It’s been a while since we took a look at silver bullion, so I figured this time, why not report on the brand new Canadian Silver Moose? This recent release from the Royal Canadian Mint is the fourth in a series of six Canadian Wildlife silver rounds, following up its wildly popular Wolf, Grizzly, and Cougar.

Like its predecessors, the Moose, released early this year, quickly sold out—despite the fact that the Mint made 1,000,000 of the coins. Clearly, I’m not the only one convinced that silver’s set to recover.

Canadian Silver Moose

Silver bullion is still looking good as an investment, and one of the more popular new strikes is the Canadian Silver Moose.

On the Bounce

As I write this in early July 2012, silver’s going for $28 an ounce. That’s not as high as it’s been (it peaked over $40 a year ago), but it’s a lot better than it was a few years back, when the price was less than half its current value.

Enter the Moose. Like all Mint-based coin bullion, it’s easy to store, and you don’t have to worry about having it assayed. The Canadian government backs the content, purity, and weight; it’s all right there on the coin.

I believe that both silver and gold are poised to go up in the next few months, especially if we’re able to push our way out of this global depression we’ve been suffering for a while now. That being so, this might be a good time to purchase a few Mooses (Meese?) if you can get ’em for a good price.

Why a Moose?

While it may not be as fierce as the wolf, grizzly, or cougar, the moose has a special place in the Canadian heart. Its range covers most of the country, and it’s Canada’s largest mammal. As for the coin itself, it’s basically made on a Maple Leaf blank.

In other words, the coin has a diameter of 38 mm and a thickness of 2.87 mm. It weighs precisely one Troy ounce, has a reeded edge, and bears no mint mark. Ideally, that was to make it of limited interest to collectors…like that ever works.

Further Details

The Mint strikes the Moose from native Canadian silver. Officially, it’s a $5 piece, and says so on the obverse below the portrait of Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II of England.  The legend arching above reads ELIZABETH II, with 5 DOLLARS 2012 below.

The reverse gives the coin its name. It’s a left-facing portrait of a moose standing in native vegetation. CANADA arches above it. Below its chin is the designation 9999 (denoting 99.99% silver purity). Below that and a bit to the right are the letters WW, the initials of designer/engraver William Woodruff.

Below all that, along the coin’s bottom edge, is the legend FINE SILVER, 1 OZ, ARGENT PUR.

To Moose, or Not to Moose…

…that is, of course, the question. Personally, I love these coins, and wouldn’t hesitate to grab one if I could get it for a good price. They’re not available through the Mint itself; they were originally released through a group of bullion dealers who were supposed to sell the coins at a slight premium over the spot price.

If you can find a dealer who still has some at that price, I’d say buy them right now—as many as you can. Otherwise, you’ll be stuck with buying them from coin dealers and individual collectors, and you’ll very likely have to deal with a huge premium.

You know my opinion about the inherit instability of the collectibles market: bet on the metal, not the collectability. Purchase a Canadian Silver Moose only if you can do so without the collectibles mark-up.