Silver was a bit slow to get off to the races but the tail-end of 2010 saw silver make its spectacular rise from under $20 to almost $50 within the space of 6 months. It therefore should come as no surprise then that since those heady days, silver bugs have eagerly wanted to keep track of how much silver is worth per ounce. Perhaps you have a stash of old silver jewelry such as necklaces and rings hidden away in your home or other such old-fashioned items that you never intended would see the light of day again. Well, with the recent highs that silver prices have reached, keeping an eye out on the silver price may just be a good idea in order to sell up and cash in on a good price. Unfortunately, however, the silver price of 2014 has left a lot to be desired.

The calculator below can help you figure out just how much an ounce of silver is worth at the today’s spot price. You do need to enter the fineness of the silver however. Fineness measures how pure silver bullion is. Since it is a rating out of a thousand parts, it is known more precisely as ‘Millesimal Fineness’. Investment grade bullion such as PAMP Suisse silver bars for example are ’999′ fine and considered pure. Sterling silver on the other hand is 92.5% pure or ’925′ fine.

Silver Ounce Calculator

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More About Silver Bullion Purity

Silver purity is measured on the Millesimal Fineness scale which measures parts per thousand. Anything over 999 (99.90%) parts is considered fine silver. Generally this is only found in fine minted silver bullion bars and coins such as the Chinese Silver Panda. It is worth noting that the ultra-fine 999.9 (99.99%) Canadian Silver Maple is the only silver bullion coin with a fineness greater than 999.

‘.999′ silver also known as fine silver is what most investment silver bullion such as the American Silver Eagle and Australian Silver Koala are fashioned out of.

‘.990′ silver is not commonly found in silver bullion products even though at 99.0%, it is still a high purity of silver.

‘.925′ silver is the benchmark for sterling silver which is an industry-wide standard for manufacture of silver decoration, jewelry, bracelets, charms, earrings and other such items.

‘.900′ silver also known as ‘one nine’ silver is a 90% pure alloy that has been used profusely to mint pre-1965 silver coins such as Morgan silver dollars.

Measuring Silver’s Worth in Troy Ounces

In the context of precious metals such as silver, it should be noted that the ounces in question are ‘troy ounces’. Troy ounces are not the same as the ‘ounce’ you would measure in order to bake a strawberry cheese cake. This ‘ounce’ is scientifically known as the ‘Avoirdupois ounce’ and it is the measurement commonly understood by Joe Public when discussing ‘ounces’. The table below illustrates the difference in gram weight between the avoirdupois and troy ounces:

Silver & Other Precious Metals Troy Ounce 31.10 grams
Other Materials Avoirdupois Ounce 28.35 grams

Most people have never heard of a troy ounce and this can lead to confusion at times when it comes to investing in silver bullion for the first time. For example:

Trent wants to sell his silver bracelet. He looks up how much silver is worth per ounce and notes down a price of $20 an ounce for example.

Based correctly on troy ounces, the price of silver per gram is therefore,
$20/ 31.10g = 64 cents / gram – Correct

But Trent uses the wrong ‘ounce’ and calculates the prices as,
$20/ 28.35g = 70 cents /gram – Wrong

He contacts a silver bullion dealer and demands a price based on 70 cents/gram when in fact the fair price is only 64 cents/gram! Unsurprisingly, the dealer is not interested in buying.

Taking Purity Into Account

This difference in purity can also cause confusion sometimes.

To continue Trent’s story above, if we say for the sake of argument that he and the dealer were able to settle on a price of 64 cents/gram, this does not mean that Trent would automatically receive this amount.

This is because the spot price of silver that Trent initially looked up is a quote based on pure 999 silver. However on closer examination of the ring, the dealer reveals a hallmark stamp of ‘750’, indicating that the ring is only 75% pure.

Thus Trent will now only receive a price of 64 cents * 75/100 = 52 cents/gram.

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