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Thread: How to find out the value of a silver ingot?

  1. #1
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    Default How to find out the value of a silver ingot?

    Hey every one,

    First, I am new to this forum and this is my first question. Any comments or help are greatly appreciated.
    I need to ask something on behalf of someone else. I have an elderly neighbor who just doesn't do computers. She has 4 ingots of silver and she doesn't want to be ripped off or taken advantage of, if she ever were to sell them. She asked me to find out how much she should get for each of the ingots or what was an effective way to find out the current price of silver. She asked me to find out almost a month ago and I forgot . She is not looking to sell them, she just wants to have an idea of how much they are worth or how to find out if she needed to sell them (she has lazy ass daughter, hence the possible "need" to sell them). I really don't know how much they weigh, but from holding them in my hand, I would say they are between half a pound to a pound each. They look "standard"; that is, they are cast in a way that looks like it's a set size, but then again I don't know anything about this.
    If anyone has any advice or input, I would greatly appreciated.
    Last edited by rmendoza58; 30th March 2009 at 09:38. Reason: Corrected a typo.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by rmendoza58 View Post
    Hey every one,

    First, I am new to this forum and this is my first question. Any comments or help are greatly appreciated.
    I need to ask something on behalf of someone else. I have an elderly neighbor who just doesn't do computers. She has 4 ingots of silver and she doesn't want to be ripped off or taken advantage of, if she ever were to sell them. She asked me to find out how much she should get for each of the ingots or what was an effective way to find out the current price of silver. She asked me to find out almost a month ago and I forgot . She is not looking to sell them, she just wants to have an idea of how much they are worth or how to find out if she needed to sell them (she has lazy ass daughter, hence the possible "need" to sell them). I really don't know how much they weigh, but from holding them in my hand, I would say they are between half a pound to a pound each. They look "standard"; that is, they are cast in a way that looks like it's a set size, but then again I don't know anything about this.
    If anyone have any advice or input, I would greatly appreciated.
    First of all the bars should be marked with content, weight, and purity.
    Have her take them to a post office in a brown paper bag where a suitable scale can be found.
    Take the total and convert to Troy ounces then multiply times spot.
    "I foresee little future in 'the price of silver', I see a huge future for 'the price in silver'." - heartbone
    "The truth is called hate by those who hate the truth." - K

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by silverheartbone View Post
    First of all the bars should be marked with content, weight, and purity.
    Have her take them to a post office in a brown paper bag where a suitable scale can be found.
    Take the total and convert to Troy ounces then multiply times spot.
    Thanks for your prompt response. I will tell her to look for the numbers that you mention. Just a couple of questions: when you say that it should be marked with the "content", you mean it should say "silver", correct? And, will the weight be marked in ounces or grams, or should it specify the unit on the ingot?
    Again, many thanks.

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    The weight could be in ounces or grams,
    either stamped or embossed on the bar.
    The content = silver (Au).
    "I foresee little future in 'the price of silver', I see a huge future for 'the price in silver'." - heartbone
    "The truth is called hate by those who hate the truth." - K

  5. #5
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    The Silver should be stamped somewhere to indicate the purity of the Silver. A common purity is 'Sterling Silver', which is '.925' (925 parts of Silver per 1000 - in other words 92.5% Silver). Other common contents are 90% and 80%.

    To find the price of Silver you can pop along to: http://www.kitco.com/market
    and this will give you the current spot price for silver (the price silver is currently trading for on the open markets. At the moment this is bouncing between $12.50 & $13.50.)

    If these items are rare and/or collectable it has a bearing on the price they might attain. If sold purely for scrap (i.e. the Silver content) then a dealer would generally offer you a figure somewhere below spot (i.e. if spot is $13 you may get $10). If Sold on Ebay you can generally expect a little over spot, but fees from Ebay and Paypal can knock this down a bit.

    Spot is calculated as a Troy Ounce. This is not to be confused with a Kitchen scale ounce (or 'Avoir Dupois' ounce to give it it's proper name). The Troy ounce is 31.1g, the kitchen ounce is 28.35g.

    If your items were marked '925' and weighed 200g then do the following to see how many pure Troy ounces of Silver you have: 200g (weight) X 0.925 (PURITY) / 31.1g = 5.95 Troy Ounces of Silver. If the Spot that day was $13 you would have $77.35 of Silver on your hands.

    Hope this helps!

  6. #6
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    Thanks a lot for the prompt and helpful responses. I will let my neighbor know. The ingots might be old, since they were given to her by her father, and she is 78. Thanks again.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rmendoza58 View Post
    I really don't know how much they weigh, but from holding them in my hand, I would say they are between half a pound to a pound each. They look "standard"; that is, they are cast in a way that looks like it's a set size, but then again I don't know anything about this.
    If anyone has any advice or input, I would greatly appreciated.

    From your description, and assuming you are in the U.S., I would guess they are 10 troy ounce .999 fine silver bars. If that were the case, at current spot price they would be valued at about $130 each. But someone could probably sell them for her on craigslist for $170 each. Without out more precise information, that's all I can offer as a guess.

    Current spot can be seen here:

    http://www.kitco.com/market/
    Last edited by hiyosilver; 30th March 2009 at 11:40.
    TRUTH is not dependent on one's belief of it...
    John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

    "Get Real"

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    Is there any way you could photograph them and post the photos?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul View Post
    A common purity is 'Sterling Silver', which is '.925' (925 parts of Silver per 1000 - in other words 92.5% Silver).

    Here in the U.S. , sterling bars are not very common. Most are .999 fine silver. I rarely even see a sterling bar here.
    TRUTH is not dependent on one's belief of it...
    John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

    "Get Real"

  10. #10
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    Yes you are right. .999 would be the likely purity. For some reason I thought it was Antique Silver that was in question... When I re-read it I realized it's ingots!

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