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How to Determine the Value of Silver? Research Team | Posted On Friday, April 24,2009, 05:41 PM

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How to Determine the Value of Silver?



What is the Value of Sterling Silver?

Sterling silver is the purest form of useable silver available in the market. Sterling silver is commonly used to make silver cutlery and silver jewellery. The article below tries to cover aspects related to sterling silver and how silver is traded in the commodities market:

Hallmarks and Identifying Characteristics:

Sterling silver consists of 92.5% silver and 7.5% of the mixture of other metals. Sterling silver is not pure silver; the reason being pure silver is a corrosive metal. Pure silver does not retain its shine when exposed to natural environment and cannot sustain repeated handlings and hence it is mixed with other metals to form an alloy that prevents it, getting corroded.

Hallmarks are stamps that are pressed against metals in order to signify the purity, the date of manufacture and the jewellery craftsman. Hallmark is a symbol used by all nations to stamp the purity of gold and it is mainly used to enhance the trust factor in customers.

As soon as a customer spots the hallmark symbol in any metal, they know the metal is pure. Hallmarks are official marks that help safeguard the interests of the buyer. In India, the BIS (Bureau of Indian Standards) are authorized with the task of accessing the purity of silver. Only a certified jeweler can put the hallmark stamps on jewelry. So, hallmarking helps identify authentic products and certified manufacturers.

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How to Determine the Value of Silver?

How Much Is Sterling Silver Worth?

The value of sterling silver changes from time to time. The price of precious metals like silver never remains the same and depends on the market price known as the silver spot price. However, the price differs across nations. The market price of precious metals like gold and silver depend on the demand and supply. So, the prices of these metals are not fixed and are subject to price volatility.

Bulk trading of silver taking place at the commodities exchange, has significant effect on the price of sterling silver. The spot price is the main reason for the price rise in silver commodities. Bulk traders try to purchase silver at less than the spot price, in order to get a good deal.

Trends in Buying and Selling:

There are various factors that affect the price of silver and its demand. The most significant factors are the economic and political scenario of a country. The price of sterling silver is inversely proportional to the value of money. For example, 1 gram of silver costs Rs 40.50. So the value of silver is more than the value of money, consequently, the value of silver decreases when the value of money increases. So, inflation plays a crucial role in the price determination of precious or semi-precious metals.

While trading silver, bulk traders try to pay less than the spot price. As sterling silver is not made of 100% silver, the price is determined based on the percentage of silver present. Sterling silver is made of 92.5% of pure silver, so traders would only pay for the pure silver and not for other alloys. When the silver is sold to customers, they are charged the value of 100% pure silver. The price difference between the cost price and the selling price is the source of profit for the jewellers.

The Value of Sterling Silver:

There are certain differences between fine silver and sterling silver. Fine silver is used to make silver bullion which comprises of 99.9% silver in an ounce. Sterling silver is 92.5% purity in an ounce (1 ounce = 28.34 grams) and is mainly used for making jewellery and crafting cutlery and also gifting/decorative items.

Sterling silver is not good in case you are thinking of investing in silver. It is rather profitable to invest in silver bullion rather than sterling silver. Sterling silver is usually purchased in the form of jewelry and cutlery or household decorative items or is used in musical instruments like flutes and saxophones and to make medical gears.

Silver is an antique metal, the traces of which are found in ancient civilizations. Silver is also heavier than gold which is why they cannot be used to craft intricate jewellery designs. Unlike gold, pure silver is a soft metal and cannot be used regularly without reducing the purity vis-à-vis making an alloy. Therefore, while purchasing sterling silver in bulk for investment purposes, make sure to seek professional help and advice. As purity is a huge factor in determining the price of precious metals, you may end up getting not much profit, if you do not select your investments with care.

The value of circulated silver coins is determined by several factors, including their silver content, their overall physical condition or grade and the rarity of the specific coin. Following are the factors determining the value of circulated silver coins.

Silver Content

Circulated coins in a diversity of denominations and from several separate periods in American history are sought out by investors for their silver satisfied. Prior to 1964 in the United States, dimes, quarters, and half dollars minted for circulation contained up to 90% silver.


Silver coins are also evaluated or graded based on their physical condition. Generally, coins can be classified into two distinct categories: circulated and un-circulated.


Market prices for circulated silver coins can vary broadly depending on the rarity of a particular coin design or date of issue. The Mercury Dime is the perfect illustration of this point.

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