Buy Silver Safely at a Local Coin Shop...
Coin dealers with brick and mortar stores in your neighborhood set up shop for the long haul. If there were a guaranteed way to buy silver safely, this would be as close as it gets. Nobody opens a store with the expectations of closing, so you can take that for all it's worth.
Small businesses open with the intentions of success and longevity. As for coin shows, dealers typically can be trusted more often than not because they usually openly display their business name and business info in one form or another.
However you have no way of verifying that the business info is entirely accurate so I would just say you would need to be more alert at a show than at your local coin shop.
Buy Silver Safely Online
And then there are the online mints and coin dealers of cyberspace. They sure do look professional, but can you safely buy silver from them?
I believe there is safety in purchases from dealers like govmint.com, apmex.com, usmint.gov, and nwtmint.com however the pricing leaves something to be desired.
I don't personally endorse these sources, but mention them as examples of established businesses with a history of silver transactions. The US Mint website is the official government source for everything silver.
I have made a purchase from only two of these mints/dealers listed here. However I did poke around the other websites as well as some other mints located in the USA. Where to buy silver safely online will depend greatly on how long a business has been established.
Next, I'll tell you what I have learned so far about buying directly from a private mint, I've tried to be as straightforward yet simplistic as possible.
Read more about buying silver directly from mints.
See Also: Buying Silver Online | Silver Investing FAQ | Silver Investing 101 | Silver Showcase | Retiring with Silver | Silver in a 401K Retirement Plan | Coins, Rounds, or Bars | Get Rich with Silver | One Oz Silver Rounds | Where to Buy Silver Safely | Physical Silver VS Paper Investments