Silver Price Basics
What is Silver spot price?
The base price for unfabricated Silver is called the spot price of Silver. This price does not include markup for fabrication, distribution, a small dealer fee and any numismatic or collector value. A snapshot in time, the spot price of Silver can be taken at different moments of the day in different locations around the world. As a result, the Silver ounce price varies throughout the day. Many Silver bullion price markets, or those who influence the markets, exist, including New York City, Chicago, Handy and Harman, Engelhard, Republic National Bank, London, Zurich, Paris, Frankfurt and Hong Kong. In the United States, the current price of Silver per ounce will generally be based on numbers from the COMEX in New York.
Why should I care about the Silver spot price?
The Silver spot prices in the Silver price chart are important because they help you make better decisions to enhance your investments. The higher the Silver spot prices, the more you will pay as a buyer of Silver bars, Silver coins and other Silver bullion products like 1 oz Silver Buffalo Rounds. On the other hand, a higher spot price per ounce is also a good thing if you're trying to sell Silver at the higher Silver oz price. It doesn't matter whether you are buying Silver bars by the kilo or Silver coins by the ounce – the base price is the spot price for Silver.
How do dealers determine what is the price of Silver today?
The Silver prices today per ounce take many factors into consideration. The baseline price for unfabricated Silver is called the Silver spot price. To that price, costs for fabrication, distribution, a nominal dealer fee and any numismatic or collector value is added – giving you the premium price buyers pay. But what affects the 1 oz Silver value spot price? Throughout time, the value of one ounce of Silver has been higher than other metals because of its many uses, as detailed in our article on Silver uses. The value of an ounce of Silver price has been enhanced by medical, industrial and decorative uses.
Because Silver is so malleable yet strong, it can be flattened and stretched in ways that make it perfect for industrial uses. Its antibacterial properties add to the value of one ounce of Silver because it was used in medicine for thousands of years. Silver use in jewelry also increases demand and the 1 oz Silver value. Finally, economic downturns and the value of the U.S. dollar affect Silver value today. Typically when the dollar and other investments falter, the Silver prices today per ounce go up.
What is the lowest price of Silver per oz in the past 5 years?
Looking at the Silver price chart, you will see the spot Silver price hit its lowest point in the past five years on Dec. 14, 2015 at 12:30 p.m. (CT) when the spot price for Silver was at $13.81 USD per troy ounce. You can check out the price trends of Gold, Platinum and Palladium, too.
What is the highest price of Silver per ounce in the past 5 years?
For the highest Silver spot price, check out our Silver prices chart. The price of Silver per oz was at its highest in the past five years on April 29, 2011 at 12:30 p.m. (CT) when the price of Silver was $48.64 USD per troy ounce. You can check out the price trends of Gold, Platinum and Palladium, too.
What is the lowest spot price of Silver per ounce in the past 10 years?
Find the lowest Silver price per ounce in the past 10 years in our Silver prices chart. An ounce of Silver price was at a 10-year low on Dec. 20, 2005 at 12:30 p.m. (CT) when the troy ounce Silver price was $8.34 USD. You can check out the price trends of Gold, Platinum and Palladium, too.
What is the highest troy ounce Silver price in the past 10 years?
Over the past 10 years, the ounce of Silver price was highest on April 29, 2011 at 12:30 p.m. (CT) when the Silver ounce price registered at $48.64 USD per troy ounce. You can check out the price trends of Gold, Platinum and Palladium, too.
Are the Silver prices today per ounce the same no matter where I live?
Silver prices today at any given moment are the same no matter where you buy in the world. This is a good thing. If live Silver prices weren't the same around the world, there would be an opportunity for arbitrage, when traders simultaneously buy and sell Silver in different markets to take advantage of the differentials of the spot Silver price or premium Silver price. Live Silver prices always reflect Silver traded in U.S. dollars. In local markets, the Silver price today in USD is simply converted to the local currency to reflect the price for 1 troy ounce of 0.999 fine Silver. The base troy ounce Silver price is used when determining what is the price of Silver bullion like Silver American Eagles and Silver Buffalo Rounds, as well as collectible vintage coins that have high numismatic Silver value.
Is it true that Silver is traded around the clock? Is there any closing price of Silver?
When you look at our Silver prices chart, you will see a daily snapshot of Silver prices. We, like other dealers, decide on a daily determination of Silver prices and there is no closing Silver spot price like there is a closing stock price. Silver prices today are affected by the global nature of the trade of Silver. Traded 24/7 around the globe, Silver is part of the commodity markets of Zurich, New York, London, Hong Kong and Chicago, with the New York Commodity Exchange being the most important for the price of Silver today. Investors look to the New York COMEX to determine what is the price of Silver today. This base line price is referred to as the spot price of Silver and is dependent on supply and demand for Silver worldwide. When you look at the Silver price history, the price of Silver per oz goes up when demand is high and supply is low. Current Silver prices can also be affected by inflation, fluctuations in currencies and changes in interest rates and deficits.
Is the spot price of Silver given in U.S. currency?
The 1 oz Silver price quotes are always originally in U.S. dollars (USD) because Silver is traded in U.S. currency. If necessary, the Silver prices per ounce are converted to local currency. Sometimes, too, instead of a troy ounce Silver price, you will see the Silver gram price or Silver kilogram price. Both of these would be converted from the USD price of Silver per oz. We offer Silver bullion in many forms, from Silver American Eagles to 10 oz Silver bars to bags of junk Silver coins worth far beyond their face value.
Why can't I pay the spot price Silver rate? Why do I have to pay the higher premium price of Silver?
The spot price of Silver is the Silver price per ounce in raw form. No one can buy or sell Silver at the Silver spot price because traded Silver price rates must include the price of fabrication, distribution and a minimal dealer fee, plus any numismatic or collector value. The premium price for Silver bullion is most often seen as the best choice by those who buy Silver as part of their investment portfolio because the premium is often the lowest. Favorite Silver bullion investments include Silver American Eagles, RCM Silver Bars, Silver Canadian Howling Wolves and Austrian Mint 1 oz Silver Philharmonics. Others look to Silver coin prices that can include a higher premium Silver value if the Silver coins have a numismatic value, or a collectible value of Silver. The Silver value per ounce goes up when these vintage Silver coins are scarce, in high demand or valued for their artistic beauty or historical significance. Some favorite collectible Silver coins with a higher value of Silver per ounce include Silver Dollar Coins and a variety of vintage nickels.
When looking at Silver coin prices, what does it mean that the coins have numismatic Silver value?
Numismatic Silver value means that coins are worth more and therefore have a higher premium value of Silver. The higher premium value of Silver coins often is related to the rarity and beauty of the coins: Do they hold historical significance or artistic Silver value? When browsing the Silver price chart, you will see the spot price Silver rate, or base price. To calculate the premium 1 oz Silver value, dealers add costs of fabrication, distribution and a nominal dealer markup, as well as any numismatic Silver value. This added cost will be the premium price of Silver you pay. When looking at the current price of Silver and deciding what to buy, you will want to determine if you want Silver bullion, like 1 oz Silver Rounds, only for its raw Silver value, or if you also want to invest in Silver coins such as vintage Silver Liberty Seated Dollar Coins that have higher numismatic value.
Why is the current price of Silver listed as the Silver spot price when I can't buy Silver at that rate? Does the premium current Silver price markup go to the dealer?
No one can buy Silver at the spot price Silver rate. The spot price Silver rate represents the price of Silver today in its basic form before fabrication. The Silver prices per ounce you pay also include costs of distribution, a small dealer markup and any numismatic or collector value of Silver for rare coins that hold additional historic or artistic Silver value. The value of Silver bars is usually the lowest Silver price per ounce, making Silver bars and other Silver bullion often the choice of those who are building an investment portfolio. Vintage minted Silver coin prices are often higher and harder to determine because the premium Silver price depends on the quality and rarity of the coins, the mint where the coins were produced and the popularity of the coins with collectors. As a result, premium Silver value per ounce is much higher for highly sought after Silver coins than for Silver bullion without numismatic Silver value per ounce.
When I hear the phrase, "sovereign Silver coins" what does that mean? Is there a high premium price of Silver coins that are considered sovereign?
Governments around the world mint sovereign Silver bullion coins that carry a face value when in circulation. These popular coins also often have numismatic, or collector Silver value per ounce, which means the Silver price typically exceeds the face value. Favorite vintage sovereign coins with numismatic or collector Silver value per ounce include Early Silver Dollars.
The U.S. Mint started producing coins in 1792 and has since minted coinage with numismatic appeal, resulting in higher Silver prices for these collectible vintage coins. U.S. Silver coins minted before 1965 were typically 90% Silver. In 1965, Silver prices started to increase and the U.S. government substituted less valuable metal. As the value of Silver per ounce went up, people hoarded the older coins and today these coins, if they have no collector Silver value, are often sold as junk Silver. While called "junk," these coins are valuable to investors because of the high Silver content and value of Silver per ounce, which is higher than the face value of the Silver coins. This is borne out by looking at historical Silver prices. Junk Silver coins available at the current price of Silver include 90% Silver coins, 40% Silver coins and 35% Silver coins.
When looking at Gold and Silver prices today, how do I make sure I compare the right numbers?
The current Silver price is based on the U.S. dollar (USD) because Silver, like Gold, is traded in dollars. Also keep in mind Gold and Silver prices are by the troy ounce. When looking at live Gold-Silver prices, make sure the current Silver prices and current Gold prices are listed in troy ounces and in dollars. If not, this means that in determining what is the price of Silver or Gold, the site you are looking at converted troy ounces to grams or kilograms or converted USD to another currency.
Also, differences in the price of Silver and Gold can be a result of the numismatic or collector value, which can be much higher than the premium Gold and Silver prices for bullion bars or coins that have little to no collector value. With a lower total price of Silver per ounce, collectors after Silver bullion often favor these coins and rounds from around the world: Austrian Philharmonic coins, Canadian Maple Leaf coins, Silver Buffalo rounds and Silver American Eagle coins.
When I see live Silver prices, what is being quoted?
Live Silver prices are based on the troy ounce Silver price in U.S. dollars (USD). Even when the Silver price today is listed in grams or kilograms or another currency, the price of Silver was converted from the price based on troy ounces and USD. Browse the various live Silver prices for these favorite Silver coins offered at APMEX: Silver American Eagles, Silver Canadian Howling Wolves and Austrian Silver Philharmonics.
When determining what is the price of Silver today, what is the difference between an ounce and a troy ounce when looking at the Silver prices chart?
An ounce is not a "regular" ounce when paying the spot Silver price. When Americans refer to ounces, they generally are referring to avoirdupois ounces. The price of Silver per ounce is always measured in troy ounces, which are equal to 1.09711 avoirdupois ounces. When you pay the current Silver price for a pound of Silver, you are paying for 12 troy ounces. One troy ounce equals 31.1035 grams or 480 grains. When you know these equivalences, it's easy to determine the value of Silver per ounce no matter what measurement is used.
How do dealers determine what is the current price of Silver?
Silver prices are based on supply, demand and production. Silver is a versatile Precious Metal that has many uses, from jewelry to coins to industrial needs, pushing the Silver value per ounce up. Relatively rare, Silver also doesn't easily corrode or oxidize and is the best thermal and electrical conductor, making it the right choice for electrical projects. It is also used in medical and consumer products because it is antimicrobial and non-toxic, futher increasing the value of Silver per ounce as more is used. Silver prices today are also affected by industrial uses of Silver. It is popular in industrial applications because Silver is malleable enough to be flattened into sheets and strong enough to withstand being drawn into thin wire. And, of course, Silver's beautiful display makes it a favorite for jewelry, mirrors and Silverware. Even with all of these uses, Silver prices today are still much lower than Gold prices. That is, in part, because there has typically been more Silver produced and available, making for a lower current Silver price than the current Gold price.
How is the Silver spot price determined?
Many markets and market makers exist as Silver is traded around the globe, but the New York Commodity Exchange (COMEX) is the most important exchange that sets the spot Silver price. To determine the spot Silver price, data from the front month futures contract traded on the COMEX is used. Only when there is little to no volume on the front month contact, the next delivery month with the most volume is used to calculate the spot Silver price.
When looking at the price of Silver per ounce on the historical Silver prices chart, it looks like Silver bullion prices change often. Why?
It is true when you look at Silver price history charts, you will discover a fluctuation of Silver prices per ounce during volatile times. But there are also quieter times when the Silver price history shows the price of Silver is stable. In fact, many investors consider Silver bar and Silver coin prices so stable, they call Silver a safe-haven asset to include in their portfolios. When reviewing the value of Silver per ounce, some of the favorite Silver coins, Silver Bars and other Silver products include Silver American Eagles, Silver Buffalo Rounds and 10 oz Silver Bars.
What are the Bid Silver prices per ounce?
The Bid Silver price per ounce today is the current highest market offer to sell to a dealer. Consumers can expect to receive the bid price when selling Silver to a dealer.
What is the Ask Silver price per ounce?
The Ask current Silver price per ounce is the current minimum price for a dealer to sell in the market. Dealers will offer to sell Silver to you for the ask price.
What does the Spread mean for the Silver price per ounce today?
The difference between the Ask Silver ounce price and the Buy ounce price of Silver is the Spread, or the bid-ask spread, and represents the dealer's profit. The dealer will pay you the Ask Silver price today when you sell Silver, while you will pay the Bid price of Silver today.
There seems to be a large difference in the price of Gold and Silver. Why?
Perception, demand and to some degree rarity dictate the differences in Gold and Silver prices. Gold has always been perceived as rarer than Silver, but there is some debate about whether Silver is now rarer. Whatever the answer, Silver-Gold prices are far apart. The current Silver ounce price is about 70 times less than Gold prices. Some of the difference can be attributed to Gold being harder to mine because the Precious Metal is often alloyed with other metals, requiring a purification process.
Demand also affects the price of Gold and Silver, with both Precious Metals sought after for industrial uses, medicine, jewelry and bullion. Some popular bullion products with desirable live Silver prices include Chinese Silver Panda Coins, 10 oz Silver bars and 1 oz Silver Rounds. In addition, Gold-Silver prices reflect that both central banks and individual investors buy more Gold. Demand, in many ways, is all about perception and history. Gold and Silver prices throughout time have been at odds. As early as 6,000 years ago, Gold was used as decoration and was introduced in ancient times as coins. Thus, Gold is often perceived as more valuable because civilizations before us also saw Gold as more valuable. These are just some of the reasons Silver and Gold prices are so different.
Investing at the current price of Silver per ounce
Why should I invest in Silver, with Silver prices today changing?
Many see investing in Silver as a good way to balance their portfolio for retirement or to preserve wealth. Silver prices per ounce often move conversely compared to the U.S. dollar value and other economic factors so the value of Silver coins and other Silver bullion is likely to be balanced if other investments are waning. Also, when you look at the Silver price chart, you will see the Silver price history has typically been stable during inflationary times. Around the world, an ounce of Silver is an ounce of Silver, with the same intrinsic Silver value today and the same current Silver price per ounce in U.S. dollars. This makes Silver easy to trade. Last but not least, passing along tangible wealth to future generations is easy and they will appreciate Silver bar and Silver coin values. With the current price of Silver, investors know Silver prices today are likely to hold their value tomorrow.
I want to invest in Silver for retirement. How do I invest safely?
No one can guarantee any investment is completely safe. Yet with the price of Silver today, many investors see Silver as a good addition to their investment portfolio, depending on their goals. When investors hold a physical asset like Silver for 3-5 years, they generally consider the Silver price history, as provided on our Silver prices chart. Investors often see Silver and other Precious Metals as a good way to guard against other investments faltering. Typically as investments like stocks, bonds and the U.S. dollar falter, the current Silver price goes up. This is why so many investors often consider Silver to be a safe haven. Those watching what is the price of Silver over time often use dollar cost averaging when investing. This is when you divide the total sum to be invested into equal amounts invested at regular intervals. It is a conservative method of buying at the current Silver price and allows for flexibility as the market shifts.
When should I buy Silver bars and when should I invest in Silver coins? Sometimes there is a big difference between Silver bullion prices for bars and rounds and the price of Silver coins, especially some vintage coins.
When you invest in Silver, what is your goal? Many investors simply want to buy the most Silver at the best current price of Silver per ounce to build their portfolio. They will buy Silver bullion bars and rounds or junk Silver. Others invest in Silver for more than the monetary Silver coins value. These investors love collecting coins that offer a way to hold history and artistic renderings in their hands. These more artistic Silver coins have a higher premium because of their numismatic or collector value and are beautiful to display. When deciding between Silver bullion bars or rounds and Silver coins, you must determine what your investing or collecting goals are.
I pay the price of Silver today and now have all this Silver. How do I safely store it?
At APMEX, we offer storage with Citadel Global Services, Inc., a wholly-owned APMEX subsidiary that provides maximum security. It is the ideal security solution after paying the Silver prices today per ounce. The facility is managed by world security leader Brink's for the best way to protect the Silver bar and Silver coin value of your collection. The price is very affordable to use this facility, which is important after determining what is the price of your Silver investment. Keep Silver bars, Silver coins and other Silver products safe and store them with Citadel.
I've heard of Precious Metals IRAs – can I use them for Silver coins and other Silver investments?
You can make the most of Silver bar value and Silver value by placing the Silver in a Precious Metals IRA, which is a Self-Directed IRA. Investors often see these Silver purchases as one way to diversify portfolios and guard against economic downturn. Any profits on your Silver investment sales can be tax deferred as long as the proceeds are kept with your reinvestment custodian or transferred to another IRA account, just like with regular IRAs. Silver must be .999 fine to place the Precious Metal in the IRA. Further diversify your portfolio when you pay the Silver prices today per ounce and decide to place the Precious Metal in an IRA.
Do I have to pay taxes on top of the current Silver prices?
For some states, the Silver bar and Silver coin price when you check out will include sales taxes on Precious Metals like Silver. Online, you typically only pay sales tax on the current price of Silver per ounce if you live in the state of the seller and that state collects tax. APMEX does not collect any tax. You should consult your tax advisor for specific taxation advice in your jurisdiction. State taxes may be applicable.
If Silver bar and Silver coin values purchased are over $10,000, does the government monitor the sale?
Unlike cash transactions, when your Silver values purchased exceed $10,000, the Silver purchases are not tracked by the government. After determining what is the price of Silver today and buying Silver, like Chinese Silver Panda Coins, American Silver Eagles or 90% Silver Junk Silver, don't worry about your purchases being tracked by the government.
Other Silver Price Questions
Is the Silver price today – and the Silver market – manipulated?
A search on the Internet will reveal many theories about whether the price of Silver and Silver markets are manipulated. After careful research, you may draw your own conclusions about the ounce of Silver price market. When investing, though, many consider more than the price of Silver today. In our Silver price chart, you will find historical Silver prices and see how Silver often holds value when other investments falter. Many see Silver Bar and Silver coin value, like Chinese Silver Panda Coins, American Silver Eagle Coins and 10 oz Silver Bars, and decide for yourself if Silver is a safe-haven investment. For many, a balanced portfolio offers the best path, with equal percentages of investment in each area.
What is Silver fixing in relation to the price of Silver per ounce?
The 117-year tradition of Silver fixing ended Aug. 15, 2014, when a new, more transparent Silver price process was used. The LBMA Silver Price is set electronically via an auction-based mechanism, rather than a less transparent phone conversation among key Silver dealers. The change was a result of regulators finding irregularities in the older way. CME Group Inc. and Thomson Reuters Corp. run the new system, which offers the snapshot of Silver prices each midday in London. This price per ounce is seen as a benchmark of Silver prices.
What types of Silver bullion exist?
There are several forms of Silver bullion, with prices based on the live Silver price. Silver products you can buy include Silver coins, Silver rounds and Silver bars. Only government mints produce Silver coins like the Austrian Mint 1 oz Silver Philharmonics or Royal Canadian Mint Silver Maple Leafs. These sovereign Silver coins are typically offered at a slightly higher premium Silver price based on spot prices in the Silver price chart. That is because when determining what is the price of Silver coins, numismatic or collector Silver coin value is considered. When determining what is the current price of Silver bars and rounds, there is typically little to no numismatic value to consider. People buying Silver bars and rounds, produced by private mints, typically buy them for investment purposes only. Those who buy coins with numismatic value, including rare coins like Silver Dollar Coins, are paying a much higher premium price over spot Silver prices because they value the historical and artistic value of the coins.
When I try to look at Gold-Silver prices day-to-day, they seem to constantly be changing. Is there any way to lock in the today Gold price or Silver price?
Dealers lock in Silver and Gold prices based on company protocols developed for the price of Gold and Silver. Dealers start with spot Silver prices and Gold prices, then for each product take into consideration costs for fabrication, distribution, a nominal dealer fee and any numismatic value to come up with the premium 1 oz Silver price and Gold price you pay. With a reputable dealer, buyers are able to lock in Silver and Gold prices at checkout for a prescribed length of time to protect the dealer from any sudden changes in the current price of Gold and Silver per ounce.
Won't I get better Gold-Silver prices at my local coin shop?
Silver and Gold prices are very competitive and it is likely your local shop won't be able to provide the same value as APMEX. The biggest reasons we can offer better Gold and Silver values are we have lower overhead – no physical store – and buy in greater quantity so you are sure to get the best Silver and Gold prices. Consequently, when we look at what is the current price of Silver and Gold, we don't have to charge as big a premium on the price of Gold and Silver, including our Silver American Eagles and Gold American Eagles. Browse our collection of Gold and Silver and determine what is the current price of Silver and Gold that is the best deal.
What is the price of Gold and Silver ratio?
When determining what is the price of Gold or Silver, why would people care about the ratio? Gold-Silver prices are often looked at together to analyze the relative value of the two Precious Metals. If the ratio swings one way or the other, one of the Precious Metals is usually considered overpriced and the other underpriced when compared with the historical price of Gold and Silver. One of the reasons for a shift in the ratio of the price of Gold and Silver could be that demand is up for one and not the other. The Gold-Silver prices ratio could also be off because supply for one has become scarcer due to mining issues or production.