Paper silver is the slang term for Silver that is bought as a commodotized product. As an investor you can lay claim to shares of precious metals that are linked to a physical asset somewhere in the world. These shares can be readily sold, and bought. However, many people don’t feel very confident in paper silver as it is just a “promise” and in the event of a credit crunch, confiscation, or other financial disaster, you may not receive your silver.
Silver Chronicle » What Is “Paper Silver”?