Thursday, September 17, 2009

World Silver Production in 2009

Production of Silver in Millions of Ounces
  1. Peru 118.5
  2. Mexico 96.4
  3. China 83.5
  4. Chili 64.3
  5. Australia 57.8
  6. Poland 41.7
  7. USA 40.5
  8. Canada 25.7

How much silver has been mined?

All the silver ever mined fits in a 55 metre cube, according this interesting history of silver mining:

3000 BC: The first major silver mines were discovered in Anatolia, modern day Turkey.

1st C. AD: Roman discoveries developed Spain into a major silver producer.

Early 1500s: After Columbus’ New World expeditions, the discovery of huge, prolific silver deposits in Mexico, Peru and Bolivia changed the focus of silver mining and enriched the Spanish Empire for 300 years.

1500 – 1875: Approximately 1.5 billion ounces mined in Mexico with the majority produced during the 1700’s.

1700s: The backbone of the Spanish Empire was the one billion ounces of silver produced from Veta Madre (The Mother Vein) in Guanajuato Mexico (Endeavour Silver has mines hosted in the Veta Madre) .

1857: Silver mining became an important industry in the State of Nevada (The Silver Sate) when the fabled Comstock Lode was discovered.

1859 - 1877: Comstock yielded silver and gold with a value aproaching $400 million, the equivalent of more than $500 billion today.

1900 – 1920: 50 percent expansion in global production to about 190 million troy ounces annually spurred by discoveries in several countries including Canada, the United States and Mexico.

1921-Present: Improved techniques in ore separation allowed for concentration of silver with lead, zinc and copper. The explosion in production of these various base-metal sources has led to an increase in both silver output and silver usage.

3000BC- Present: All the silver ever mined would fit in a 55 metre cube.

Read more here:

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Canadian Commemorative Silver Video

There is no commentary to this video, but it shows commemorative coins for the 1976 Montreal Olympics that were made of Sterling Silver. Might be useful if come across the coins for sale some where. Not sure if these where official mintage or not, but they do contain a good amount of silver.

Survival Silver - US Junk Silver Video

This video gives general overview of some Junk Silver coins in the USA. Talks about about various American junk silver coins from Morgan Dollars to war nickels. Makes a good point about Eisenhower Dollars - make sure that you have the San Francisco mint mark (S). Briefly talks about the survivalist aspect of coins (maybe not relevant for NZ audience) ?

Junk Silver: The Peace Dollar Video

This is an interesting and informative history of one my favourite Junk Silver Coins, the Peace Dollar, the replacement for the Morgan Dollar. It was minted from 1921 to 1935.

Junk Silver: The Morgan Dollar Video

The Morgan Dollar is one of the most popular junk silver coins on the market. It seems more readily accessible to a fair price to New Zealand than most New Zealand silver coins. Minting from 1878-1921, they actually weren't very rated by coin enthusiast at the times. This video below is fantastic for the information - however its target mainly for the coin collector, not the 'junk silver' collector, who's primarily interested in the silver content. Lots of good information on this coin!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

China: Dumping the Dollar, Going for Gold,

Typically I talk about Junk Silver - but this is another interesting article about China and currency. Most notably the fact that they have been stung holding the US Dollar which is worth less and less each day. So what to do? Get precious metals to back their currency. Its well know that China in mining in Africa and a player in Australia as well. In a previous article talked about the history or China and silver, this is more what is happening currently:

With Chinese state institutions hawking gold and silver to the general populace as a good investment (see China pushes silver and gold investment to the masses) - the latest news on this front being that the biggest Chinese bank, the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC), is setting up a special precious metals department to handle growing investor demand for gold and silver within the country, the corollary is that therefore the country cannot afford to let precious metals prices fall substantially and thus alienate millions of its citizens who have been taking state advice to buy them.


Chinese disenchantment with the dollar as the world's principal reserve currency has been apparent for some time and the huge trillions of dollars overhang in the country's reserves are already seen to be being reduced by whatever means possible - notably by the Chinese Sovereign Wealth fund CIC and other state bodies buying into western resources, property and other companies it sees as strategic investments (see Chinese sovereign wealth fund dumping dollars for strategic investments like gold). It is thus logical that at least much of the country's domestic gold production - and China is now the world's largest gold producer - is already finding its way into the state's coffers.

read more here from MineWeb South Africa.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Will silver go over $20 USD this year?

I've taken my eye of the silver price for awhile, but it nice to see it get a bit higher. A recently youtube podcast says it could go $2000, but experts think its more likely to go above $20 and follow gold. Here's a quick article I got from google news:

The silver spot price is expected to move higher following gold, but “significant and sustained momentum” is needed, says Forex analyst Anna Coulling, if the white metal is to break out above $18.50 and test last year’s high of $21 an ounce.

Many analysts believe gold may climb to $1,200 in the near future, especially if inflation becomes a reality. If gold can maintain its hold on the $1,000 level and advance further, spot silver will power through its own resistance levels.

On Ebay I've been seeing 'junk silver' peace and morgan dollars sell for about $20 and above per coin, so something is definitely cookin' with silver (about 1 month ago it was about $15ish).

Silver price manipulation video

There $30 billion of silver that is traded for only 75 million ounces of silver.

This not actually a video - its a podcast put to youtube. Anyways - it talks about the Silver Spot Price vs Physical Silver Price - and how this has been manipulated. The sound is a bit rough, but its interesting none the less. Another reason to stock to up on Junk Silver!

From Jason Hommel via here:

Read a bit more here
I think silver spot (or paper) prices can be easily manipulated, and some people are trying darn hard to suppress prices. A company can short (i.e. sell) tons of silver futures (futures are just mere promises to deliver silver) to artificially suppress prices. There is, however, a tremendous upward pressure on the physical silver price. So even if spot price were to drop to below $10, it is irrelevant to physical silver price. And from my observations and personal buying experiences, I find that this is true. I used to compare physical silver prices to the spot prices, and was uneasy when physical silver prices seem to rise faster than spot prices. I thought that the sellers are taking advantage of the rise in spot prices by charging more and more premium above the spot price for the physical bullion. This is true in a way, but not entirely true now that we know spot prices and physical prices should not be compared like that
So try to get as much physical silver as you can now!

Monday, September 7, 2009

China and Silver

Does this get your attention?

… Apparently China is pushing the idea of buying gold and silver for investment purposes to the general population in the way that Western television sells soap powder. If 1.3 billion Chinese citizens start buying gold and silver, even in tiny quantities, imagine what that will do to the market!

Apparently China has a long history with Silver; Silver was the standard for chinese currency for a long time until it became the last to abandon the silver standard in1935.

From the same article:
… What appears to have happened in China is a total relaxation of strictures on holding precious metals by the individual with the government pushing gold and silver as an investment option, seemingly at every opportunity. This is a far cry from the situation only a few years ago where the distribution of gold and silver was strictly controlled. Now, the Thunder Road Report notes that every bank will sell gold and silver bullion bars in four different sizes to individuals and gold related investments are said to be soaring in popularity.

… [Leyshon Resources managing director, Paul Atherley says] … “…Also, for the first time in history, Chinese investors can even trade gold abroad (in London) with the swipe of a ‘Lucky Gold’ card. I can’t even get Bank of America to open a foreign currency account.”

China-silver, China-silver, China-silver, I realize that is only three times, repeat until you see, hear, and understand the connection. There is a connection, China is going to need, want and use silver and a lot of it. Will this change the dynamics for silver in a big way, yes in a way few see or understand presently?

Seems prophetic now, what will happen to the silver price if over 1.3 billion decide its a sound investment?

Sunday, September 6, 2009

How high will silver go?

Despite the Teddy bears - this is any interesting vidcast for Silver. It does an interesting historic comparision of days wages in Rome as 1/10 ounce of silver, which is extrapulated to about $2000 USD an ounce. I don't think it can go this high, but biven the scarcity of silver, it can go pretty high. Its currently at $16.24.

What do you think of this video? I think its a bit sensationalist, however I do think it'll go much higher than the current price.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Another Junk Silver Calculator

Silver Stackers has a more thorough Junk Silver Calculator than Coinflation, check it out when you get the chance. Check out my other post on Silver Calculators here. Click on image below:

Silver Affiliate Programs

If you are interesting in selling silver, and have a website - a silver bullion afflilate program may not be a bad idea. I am going to try a few on this website. The list I present here is an ongoing list. - if you any you can recommend please ad them below.
  • Commission Junction: This is one of the most well know Affilate Programs out there. You can join quickly. The good thing is that they have all sorts of silver affiliate programs. Even junk silver. Commissions seem decent.
  • ClixGalore: This another one - it also offers silver products.
  • ClickBank: Interface is a bit clunky, but commissions seem good. Mostly books and stuff (a few book on coin collecting seem good).
  • Amazon: They have a great interface, and its not just books. There are few coins there as well.
Just a small post for now, I'll add more programs later.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Where to Buy Junk Silver

This is list of places to buy Junk Silver - unfortunately, the only 3 places I know that will ship Junk Silver to New Zealand, however, I'll list them out in case anyone is going overseas or can have them shipped from a friend from overseas. This is primarily targetting US Junk Silver coins - see my post on other junk silver coins.

Keep in mind, NZ Customs will scalp you for extra money if you buy large bags. Most companies have minimum $1,000 USD (1485 NZD) purchase as well, so this usually doesn't fit in well with the average Kiwi investor (I am sure its expensive for most small investors).

If you have any other companies to add, please comment below. Also if you have any experience with these companies below, add your comments. In addition, if you know if these companies ship to New Zealand, let me know!

  • - Not your best source, you won't find many (if any) bargains here. Mostly from coin collectors who want a premium on the coins
  • - Same as Trademe above.
  • - This is your best source if you are New Zealander. There are many sellers who are willing to ship to New Zealand
  • Lynn Coins - The don't ship overseas, bought based on what I've read on forums they are very reputable.
  • ApMex - I don't know too much about this company, but they look like they have good selection.
  • Gainsville Coins - When I was in the US earlier this year, I've bought Junk Silver from them. They have great coins at great prices. So if you are in the US - I would buy from them. Great customer service in the USA; the caveat - if you live overseas they put placing orders in the 'too hard to do' basket. I don't think there selection of Junk Silver is as high as it used to be.
  • Tulving - They some to be quite reputable based on what I've read in forums. I've contacted Tulving via and they do not ship to New Zealand.
  • CMI Gold and Silver
  • CC Silver
  • Bullion Direct
  • Norwest Territorial Mint - This is another reputable dealer from what I've read on forums. Seem to have a good selection.
  • Silver Trading

Melting Silver, Purifying Silver, Refining Silver resources

There comes a point where you may look into refining your silver such as junk silver, sterling silver jewelry or silverware. I've found several tutorials on the net how to do this. Melting silver doesn't seem to too big of a deal. However, refining silver can be dangerous and undertaken with extreme caution.

Note: I haven't tried any of this - so I can't give any commentary. I've just listed the sources for you to follow.

Here is a list of silver melting tutorials
Here is a list of silver refining tutorials

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

When too much Silver is a bad thing...

As you can tell I quite like silver, so forgive me if I divulge a bit and show some photos here of Argyria, a disease from to much exposure or ingestion to silver. The most dramatic symptom of this disease is that the skin becomes blue or bluish-grey colored. People who ingest strong silver colloid compounds for health and workers who breath silver dust in factories have been known to get the disease. It believed that the condition is permanent.

A famous case about Argyria can be found here. Read more about Argryria at wikipedia. See more Argyria photos on

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Types of Silver Alloys and Compounds

There are many types of silver out there, here is a list of some common alloys and compounds:

  • Sterling Silver: Also Stirling silver. This alloy is 92.5% Silver and usually 7.5% copper. The copper gives the silver its strength.
  • Britannia Silver: An alloy of more than 95.84% silver, and up to 4.16% copper; in use for British coins from 1697 to 1720
  • Electrum: An alloy of gold and silver, it can be natural occuring or artificially produced, occasionally called 'White Gold'.
  • Amagram: An alloy of mercury, silver and other metals used in dentistry. Click here for more.
  • Silver nitrate: Is a silver compound that is used in Photography. Demand for this compound has decreased with the advent of digital photography. Also has antibacterial properties. Read more here:
  • Fulminating silver are explosive silver-containing substances that that are easily detonated.
  • Silver Iodide: This used for seeding clouds to produce rain. Read how Russia use Silver Iodide during the Chernobyl disaster

See also wikipedias article on Silver Minerals and Silver Compounds