Silver and other precious metals are commodities that are traded in global financial markets. Trading is done based on commodities contracts for the future delivery of the precious metals. The spot price of silver is the price that it is currently trading at based on the future delivery of the contract. By being traded as futures on the COMEX, Shanghai or LBMA market, most silver is sold long before it is even mined or refined into bullion products.
Spot prices are determined by the most recent trade in a continuous live market, reflecting the equilibrium between supply and demand. This price can change rapidly as new information becomes available and as various macroeconomic and geopolitical factors evolve. The silver spot price serves as a benchmark for buyers and sellers. For instance, the prices of retail silver products, like coins or bars, are often set based on the silver spot price plus a premium to account for production costs, dealer markup, etc.
The spot price plays a critical role in the derivatives market. For example, the difference between the spot price of silver and the future price represents the time value of the commodity, costs of carry, and expectations about future supply and demand. Factors that can influence the silver spot price include geopolitical events, interest rates, currency strength, economic data, and overall global economic health. For precious metals, additional influences might include mining costs, discoveries of new reserves, and any shifts in industrial usage or demand from investors.
Precious metals bullion dealers buy, sell and price their products based on the spot ask and buy prices. The spot price of silver refers to the price of one troy ounce of silver. The silver must be of specific fineness and meet other institutional requirements in order to be traded.
The spot ask price is what people, commodity traders and bullion dealers is the silver spot price that they will be selling at per ounce. The buy spot price is the price at which the same groups will be buying silver.
The current live silver spot price is 23.87.
|Silver Standard/Purity||Current Silver Spot Price Per Troy Ounce|
|French First Standard Silver||$22.68|
|91 zolotnik Russian Silver||$22.63|
|88 zolotnik Russian Silver||$21.86|
|US 90% Coin Silver||$21.48|
|84 zolotnik Russian Silver||$20.89|
|German Silver 835||$19.93|
|German Silver 800||$19.10|
|Canadian Coin Silver||$19.10|
|US 40% Coin Silver||$9.55|
|US 35% Coin Silver||$8.35|
The most significant factor influencing the price of silver bullion coins is the current spot price of silver in the global market. The spot price is the market price of one troy ounce of silver. Silver bullion coins are usually sold at a premium above this spot price. The premium covers the cost of manufacturing, distribution, and the dealer's profit margin.
The weight and purity of the silver in the coin play a crucial role in its pricing. Most silver bullion coins are one troy ounce and have a high level of purity, often .999 or higher. Coins with larger weights or higher purities may command higher premiums.
Dealers add their markup to the cost of silver bullion coins. This markup covers their operational expenses and profit margin. Different dealers may charge different markups, so shopping around can yield more competitive prices. Buyers who purchase larger quantities of silver bullion coins often receive volume discounts, reducing the premium per coin. Some dealers offer discounts for specific payment methods, such as bank wires or checks, while credit card payments may incur higher fees.
Coins issued by government mints such as American Silver Eagles and Canadian Silver Maple Leafs often carry higher premiums compared to similar-sized silver rounds or bars produced by private mints. This premium is due to the reputation and backing of a government entity.
Silver is subject to price volatility due economic conditions, geopolitical events and changes in investor sentiment. Extreme price swings and rapid fluctuations can create challenges for investors and traders seeking stability and predictability in the silver market.
Allegations of price manipulation in the silver market, particularly involving large banks and financial institutions have been around for decades.The SEC, DOJ and other government institutions have opened various criminal investigations into market manipulation. A variety of court convictions in recent years proves that various entities have been actively manipulating the price of silver through activities such as spoofing, wash trading, and coordinated selling by actors within a number of global financial institutions. These allegations have led to investigations by regulatory bodies and legal actions which have led to individual criminal convictions, with several global banks paying record fines and settlements to lawsuits brought about by the government.
In the past, the London Silver Fix, which had been established as the benchmark price for silver, faced allegations of price manipulation. In response to these concerns, new mechanisms for the discovery of silver prices has been introduced by the LBMA to suggest transparency and credibility.
The silver market has seen instances where speculators and various online communities have sought to initiate a "short squeeze" by aggressively buying silver contracts or physical silver in an attempt to drive up the price. These activities can result in significant short-term price volatility and raise questions about the integrity and efficiency of the market.
Some precious metals investors will use spot charts to look for trading patterns that may emerge over time or when compared to other commodities or marketing indicators.
Charts like these can sometimes be confusing as a result of the extra lines and data points.
Even the detailed technical analysis shows how precious metals like silver have been the most effective store of value and wealth long before the creation of our modern banking system.
Up until 1964 all of the dime, quarter, half dollar and dollar coins were minted from 90% (.900 fine) pure silver. In 1965 the US Mint changed the alloy composition of the coins to remove the silver. The only coin that continued to be minted with silver was the Kennedy Half Dollar, which was minted from an alloy containing 40% silver from 1965 until 1970.
Coins from the United States that were minted with silver alloys that have no numismatic interest are commonly referred to as Junk Silver.
|Coin||Years Minted||Silver Content||Total Weight||Silver Weight||Approximate Melt Value|
|Jefferson "War Nickels"||1942-1945||35%||5 grams||1.75 grams (0.0563 troy ounces)||$1.34|
|Liberty Head "Barber Dime"||1892-1916||.90||2.5||2.25 grams (.072 troy ounces)||$1.72|
|Winged Liberty "Mercury Dime"||1916-1945||.90||2.5||2.25 grams (.072 troy ounces)||$1.72|
|Roosevelt Dime||1946-1964||.90||2.5||2.25 grams (.072 troy ounces)||$1.72|
|Liberty Head "Barber Quarter"||1892-1916||.90||6.25||5.625 grams (.181 troy ounces)||$4.32|
|Standing Liberty Quarter||1916-1930||.90||6.25||5.625 grams (.181 troy ounces)||$4.32|
|Washington Quarter||1932-1964||.90||6.25||5.625 grams (.181 troy ounces)||$4.32|
|Junk Half Dollars|
|Walking Liberty||1916-1947||.90||12.5||11.25 grams (.362 troy ounces)||$8.64|
|Franklin||1948-1963||.90||12.5||11.25 grams (.362 troy ounces)||$8.64|
|Kennedy||1964||.90||12.5||11.25 grams (.362 troy ounces)||$8.64|
|Kennedy||1964-1969||.40||12.5||5 grams (.148 troy ounces)||$3.53|
|Junk Silver Dollars|
|Morgan Dollar||1878-1921||.90||26.73||24.06 grams (.773 troy ounces)||$18.45|
|Peace Dollar||1921-1935||.90||26.73||24.06 grams (.773 troy ounces)||$18.45|
The troy weight system is an ancient system of weights that is derived from the Roman monetary system. The troy system was later adopted by the British and other countries for weighing precious metals like gold, silver, and gemstones.
A troy ounce is a unit of measure for weighing precious metals that dates back to the Middle Ages. Originally used in Troyes, France, the troy ounce is now the standard unit of measure for precious metals like gold, silver, and platinum.
One troy ounce is the equivalent of 31.1034768 grams, which is a little more than the standard avoirdupois ounce that weighs 28.3495 grams. There are 12 troy ounces in a troy pound, rather than 16 ounces found in the 'avoirdupois' pound more commonly used for measuring weight in the United States.
The Troy Ounce, abbreviate as "t oz" or "oz t", is roughly 10% heavier than the avoirdupois ounce. When you see precious metal prices quoted, such as the spot price of gold or silver, it is typically quoted per troy ounce.
The system was introduced to England in the 9th Century by traders doing business with Byzantine Empire. The system was named after the Roman trading city of Troyes in France, a major trading city in the Middle Ages. This system of measurement spread throughout Europe for the trade and exchange of precious metals.
The troy system was introduced into England following the Norman Conquest in 1066. By the 1400s, the troy weight system was officially adopted in England for the trading and weighing of precious metals. The British Pound Sterling, originally denoting a pound of sterling silver, reflects this ancient connection between weight and currency. The troy measurement system became the official standard for gold and silver in Britain in 1527 under King Henry VIII.
It's worth noting that the troy ounce is heavier than the more common avoirdupois ounce that is used to weigh most other items in the U.S. The troy system's division into 12 ounces (reflecting the old Roman libra) is also in contrast to the avoirdupois system's division of 16 ounces to a pound.
Today, the troy weight system is used almost exclusively in the precious metals industry. When you buy an ounce of gold or silver, it's a troy ounce. Similarly, when precious metals are mined, they're weighed using the troy system.