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Thread: What is "Above Ground Silver"?

  1. #1
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    Default What is "Above Ground Silver"?

    I understand that Above Ground Silver refers to silver that has already been mined and yet consumed by industry , but do not understand how it is accounted for world wide.

    I read that there is only about $4 billion worth of "Above Ground Silver" on the planet and anyone with that amount of money could buy it all; should they desire... To make such a statement, one would have to determine (to some degree of accuracy) how many ounces of Silver are "For Sale". I'm confused when I read something like this presented as a "Given Fact" with no underlying explanation of exactly what they're talking about. (and what they're NOT talking about.)

    Well, my A.G.S. is not for sale at the moment and I've not reported my bullion holdings to any agencies, so I'm confident that my holdings are not included in the "Above Ground" numbers.... as are any other private holder's. (I'm sure Buckingham Palace has some nice sterling silverware too. Last I heard, the Queen does not wish to sell her punchbowl.)

    I also wonder if the A.G.S. numbers include the physical metal that's "on deposit" for ETF's (such as SLV and whatever is supposed to be going on in Dubia). If it is counted, then how can the "owned" ounces be legally sold?

    Given that most private bullion holders do not report how many ounces of silver they hold to any agencies, it appears impossible for anyone to calculate that portion of the actual A.G.S.

    In other words, if someone decided to buy up all the A.G.S., where would they buy it from?
    Last edited by ricm123; 19th January 2009 at 00:33. Reason: syntax

  2. #2
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    Above ground silver is just that.....above ground. The facts are clear, if one were to have the resources of Bill gates, Warren Buffet or Carlos Slim, you could indeed buy up all of the silver. Good luck trying though.
    "Information spreads at the speed of light, while ignorance is instantaneous at all points in the known universe"

  3. #3
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    Default Integrity of A.G.S. estimate

    Quote Originally Posted by Ancona View Post
    Above ground silver is just that.....above ground. The facts are clear, if one were to have the resources of Bill gates, Warren Buffet or Carlos Slim, you could indeed buy up all of the silver. Good luck trying though.
    The facts are not all clear to me... (I guess I just ask too many questions.)

    How is A.G.S. calculated? (Is there an "Above Ground Silver Registry" somewhere?)
    and
    Where would they buy it FROM? (Are they implying that all silver is for sale?... at spot?)

    I'll try this... it may sound silly, but maybe it'll explain my frustration when I encounter such "Given Facts".

    To say that there are 4 million waffle irons in the world right now would be a questionable statement. (I'd want to know what they're talking about.)

    It might be possible to estimate how many waffle irons are available on the retail market by querying supplier data bases, but there's no way to begin to figure how many are in homes.
    If they said "we estimate" 3 million currently in homes and 1 million on the open market that would offer a little clarification, but I'd still want to know how the hell they estimated who has a waffle iron in their home and who does not. (Maybe a survey?)

    To say someone could buy the 1 million that are "for sale" is believable, but to imply that someone could also buy the 3 million that are not for sale, and not even known to exist strikes me as ridiculously abstract statement.

    When I read that $4 billion could buy all the A.G.S. in the world I question how the writer arrived at that number.

    I also wonder if the A.G.S. estimate includes all the heirloom sterling silver tucked away in millions of homes (and palaces) all over the world.
    Last edited by ricm123; 19th January 2009 at 00:35. Reason: sp

  4. #4
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    It's impossible for us to have any idea, but for people in the silver industry, like wholesalers, they have a fairly good idea. Just add up all the available inventory at the wholesalers plus whatever is available on the comex and other comparable markets and you have a rough idea. Of course that doesn't take into account the unknown millions scattered all over the world at the dealers and coin shops or maybe they take a stab at that number as well and include it, but I doubt it.

  5. #5
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    Default The rough estimate

    Quote Originally Posted by valerb@bellsouth.net View Post
    It's impossible for us to have any idea, but for people in the silver industry, like wholesalers, they have a fairly good idea. Just add up all the available inventory at the wholesalers plus whatever is available on the comex and other comparable markets and you have a rough idea. Of course that doesn't take into account the unknown millions scattered all over the world at the dealers and coin shops or maybe they take a stab at that number as well and include it, but I doubt it.
    I found out that there is formula that keeps up with the A.G.S. count somewhat like balancing a checking account.

    They had a "balance" about 40 years ago that a research group came up with. (How they arrived at whatever number is a complete mystery, but it was accepted and became the "opening balance")

    Ever since then, all silver that is mined worldwide is Added to the AGS Balance. (Deposit)
    All silver sold to industry for film, electronics, etc is Subtracted since it is considered "Lost" and non-recoverable. (Withdrawal)

    When an estate is sold and all the sterling silver service ware ends up at a refinery and is converted to .999 bullion, the results (we'll say a 100 oz bar) probably are not added since the source was not from recent mining. I don't know.
    It was already above ground, but whether is was in the AGS total 40 years ago (When the base AGS number was established) or not is questionable.
    If the refiner sells it to Comex, 100 more oz are available and marketable.
    If they sell it to Eastman Kodak it's soon gone forever.
    Last edited by ricm123; 19th January 2009 at 20:41. Reason: sp

  6. #6
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    It is a ballpark figure at best......which does prove one point.......with 6,750,000,000 people in the world, then there's only about .6 ounces per person available........that means there's a whole lot of people who don't have any.....and I know alot of them myself....
    TRUTH is not dependent on one's belief of it...
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  7. #7
    duneyman Guest

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    Quote Originally Posted by ricm123 View Post
    I understand that Above Ground Silver refers to silver that has already been mined and yet consumed by industry , but do not understand how it is accounted for world wide.

    I read that there is only about $4 billion worth of "Above Ground Silver" on the planet and anyone with that amount of money could buy it all; should they desire... To make such a statement, one would have to determine (to some degree of accuracy) how many ounces of Silver are "For Sale". I'm confused when I read something like this presented as a "Given Fact" with no underlying explanation of exactly what they're talking about. (and what they're NOT talking about.)

    Well, my A.G.S. is not for sale at the moment and I've not reported my bullion holdings to any agencies, so I'm confident that my holdings are not included in the "Above Ground" numbers.... as are any other private holder's. (I'm sure Buckingham Palace has some nice sterling silverware too. Last I heard, the Queen does not wish to sell her punchbowl.)

    I also wonder if the A.G.S. numbers include the physical metal that's "on deposit" for ETF's (such as SLV and whatever is supposed to be going on in Dubia). If it is counted, then how can the "owned" ounces be legally sold?

    Given that most private bullion holders do not report how many ounces of silver they hold to any agencies, it appears impossible for anyone to calculate that portion of the actual A.G.S.

    In other words, if someone decided to buy up all the A.G.S., where would they buy it from?
    From what I have gathered over the years, the above ground silver tally doesn't include private holdings which may be considerable. Also, be careful who to believe. Despite many annual deficits the above ground supply figures seem to remain the same. How can that be ?

  8. #8
    sunsetcliff Guest

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    hey 123, welcome.

    ALWAYS ask questions. I wonderred the same thing. keep on postn'

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by hiyosilver View Post
    It is a ballpark figure at best......which does prove one point.......with 6,750,000,000 people in the world, then there's only about .6 ounces per person available........that means there's a whole lot of people who don't have any.....and I know alot of them myself....
    Good point....I just read where it was found that Japanese crematoriums have been salvaging the gold and silver from the teeth of deceased and selling them to refiners. Probably practiced world wide I would guess. Could be a lot there if everybody has teeth like mine. I've always had to put my money where my mouth is.

    Sliver

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