Today I received my first order of silver bars: A 10 Ounce poured bar from Prospector's Gold and Gems, and a 5 Ounce and 1 Ounce bar from Monarch Precious Metals. Beautiful doesn't begin to describe them. There's nothing like a hand poured bar. No two bars of the same type from the same maker are alike. The hand pouring process adds little imperfections such as pour lines, mold marks, bubbles, and indentations that you'll never see in a struck bar. In other words, each one is unique and has it's own character, and can be held in the hands without fear of ruining the finish (much like ancient coins). And I suspect that like ancient coins, these character-filled surfaces have the potential to tone real nice with time. Compare that to the more common struck bars, which are a lot like modern coins. They are all the same and with a shinny luster finish that's easy to ruin if you touch it. And like most modern coins, I suspect the sterile surfaces will probably not tone that nicely over time. As you can see, the Monarch Precious Metals bars have a shinny finish, though the surfaces retain the roughness and character of a poured bar, which allows them to be handled without worry of marring the finish. On the other hand, Prospector's Gold and Gems bars have a satin finish that harks back to the Engelhard poured bars of the late 1960s/early 1970s. I have to admit the satin finish of the Prospector's bars is probably more appealing, so for looks alone it wins. However, Monarch Precious Metals bars are still extremely beautiful with the shinier and smoother finish, and the quality of the stamp strikes on the Monarch Precious Metals bars is probably the best in the business. Based on my research, plus my own personal experience, the ounces, purity, and name of refinery appear to be stamped very crisp and consistent on Monarch Precious Metals bars. Based on pictures I've seen of other Prospector's bars, their consistency stamping the data on the bar is not always the best, though they atone for most of that by antiquing the stampings on their bars. Another thing I've noticed is that while Prospector's bars seem to have more visible pour lines and bubbles (which most poured bars enthusiasts enjoy), Monarch Precious Metals bars are probably more consistent, vary less from each other, and their smoother finish (while still retaining the nice texture of a poured bar) will probably make the Monarch Bars easier to stack that Prospector's bars. I suspect the difference may have to do with Prospector's using a cold mold technique which makes the end product more old fashioned and rougher looking, while Monarch Precious Metals probably uses pre-heated molds to ensure they get a more consistent finished product with less bubbles and less bumps. Which one is right for you? That's hard to say. They are both great bars in their own ways, just depends what you like. For me though, I think I will stick with Monarch Precious Metals for my future purchases. Two reasons: (1) a more consistent bar with less bubble marks and bumps (which makes it easier to stack them), and (2) Monarch Precious Metals bars have just about the lowest premiums on hand poured bars. (something a lot of people care about, considering poured bars already carry higher premiums than more modern machine stamped bars). I've already ordered another 5 ounce and 1 ounce bars from Monarch Precious Metals, and will probably order more in December. However, you really can't go wrong with either company.