver purchases.

Sunshine Mint 5 Ounce Bar, .999 Pure Silver

from: Money Metals Exchange

The best way to buy silver is to dollar cost average. This means that you buy a bit of silver on a consistent basis with little thought to the price. This means you may pay more sometimes, but you are not stuck waiting for lows or trying to time the market.

What counts as a good price for you may be different than what someone else considers a reasonable price. Personally, silver under $20 feels like a great buy for me, and silver over $26 seems overpriced. How I feel may change with time.

A great way to get started is to look at deals for new customers. Many of these deals offer silver at spot! Here is a link to SD Bullion’s spot silver deal where you can get a 5 oz silver bar.

You can also buy bulk silver from Money Metals Exchange’s bargain bin where silver is offered with low premiums:

If you want to learn more about bargain silver bins, you can go to this article: “Bargain Bins: One of the Best Ways to Buy Silver Online”. In this article I discuss bargain bins and similar ways to buy cheaper silver online.

What silver do silverbugs buy?

There are many different ways of buying silver. A silverbug may collect bullion, old coins, silverware, jewelry, or anything else that contains silver.

Most silver collectors stick to bullion, because you can usually get more silver for a cheaper price. However, bullion is not just silver melted down into bars anymore. Many bars feature art on them!

These bars are very pretty, but usually sell for a premium over the spot price of silver. (Spot price is the current selling price of an ounce of silver. Getting silver at spot means it is a good deal.)

There are even silver bars meant to attract silver bugs! Here is the 2 oz Stag Beetle Silver Round from the Intaglio Mint that will be available in Spring 2021.

SD Bullion has a whole section of silver marketed towards self proclaimed ‘silverbugs’ you can check out that collection by clicking here.

Most silverbugs get started by buying silver close to spot price. For your first silver purchase, I would buy one to ten ounces and see how it makes you feel when you get the chance to hold it. I knew I loved silver once I got my first silver rounds in my hand.

What do silver collectors do with their silver?


Well, that’s not completely true. Silver is not a toy, so there is nothing to really do with it. Some people have what they call “fondle pieces” of silver which is silver they touch and play with in their hand. Much like Gollum with the one ring.

Silver gives many people a sense of safety, knowing that silver is historically a good store of value and a good hedge against inflation. Some silver stackers worry about the complete economic collapse of the dollar.

Is there a wrong way to invest in silver?

Some people may disagree with me, but there are definitely wrong ways to invest in silver. Unless you have no trust in the US dollar and global financial economy, you should be careful not to put too much money in silver.

Buying silver can be addicting! It is fun to watch your stack grow. But, it can start to take away from other more profitable investments. Make sure you are still investing into 401k’s and retirement accounts. Cryptocurrency is another way to diversify if you are worried about the stability of the US dollar.

Have good hiding spaces for your silver. You do not need a high end safe, even a diversion stash can will do. Find somewhere it is unlikely to be stolen from thieves, family, or friends.

Silver Terms And Definitions To Know:

  • Bullion – Gold, silver, or other precious metals kept for their value.
  • Bars – Silver melted into a bar shape. Think of a candy bar.
  • Rounds – Silver melted in the shape of a circle, similar to a coin.
  • Troy Ounce – A measurement used for precious metals. A troy ounce is 2.75 grams heavier than a regular ounce.
  • Spot – Refers to the “Spot Price”. This is the current buying price of silver.
  • Sterling Silver – A less pure form of silver. Contains 92.5% silver by weight.

Share a comment and vote in our poll below!

I’m an affiliate with SDBullion and Money Metals Exchange through Share-a-Sale. Any purchases made through links help support my site. Thanks!

1954 benjamin franklin half dollar

WallStreetBets Redditors Set Their Sights on Silver For The Next Short Squeeze

I’m a big fan of Reddit and very active on r/Coins and r/Silverbugs. Occasionally, I like to hop over to r/WallStreetBets to see what the gambling addicts over there are up to.

Much to my surprise, WallStreetBets and Silverbugs have begun to merge. Coming off the high of the great gains of Gamestop (GME), redditors have been looking for more stocks to make gains from (or teach WallStreet a lesson).

Some Redditors are looking to Blackberry, AMC, or Nokia, but another subsection has begun to eye silver as an undervalued asset worth pumping.

1964 Silver Quarter
A 1964 Silver Quarter, currently worth about 3$

As a coin-collector, I also dabble in collecting precious metals. Silver has beaten stock market returns before, but over most long time periods, silver mostly keeps up with inflation. As much as I like silver, I don’t expect to get rich off of it.

I am a little annoyed to see the mentality around silver stacking changing over the past few hours. A lot of silver stackers liked to watch their stack grow and felt some security in it. Lately, many people are entering the hobby with thoughts of market manipulation and greed.

Here is a screenshot of the post by u/RocketBoomGo on silver prices that began trending and motivating a lot of the current excitement about silver.

Here is another Reddit post by u/TheHappyHawaiian that motivated more of the hype around silver. I am not a fan of technical analysis because I very much doubt it’s efficacy, so I won’t delve into whether or not the prices are possible.

A lot of the posts about increasing the price of silver seem to be looking at a price target of $1,000. (Is this probable? I have no idea.)

Let’s talk about the pros and cons of silver reaching $1000 per troy ounce.


If silver reaches $1,000 an ounce, coin collectors and silver stackers who already own a lot of silver will make an amazing profit should they decide to sell. A silver quarter, currently worth about $3 would be worth almost $200!

It might get more people interested in precious metals. I would definitely like to have more of my friends and family interested in silver. (Although I would prefer if they were interested in investing first.)


It would make owning a coin collection or silver a much greater liability. If silver went up to $1000 an ounce, I personally would sell some because I would be uncomfortable having that much money in my house unprotected.

If silver went up to $1000 an ounce, the value of silver would begin to greatly outweigh the numismatic value of silver coins. That increases the likelihood that silver coins would be melted down for the silver content since lots of silver collectors prefer pure bars. 😦

Most importantly it would make coin collecting an insanely expensive hobby! My friends already think I’m crazy for spending $20 on an old quarter; imagine if I told them I was now spending hundreds per quarter!

Obviously, I’m glad more people are looking at silver, but I am worried about how the culture around silver purchasing may begin to change. Currently, it’s been mostly motivated by interest in it as a material and a community. Using silver as a store of value feels more like a hobby than investing.

WallStreetBets Redditors are more interested in increasing the price in the short term. When someone asks advice of stock purchasing over on WSB it is almost always met with a strong encouraging and pressuring to buy. Silverbugs has been a much more calm, “buy what you can afford and dollar cost average.” I would hate to lose that in the community.

Silver Dimes in a Pile
A pile of silver dimes.

Anyway, that’s enough of my ranting for now! I logged onto r/Silverbugs a few hours ago and decided to write an article here about how I’m feeling about a silver pump.

If you want to learn more about what U.S. coins contain silver click here!

Here is a quote to ponder on for the day, as applicable to stocks as it is for silver.

“In the short run, the market is a voting machine but in the long run it is a weighing machine.”

Benjamin Graham

Edit 2/2/2021: A lot of WSB redditors are now trying to distance themselves from the silver pump. There’s a lot of conspiracy theories that the silver pump was manufactured by Citadel.

The silver price has risen a lot in the last week, premiums pushed silver prices to over $32 an ounce. Today, silver has fallen slightly from its highs from yesterday.

I’ve been checking online retailers like SDBullion, and they seem to be running out of almost all their silver in stock.

Share a comment below and vote in our poll!

Obverse of Silver After Polishing

Toning a Silver Round with Liver of Sulphur Gel

After sharing my article, How to Artificially Tone Silver Coins?, I received lots of great feedback!

First, I didn’t actually need to put my silver coin IN the egg to tone it… whoops.

Second, I could buy Liver of Sulphur Gel online to get a much more even toning! I purchased it immediately, and now I’m going to share how well it worked.

I am an Amazon Affiliate, so I do make a commission off of any products purchased from my Amazon Links. This commission does not increase the price of products purchased through my links. Thank you for the support!

I am using the same silver Buffalo Round I used for “How to Artificially Tone Silver Coins?” which I am using because it had the least amount of toning.

You can view the original SilverTowne Buffalo Round on SDBullion by clicking this link.

Silver Round with Liver of Sulfur Extended Life Gel.

I purchased the Liver of Sulfur Gel on Amazon. It has more than enough gel for the experiment. Plus, it came with instructions on how to tone coins, jewelry and silverware!

Step 1.) Wash the Coin

Silver Round with a bit of soap.

I wore gloves and cleaned it with Dawn Dish Soap. Make sure to wear gloves while handling the coin from here on out, as oils on your hand could effect the evenness of the artificial toning.

2.) Prep Your Neutralizing Solution

Water and Baking Soda

Once your coin reaches the desired level of toning, you will want to submerge it in water and baking soda IMMEDIATELY. This neutralizes the sulfur so your coin stops processing.

Step 3.) Combine 4-8 Drops of Liver of Sulfur with Warm Water

First, remember to take the plastic seal off of your Liver of Sulfur. Wear gloves when taking the seal off. I had to use a toothpick to remove the seal as it did not all come off in one go.

I used 8 drops of Liver of Sulfur with 1.5 cups of warm tap water.

Surprisingly, the sulfur was smelly, but not as smell as I was expecting. I did this on a stove with the fan on medium, but did not feel the need to open the doors and windows to avoid the smell. In fact, it reminded me of making Easter eggs as a kid!

The sulfur and warm water… looks a lot like urine.

I used warm, but not hot tap water for my first try. So the silver did not change colors as fact as the instructions led me to believe.

Step 4: Submerge the Coin

The instructions said to use wire or tongs to submerge the coin, but I was lazy so I just used my gloved hand, remembering to rotate the coin every few second so the sulfur could work evenly.

Here is the front and back after about 45 seconds in the mixture. I would lift the coin out every 10 seconds to check the color.

Step 5: Neutralize the Sulfur

Once it reached a fairly toned level I took the coin out and submerged it in the neutralizing baking soda solution.

Silver in Baking Soda after first round of toning.

Here is what both sides of the silver bullion looked like after being neutralized and drying on a paper towel.

This turned out so much better than my other attempts at toning! The color was fairly even, and had many of the blue tones I was looking for.

Even though this looked better than before, I decided to do another round, to see just how far I could tone it. This time I decided to use hot water, hoping it would make the toning happen faster.

Round 2:

This time instead of using warm tap water, I put 1 cup of tap water into a mug and microwaved it for 45 seconds. Then I poured the water into the plastic container so I could dip my coin.

What I did NOT think about was that I would now have to submerge my hand in hot water. Thankfully, I did not heat the water any longer because it was pretty uncomfortable to keep even my fingers in. DO NOT USE BOILING WATER.

Wow! So much faster!

The hot water worked a LOT faster. I barely had time to take photos before I was ready to take the silver out.

Again, move the coin into a neutralizing bath of baking soda and water.

In the neutralizing bath.

Wow, this worked great. The color was much more blue and very even on both sides.

These were very close to what I wanted, but the instructions on the Liver of Sulfur Gel had a section for polishing the silver with dry baking soda using your fingers.

I decided to try it.

Using baking soda to polish the silver after using Liver of Sulfur Gel.

This was super easy, I simply put some baking soda on the coin and rubbed it gently with my fingers. Then, I turned the coin to do the same with the other side.

HOLY MOLY! This really improved the look of the silver rounds.

This was almost exactly the look I was hoping for. Polishing really made the finer details of the silver round stand out.

Here is a comparison of the silver round before and after. Slide the middle bar to compare:

Wow! Look at the difference.


I’m not sure if I like this look more than a perfect silver coin, but if you have a coin that is already developing some unattractive toning then I think this is a great thing to try.

Plus, it’s a lot of fun. If you have kids that are interested in silver this is a really easy activity for the two of you to do together.

What you need to try this at home:

If you want to try other fun experiments, check out the previous article “How to Artificially Tone Silver Coins?” where I try to achieve the same effect with household items!

Mercury Dimes Various Dates

Which U.S. Coins Contain Silver?

If you know how to look for it, finding silver in US coins becomes second nature.

Not to say that finding silver is easy, it’s a numbers game. The more coins you look through, the greater your odds of finding silver.

By knowing how to quickly identify silver coins you may be able to find a few dollars worth of silver a year.

Why were coins silver? Wasn’t it expensive?

Nowadays, people trust the stability of U.S. currency simply because it is backed by the U.S. government, but this wasn’t always the case. You probably heard about how the United States used to be on the “Gold Standard” this meant that every dollar issued to the public corresponded to a fixed amount of gold.

The same idea applied to coins, so each coin consisted of an amount of precious metal roughly equal to its value.

Although a 1946 silver dime is worth over $1 today in silver content, it was worth less than 10 cents when it was made.

Due to an increase in production, silver demand has increased drastically in the last century. Silver is used in electrical switches, conductors, and fuses. Silver has many uses because it is the best thermal and electrical conductor of any metal.

Eventually, silver coins did become too expensive to produce. In 1965 the U.S. mint stopped minting silver quarters and dimes.

What coins have silver?


No pennies have silver. Pennies have been made of copper, zinc, and/or nickel since 1793.

If your penny looks silver it is probably a steel cent! These pennies were minted in 1943 and are made of steel with a zinc coating, giving the penny a silver appearance.

If you do find a silver penny, it was more than likely plated. There is however, a very small chance you found a very valuable penny that was minted with the wrong material.


There are silver nickels! These are called Silver Wartime Nickels and they were minted from 1942-1945.

Nickel was in high demand during WW2, so to save nickel to be used in military weapons and machinery, the mint used 35% silver instead of nickel. A silver Jefferson nickel has a weight in silver of 1.59 grams.

Not all nickels minted from 1942-1945 were silver. To know if your nickel is silver, check for a mintmark above the depiction of Monticello on the back of the coin. There will be with a large P, D, or S.


Roosevelt Dimes minted from 1946-1964 are 90% silver. They have a silver weight of 2.25 grams.

A small pile of silver Roosevelt dimes.

Another common silver dime is the Mercury Dime. These are also 90% silver with a weight of 2.25 grams. Mercury Dimes were minted from 1916-1945.

Silver Mercury Dimes of Various Years

Less common 90% silver dimes: Barber Dimes, Seated Dimes, and Seated Half Dimes.

Dimes with 89% silver composition: Capped Bust Dimes, Draped Bust Dimes, Capped Bust Half Dimes, Draped Bust Half Dimes, and Flowing Hair Dimes.


Washington Quarters minted before between 1932-1964 are 90% silver. There is about 5.625 grams of silver per quarter. This is the most common silver quarter to find in circulation.

A 1964 Silver Quarter

There are silver editions of the Bicentennial Quarter that are about 40% silver for a weight of 2.3 grams of silver. Not every Bicentennial Quarter is silver, finding a silver one is quite rare.

Other quarters with 90% silver composition: Standing Liberty Quarter, Barber Quarter, Seated Quarter, and the Twenty Cent Piece.

Quarters with 89% silver composition: Capped Bust Quarter and the Draped Bust Quarter

Half Dollars:

Kennedy Half Dollars from 1965-1970 are 40% silver, giving them a silver weight of 4.6 grams.

The first Kennedy Half Dollar from 1964 is 90% silver, with a silver weight of 11.25 grams.

Before the Kennedy Half Dollar there was the Franklin Half. These coins are 90% silver with a silver weight of 11.25 grams.

A Silver Franklin Half Dollar, 1954.

Another silver half dollar that can sometimes be found in circulation is the Walking Liberty Half. The Walking Liberty Half is also 90% silver with a weight in silver of 11.25 grams.

A 1946 Walking Liberty Half

Other 90% silver half dollars include: Commemorative Halves from 1892–1954, Barber Halves, Seated Halves, and Capped Bust Halves.

Half Dollars with 89% silver composition: Capped Bust Half, Draped Bust Half, and the Flowing Hair Half Dollar.

Dollar Coins:

Peace Dollar and Morgan Dollars are the most common silver dollar coins to see in someone’s collection. These pieces are lots of fun yo own because they are BIG. Peace and Morgan Dollars are both 90% silver and have a silver weight of 24.057 grams!

Unfortunately, these coins are rarely seen in circulation because they are highly sought after. It’s not unheard of for some to be dropped off at a local bank by someone liquidating a collection. So ask your local bank teller!

Other 90% silver dollars: Trade Dollars, Seated Dollars, and the Flowing Hair Dollar

Dollars with 89% silver: Draped Bust Dollars.

Two and Three Cent Pieces:

Did you know that the US minted two and three cent pieces?

The Three Cent Nickel was minted from 1865-1889 and contains no silver.

The Three Cent Silver coin was minted from 1851-1873. From 1851-1853 they were 75% silver for a silver weight of .6 grams. Then from 1854-1873 they were 90% silver for a silver weight of .675 grams.

Proof Coins:

In 1992 the US mint began producing Proof Sets with silver coins. The dime, half dollar, and quarters in silver proof sets are all 90% silver.

My favorite proof set! The 2018S Silver Reverse Proof Set!

Not all proof coins you find are silver. Since you cannot tell a silver proof coin from the year or mint mark, your next step is to do the rim test.

What is the Rim Test?

The fastest way to check if a coin is 90% silver is to look at the rim. A 90% silver coin will have a rim that is all a gray silver color. A coin that is not 90% silver will have a silver-colored band and a copper/brownish band.

Silver Quarter (left) vs. Clad Quarter (right)

Be aware that this method ONLY works for 90% silver varieties. It will not help you identify silver wartime nickels or half dollars from 1965-1970.

If you check the rims and are still not sure if the coin is silver, checking the weight will give you a good estimate. If all else fails you can go to a coin store and have them test the composition for you.

Check the CoinStar

I have actually found most of my silver coins from CoinStars! CoinStars, or generic coin-counting machines, don’t accept silver coins as they are not the weight that the machine uses to verify a coin’s authenticity.

After using a CoinStar, many people leave the rejected coins in the reject tray or on the counter. Little do they know they might be leaving behind valuable silver!

Coinstar Labeled Coin hunting finding silver guide reject tray

I check the CoinStar every time I go grocery shopping. I’ve gotten my friends to check it to. Whenever my friends find foreign coins or silver I buy the coins off of them. We both leave happy!

For more on finding silver in CoinStar machines, go to: “How To Use A Coinstar To Find Rare Coins”!

Try Coin Roll Hunting

If you are looking to find silver, you should read up on coin roll hunting. Coin roll hunting gives you exposure to many coins, therefore increasing your odds of finding silver.

Too much work? You can also buy online!

Coin roll hunting is a lot of work. You have to go through hundreds of dollars in coins before you usually find any silver. I like coin roll hunting for the fun of it, but it is not a very profitable endeavour.

If you are looking to buy bulk circulated coins, you can try an online distributor. Money Metals exchange is an affiliate of American Coin Stash, so if you purchase from Money Metals Exchange, you are also supporting this site! Below is a link to Money Metals Exchange Junk Silver coins:

90% Silver Quarters, Silver Dimes Pre-1965 Junk Silver Coins

from: Money Metals Exchange

The term “junk silver” refers to silver from a coin. Usually, because silver in circulated coins has been touched a lot, it tends to be tarnished. Tarnishing does not lower the value of silver beyond the melt value. In fact, lot’s of collectors like tarnishing and prefer to call it “toning” when it is evenly spread across the surface of the coin. Toning can increase the value of a coin.

Did I miss anything? How do you find your silver coins? Vote in the poll and comment below!

Silver Round Toned With Eggs

How to Artificially Tone Silver Coins?

Alternative title, “How to Upset Coin Collectors.”

I’m going to get so much hate for this one so I will clarify now.

*I am aware that artificially toning a coin lessens its value. I am aware that lots of artificial toning is done to convince novice buyers to pay more for a coin. This article is a study on the processes of how to create artificial toning on a coin.*

All that being said, if they are your coins and you like pretty colors, go ahead and tone them! A lot of coin collectors are pretentious snobs anyway. (I’m mostly kidding.)

For the purpose of this experiment, I will be using 99.9% silver bullion also called silver rounds. I do not want to damage the value of my silver coins by toning them. Since the “coins” I am using are very generic silver buffalo rounds, toning them should not affect the price as they have almost no premium.

The silver rounds I will be ruining today.

I have never toned coins before, so I will be testing several methods I have seen on various forums.

(If you want to see a similar post where I used Liver of Sulfur Gel, Click Here!)

What I am trying to achieve

Ideally, I want these rounds to come out with a rainbow toning. Mainly, I want to have purple and blue hues on the rounds.

The consensus seems to be that the best way to artificially tone coins is to use heat and sulfur, so most of my experiments will revolve around those elements.

Since I am also very impatient, I will focus on experiments that promise to tone coins within a few hours.

1.) Using a Boiled Egg

Silver Round with an Egg

I boiled an egg for about 8 minutes until it was hard-boiled. I put the egg in a bowl, mashed it with a fork, then threw in my silver round. Easy-peasy.

Silver round IN the hardboiled egg.

I covered the bowl in saran wrap to keep the sulfur in and left the bowl on the windowsill.

After about 30 minutes, I could tell the silver was beginning to tone!

The sulfur in the egg starting to react with the silver.

So far, it was not a very attractive toning. This coin looks more like it was burnt in a house fire rather than touched by a rainbow.

After another hour in the sun…

Slide the arrows to see the toned obverse and reverse!

This one didn’t come out too bad! With some more time and a few more eggs I could have gotten a much more even color. I was hoping for more blue tones instead of the spotted burnt look.

2.) The Baked Potato Method

I had high hopes for this one! After the egg, this was the most highly recommended way to tone a coin easily. Plus, it was supposed to work in less than an hour!

I took a potato and cut a hole for my silver round to fit in.

Who knew potatoes made such great coin holders?

I put the potato in the oven for 350 degrees, expecting to let it cook for about an hour.

No changes after 10 minutes, not surprising as the potato was barely hot.

After 10 minutes in the oven.

After 30 minutes I was getting slightly worried. I saw absolutely no changes!

Finally, after an hour I took the potato out of the oven. I covered the potato in aluminum foil, hoping this would keep whatever catalyst was supposed to tone the round in. Potatoes apparently contain very little sulfur.

The fully cooked potato. I added salt and olive oil since I was going to eat the potato. (It was delicious!)

After an hour sitting in the baked potato here is what the silver round looked like…

Not a spot on it!

Nothing. Not a spot on it.

Either this method is a hoax or I did something wrong. If I was going to repeat this experiment, I would try covering the potato in aluminum foil while baking it.

3.) Baked With Cauliflower

Silver Round in Cauliflower

I almost decided not to try this one. I started it halfway through the potato experiment that seemed to be going nowhere, so my expectations were low.

I put some cauliflower in a Pyrex baking pan with olive oil and salt. (In case I wanted to eat it later.) I covered the Pyrex in aluminum foil. Then, threw it in the oven at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.

Wow! This one was working so much better than the potato, probably due to the higher sulfur content of cauliflower.

I flipped the Buffalo Round over and let it sit as the cauliflower cooled for another hour.

After another hour out of the oven…

Wow! Cauliflower really does tone coins!

This one worked great! The cauliflower gave the silver the blue color I was looking for. This was by far the best toning method I had tried all day.

4.) Onion and Kale (11:45)

Silver Buffalo with Onion and Kale

Since the baked potato method did not work, I decided to try onion and kale. Both foods came up on a list of high-sulfur foods and I happened to have both on hand.

Instead of baking, I sautéed the onion and kale for about 8-10 minutes since that is how I normally eat them. As soon as the kale and onions were cooked, I put them in a tupperware container with the silver and shook it up.

Silver in cooked kale and onion.

My hope was the heat and sulfur trapped in a small container would be the secret to an even toning.

After 30 minutes in the kale and onions…

A lite but even toning.

Hmm… I thought this combination would work much better and faster. After an hour in the sun, there were only some light brown spots. I do have to give this method credit for creating a much more even effect on both sides.

5.) Shampoo and Heat

Silver Ounce with Head and Shoulders 2 in 1 Lavender.

Some shampoos are made with sulfate, a sulfur compound. I used Head and Shoulders for this.

I hoped that by heating the shampoo on the silver I would speed up the chemical process. This didn’t seem to be working so I inhaled lots of burnt shampoo for nothing.

My initial attempt heating it with a lighter.

If you were curious, Head and Shoulders shampoo is not flammable! Who knew? I swapped the lighter for a Butane Torch to speed up the process.

MMM… burning shampoo smell.

Eventually, I gave up on heating the silver round and resigned to leave it in the sun. I will update this post in a few day if I get any results.

Speaking of waiting…

5.) Manilla Envelope

Buffalo Silver Round sitting on a manilla envelope.

This is the one I am least excited for, since it is supposed to take several weeks to process. Thankfully-although it is the middle of Winter- I live in California so I still get a decent amount of sun most days.

The egg, shampoo, and manilla envelope sitting in the sun.

I am still waiting on the results of this one. I may try to speed to process up with a humidifier. But for now, I will wait. 😦


I had lots of fun running around my kitchen looking for new ways to tone my silver rounds. It did feel very wrong to be intentionally damaging them, since until now I have tried to handle my silver as little as possible to prevent spots.

I am hoping that now that I have artificially toned my own coins I will be able to better spot coins that have been artificially toned in order to avoid them.

Yes, although I was excited to see the colors change I do think they look VERY ugly now. Nothing about the toning looks natural; it is too uneven.

Check out my follow-up article where I do the professional method:

Toning a Silver Round with Liver of Sulphur Gel

Share your thoughts in the comments or the poll below.