How much is a silver bar worth? Asked Brenda
How much is a silver bar worth? Asked Brenda
In this very informative expert conversation we answer the question “How much is a silver bar worth?”
Alan, I have some silver bars at home. I have them since years but never thought about selling. Now my husband needs a meniscus operation and we think about selling. First, we wanted to sell our 2nd car but now we hope that our silver can pay the hospital bill for the medical intervention. You know I have 3 silver bars here: an Engelhard bar, a Johnson Matthey bar and a San Francisco bar. How much is a silver bar worth? And how much can we get paid for all of them?
Brenda from Boston in Massachusetts
Dear Brenda, I feel with you and your husband. That’s a deplorable situation. I wish your husband all the best, and for now, I do my best to help you with your question. Usually, a silver bar sells for the silver price. But I can tell you, I have some good news for you. Let’s talk about your silver in detail.
reDollar appraiser, Alan Jensen
Our silver prices at a glance:
1 gram of .999 silver $0.53
10 grams of .999 silver $5.28
20 grams of .999 silver $10.56
50 grams of .999 silver $26.39
100 grams of .999 silver $52.79
1 oz of .999 silver $16.42
10 oz. of 999 silver $164.17
100 oz. of .999 silver $1,642.20
1 kilogram of .999 silver $527.87
Brenda wants to know, how much is a silver bar worth?
Brenda: You know that my family needs some extra cash for a medical treatment. We decided to sell our silver bars if the amount can pay the hospital bill. I sent some photos of our silver in hope you are able to tell me the value. How much is a silver bar worth? Where can I sell my silver bars to get a high price? And is my silver very valuable?
Alan: Silver is valuable! That’s for sure. Of course, silver is not as valuable as gold but nonetheless, your silver bars reflect a decent value as you will learn today. But to give you a feeling for prices: an ounce of gold sells for round about $1,408.12 while an ounce of silver sells for just round about $16.42. A huge difference at first sight, but silver is used differently than gold. Silver is used for cutlery, trays, plates, candlesticks or whole figurines while gold is just used for smaller items such as coins, jewelry or accessories. Well, silver is also used for things like coins or jewelry but it’s more affordable. But don’t think that silver items are not popular. Very famous brands and designers like Tiffany & Co. used and still use silver for their famous (jewelry) collections. You are very lucky that you own huge silver bars. On the first photo I see an Engelhard silver bar, weighing 100 ounces. That’s a heavy silver bar. Thanks to your photo, we see that it’s a vintage silver bar of .999 fine silver. In one of your recent emails you’ve asked me what “100 TR. OZ.” means. The number 100 stands for the quantity and “TR. OZ.” tell us that your silver bar contains 100 TROY OUNCES of fine silver. Normally, such a silver bar would sell for $1,641.67 today but your silver bar is special. As I can see on your photo, it comes in an original “FLAG” packaging showing the US Flag and the statement “The American Tradition In Precious Metals.” If the packaging is undamaged and original, what I assume, this bar can sell for about $1,800. Engelhard is a highly respected private mint and such bars can easily be sold to collectors. Engelhard was founded in 1902 by Charles W. Engelhard and since its incorporation they produced silver bars for the North American market and for Europe. Engelhard also produces gold bars but the company is internationally renowned for their silver bars.
Brenda: I would have never expected so much money for this silver bar. This is great news for me and my husband.
Alan: Thanks to the weight of this bar. The majority of silver bars show a weight between 1 and 10 ounces. A single 1 ounce silver bar would sell for just $16.42 today. Your Johnson Matthey silver bar is smaller. But we also see a 999 fine silver bar. The weight is 10 ounces what makes a value of $164.17. This silver bar is maybe 10 or 15 years old. There is no collector’s demand for such bars. They were produced in hundreds of thousands and sold all over the world. This bars sell for the current silver price minus a small dealer margin. But just to give you some background knowledge, Johnson Matthey was founded by Percival Norton Johnson in 1851 in London. This company is an important part of the younger precious metal history. Over the years, Johnson Matthey became one of the world’s most important companies with an annual turnover of £1.43 billion in 1989 and £11,15 billion in 2014. With over 14,000 employees, actually, it’s still one of the most important precious metal companies and mints.
Brenda: Nice to have a silver bar from such a famous company. Alan, I’m already very satisfied with the amount for my first silver bar. I guess we can afford the treatment by adding our savings. So, I’m more than happy for the moment.
Alan: I have a little surprise for you.
Brenda: Really? But my last silver bar is the smallest one. I think it’s worth just some dollars.
Alan: Even small silver bars can pay bills (laughing). You are a lucky duck with this bar, but before I tell you more, please tell me – where is this silver bar from?
Brenda: To be honest, I have absolutely no idea. My dad collected vintage and antique stuff. Our house is full of vintage mirrors, frames, furniture and paintings. He bought and sold things every Sunday at our convention center flea market. Maybe he bought the silver bar there. He did this for over 20 years. Not because of the money. It was his much loved hobby. Old stuff and books were his passion.
Alan: What a shot he made. It was not easy to identify your silver bar because the photo wasn’t from the best quality and the bar’s shape is also bad. But I had a helping hand. My workmate Joris Barber was very helpful. He is our expert for coins and very old American precious metal pieces. Let him explain what he found out.
Joris: Thanks Alan and hi Brenda. You have a very, very special piece. Your small rarity is an extremely rare San Francisco Mint Ingot weighing just 5.49 ounces and showing a fineness of 999.75. I’m not sure when this ingot was poured. Such silver ingots could be obtained at the San Francisco Mint in the 1930s and 1940s. But I found a very similar looking ingot from 1861 in our records. I would need to have this ingot in my laboratory for some days to find out when it was poured. But Brenda, I’m very sure that we have a value of round about $2,000 here. For sure!
Brenda: That’s unbelievable news for us. I don’t know how to thank you guys! Joris, what makes such silver bars or ingots so special and valuable?
Joris: Besides the age it’s more the rarity. Your ingot is definitely rare. Half a year ago, I had another very special silver bar in our laboratory. You remember, Alan?
Alan: You mean the shipwreck silver bar?
Joris: Yes I do. I determined that this bar came from a shipwreck. We could find out that this silver bar was transported between 1742 and 1745. This silver bar was finally sold for over $3,000. There is a really high demand for silver rarities like your San Francisco silver bar but if you don’t need the money, KEEP it Brenda. This is a great asset. Maybe you would allow me to take a closer look at it to find out the exact value and the year of production.
Brenda: I’m afraid we have to sell the 3 silver bars. We have to bear the costs for an expensive medical treatment. And your awesome news help us a lot. Just let me know how to sell our silver to your company.
Alan: I will give you a call to discuss the details. We can offer you a free and secure shipping solution with UPS Parcel Pro or FedEx to ensure a safe shipping to our laboratory.
Brenda: Thank you very much! I’ll wait for your call. Once again, I thank you so much for your brilliant support!
Alan: You’re very welcome Brenda, any time again.
Joris: Thank you for showing us your stunning silver ingot.
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