How are Silver and Gold Bullion Premiums Calculated?
Connect with us

Mining

How are Silver and Gold Bullion Premiums Calculated?

Published

on

How are Silver and Gold Bullion Premiums Calculated?

How are Silver and Gold Bullion Premiums Calculated?

The price paid for each ounce of bullion is composed of the metal’s spot price and the bullion premium.

Here’s the price composition of some common rounds:

  • Silver Eagle: 80% spot price / 20% bullion premium
  • Silver Canadian Maple Leaf: 84% spot price / 16% bullion premium
  • Gold Eagle: 96% spot price / 4% bullion premium

How are these bullion premiums determined? How can bullion buyers take advantage of the lowest possible premiums?

Difference Between Spot Prices and Bullion Premiums

Spot Price: The current price per ounce exchanged on global commodity markets.

Bullion Premium: The additional price charged for a bullion product over its current spot price.

The calculation for bullion premiums depends on five key factors:

  • The current bullion market supply and demand factors.
  • Local, national, and global economic conditions.
  • The volume of bullion offered or bid upon.
  • The type of bullion products being sold.
  • The bullion seller’s objectives.

Bullion Supply and Demand

The total amount of supply and demand of bullion is a major influence on bullion product premiums.

Bullion dealers are businesses, and they are actively trying to balance product inventory and profitability. Too much inventory means high costs. Too little inventory means angry customers. Fluctuations in the gold and silver markets affect bullion market supply, and this impacts premium prices.

For example, in the Western hemisphere during the summer, calmer price patterns mean the bullion supply tends to increase. Sellers mark down their prices to attract market share.

During other months, silver and gold prices tend to have more volatility. This leads to increased buying and selling, and bullion sellers react accordingly. Some may mark up prices to prevent running out of inventory, or to capture profits.

Economic Conditions

Depending on their size and significance, market events can affect bullion premiums local to global stages.

Examples:

  • In a small town with only one brick and mortar coin shop, the dealer may boost their premiums to guard against running out of inventory.
  • In a country like Venezuela, where the local currency is losing value at an extreme rate, locals may opt to buy bullion to preserve their wealth. This means higher premiums.
  • At a global level, in the event of a large crisis (similar to the 2008 Financial Crisis), it is likely premiums would increase significantly as demand spikes and options diminish.

Volumes Being Sold

Every seller incurs costs on each transaction such as time, overhead, or payment processing costs. For a seller, a single transaction for 1 oz of gold may have similar transaction costs as a 1000 oz transaction.

Therefore, transactions with higher volumes of bullion have their costs spread out. As a result, premiums tend to be higher on small volume purchases, and lower per oz on high volume buys.

Form of Bullion for Sale

As a general rule, the larger the piece of bullion is, the less the premium costs are per oz.

It costs a mint far less to make one 100 oz silver bar, vs. 100 rounds of 1 oz each.

There is also typically a significant difference in premiums between government and private mints.

For example the most popular bullion coins in the world are American Silver and Gold Eagle coins. The U.S. Mint charges a minimum of $2 oz over spot for each Silver Eagle coin and +3% over spot for each Gold Eagle coin they strike and sell to the world’s bullion dealer network.

A private company like Sunshine Minting will sell their silver rounds and bars in bulk for less than ½ the premium most government mints will sell their products for.

Bullion Seller’s Objectives

Whether the seller is a large bullion dealer or a private individual, they will almost always want to yield the highest ask price they can get for the bullion they are selling.

That said, just because one wants to receive a large premium on the bullion they are selling, that doesn’t necessarily mean the market’s demand or willing buyers will comply.

Dealers must consider these factors when setting premiums:

  • Market share objectives
  • Competitor strategies
  • Price equilibrium strategy

If a dealer sets its price too high, buyers will likely choose to go to a lower priced competitor.

If a dealer sets their price too low, they could end up selling out of inventory without garnering enough profit margin to pay for the company’s overhead costs.

Dealers and sellers are both typically trying to find the price equilibrium “sweet spot” where the time required to complete a sale is minimized and the seller’s profit is maximized.

This is more difficult than it sounds, as there can be thousands of factors at play when establishing the best possible premium to charge in line with one’s overall objectives.

Price Composition for Bullion Products

When bullion markets are experiencing normal demand, about 80-95% of silver bullion’s price discovery is comprised of the current spot price.

For gold, spot prices approximately comprise of 95-98% of gold bullion’s overall price discovery.

Embed This Image On Your Site (copy code below):
Subscribe to Visual Capitalist
Click for Comments

Energy

The Periodic Table of Endangered Elements

90 different elements form the building blocks for everything on Earth. Some are being used up, and soon could be endangered.

Published

on

The Periodic Table of Endangered Elements

The building blocks for everything on Earth are made from 90 different naturally occurring elements.

This visualization made by the European Chemical Society (EuChemS), shows a periodic table of these 90 different elements, highlighting which ones are in abundance and which ones are in serious threat as of 2021.

On the graphic, the area of each element relates to its number of atoms on a logarithmic scale. The color-coding shows whether there’s enough of each element, or whether the element is becoming scarce, based on current consumption levels.

ElementFull NameStatus
AcActiniumPlentiful supply
AgSilverSerious threat
AIAluminumPlentiful supply
ArArgonPlentiful supply
AsArsenicSerious threat
AtAstatinePlentiful supply
AuGoldLimited availability
BBoronLimited availability
BaBariumPlentiful supply
BeBerylliumPlentiful supply
BiBismuthLimited availability
BrBrominePlentiful supply
CCarbonPlentiful supply / serious threat
CaCalciumPlentiful supply
CdCadmiumRising threat
CeCeriumPlentiful supply
CIChlorinePlentiful supply
CoCobaltRising threat
CrChromiumRising threat
CsCesiumPlentiful supply
CuCopperRising threat
DyDysprosiumRising threat
ErErbiumPlentiful supply
EuEuropiumPlentiful supply
FFlourinePlentiful supply
FeIronPlentiful supply
FrFranciumPlentiful supply
GaGalliumSerious threat
GdGadoliniumPlentiful supply
GeGermaniumSerious threat
HHydrogenPlentiful supply
HeHeliumSerious threat
HfHafniumSerious threat
HgMercuryLimited availability
HoHolmiumPlentiful supply
IIodinePlentiful supply
InIndiumSerious threat
IrIridiumRising threat
KPotassiumPlentiful supply
KrKryptonPlentiful supply
LaLanthanumPlentiful supply
LiLithiumLimited availability
LuLutetiumPlentiful supply
MgMagnesiumLimited availability
MnManganeseLimited availability
MoMolybdenumLimited availability
NNitrogenPlentiful supply
NaSodiumPlentiful supply
NbNiobiumLimited availability
NdNeodymiumLimited availability
NeNeonPlentify supply
NiNickelLimited availability
OOxygenPlentiful supply
OsOsmiumRising threat
PPhosphorusLimited availability
PaProtactiniumPlentiful supply
PbLeadLimited availability
PdPalladiumRising threat
PoPoloniumPlentiful supply
PrPraseodymiumPlentiful supply
PtPlatinumRising threat
RaRadiumPlentiful supply
RbRubidiumPlentiful supply
ReRheniumPlentiful supply
RhRhodiumRising threat
RnRadonPlentify supply
RuRutheniumRising threat
SbAntimonyLimited availability
ScScandiumLimited availability
SeSeleniumLimited availability
SiSiliconPlentiful supply
SSulfurPlentiful supply
SmSamariumPlentiful supply
SnTinLimited availability
SrStrontiumSerious threat
TaTantalumSerious threat
TbTerbiumPlentiful supply
TeTelluriumSerious threat
TiTitaniumPlentiful supply
TIThaliumLimited availability
TmThuliumPlentiful supply
VVanadiumLimited availability
WTungstenLimited availability
XeXenonPlentiful supply
YYttriumSerious threat
YbYtterbiumPlentiful supply
ZnZincSerious threat
ZrZirconiumLimited availability
ThThoriumPlentiful supply
UUraniumRising threat

While these elements don’t technically run out and instead transform (except for helium, which rises and escapes from Earth’s atmosphere), some are being used up exceptionally fast, to the point where they may soon become extremely scarce.

One element worth pointing out on the graphic is carbon, which is three different colors: green, red, and dark gray.

  • Green, because carbon is in abundance (to a fault) in the form of carbon dioxide
  • Red, because it will soon cause a number of cataphoric problems if consumption habits don’t change
  • Gray because carbon-based fuels often come from conflict countries

For more elements-related content, check out our channel dedicated to raw materials and the megatrends that drive them, VC Elements.

Continue Reading

Mining

Mapped: The 10 Largest Gold Mines in the World, by Production

Gold mining companies produced over 3,500 tonnes of gold in 2021. Where in the world are the largest gold mines?

Published

on

The 10 Largest Gold Mines in the World, by Production

This was originally posted on Elements. Sign up to the free mailing list to get beautiful visualizations on natural resource megatrends in your email every week.

Gold mining is a global business, with hundreds of mining companies digging for the precious metal in dozens of countries.

But where exactly are the largest gold mines in the world?

The above infographic uses data compiled from S&P Global Market Intelligence and company reports to map the top 10 gold-producing mines in 2021.

Editor’s Note: The article uses publicly available global production data from the World Gold Council to calculate the production share of each mine. The percentages slightly differ from those calculated by S&P.

The Top Gold Mines in 2021

The 10 largest gold mines are located across nine different countries in North America, Oceania, Africa, and Asia.

Together, they accounted for around 13 million ounces or 12% of global gold production in 2021.

RankMineLocationProduction (ounces)% of global production
#1Nevada Gold Mines🇺🇸 U.S. 3,311,0002.9%
#2Muruntau🇺🇿 Uzbekistan 2,990,0202.6%
#3Grasberg🇮🇩 Indonesia 1,370,0001.2%
#4Olimpiada🇷🇺 Russia 1,184,0681.0%
#5Pueblo Viejo🇩🇴 Dominican Republic 814,0000.7%
#6Kibali🇨🇩 Democratic Republic of the Congo 812,0000.7%
#7Cadia🇦🇺 Australia 764,8950.7%
#8Lihir🇵🇬 Papua New Guinea 737,0820.6%
#9Canadian Malartic🇨🇦 Canada 714,7840.6%
#10Boddington🇦🇺 Australia 696,0000.6%
N/ATotalN/A13,393,84911.7%

Share of global gold production is based on 3,561 tonnes (114.5 million troy ounces) of 2021 production as per the World Gold Council.

In 2019, the world’s two largest gold miners—Barrick Gold and Newmont Corporation—announced a historic joint venture combining their operations in Nevada. The resulting joint corporation, Nevada Gold Mines, is now the world’s largest gold mining complex with six mines churning out over 3.3 million ounces annually.

Uzbekistan’s state-owned Muruntau mine, one of the world’s deepest open-pit operations, produced just under 3 million ounces, making it the second-largest gold mine. Muruntau represents over 80% of Uzbekistan’s overall gold production.

Only two other mines—Grasberg and Olimpiada—produced more than 1 million ounces of gold in 2021. Grasberg is not only the third-largest gold mine but also one of the largest copper mines in the world. Olimpiada, owned by Russian gold mining giant Polyus, holds around 26 million ounces of gold reserves.

Polyus was also recently crowned the biggest miner in terms of gold reserves globally, holding over 104 million ounces of proven and probable gold between all deposits.

How Profitable is Gold Mining?

The price of gold is up by around 50% since 2016, and it’s hovering near the all-time high of $2,000/oz.

That’s good news for gold miners, who achieved record-high profit margins in 2020. For every ounce of gold produced in 2020, gold miners pocketed $828 on average, significantly higher than the previous high of $666/oz set in 2011.

With inflation rates hitting decade-highs in several countries, gold mining could be a sector to watch, especially given gold’s status as a traditional inflation hedge.

Continue Reading

Subscribe

Popular