Learn the Difference Between Spot and Premium Prices
Spot price is the market price of a Precious Metal, which fluctuates on a minute-to-minute basis, like any commodity traded on the market. Premium is the additional cost of any Precious Metal above the spot price, which accounts for the costs of doing business, such as fabrication and distribution, and perhaps additional collectible, or numismatic, costs for rare items.
Precious metals are traded in U.S. dollars, so Silver is always listed at a price per ounce of Silver, while gold is listed at a price per troy ounce of Gold. A Silver spot price chart lists prices for silver by the troy ounce, gram or kilo, while various other weights are used with Gold.
The spot price of Silver is currently around $15.50 per ounce, while the premium that Silver Eagles (a popular form of silver coin) sell for is about $2.00 per ounce. This means that a Silver Eagle costs about $17.50 on the open market. The premium over spot price can be significant for certain rare Silver coins, such as Silver dollars.
Premium Silver bars often sell for a premium over the Silver spot price but do not always. Collectible Silver bars that are in limited supply and highly desirable can sell for a significantly higher premium. This is because they are rarer than standard Silver bullion bars and are more difficult to make. In contrast, Silver rounds are Silver coins that do not have collectible value and thus sell for a price near the Silver spot price. It is important to keep an eye on the price charts when trying to buy Silver and sell Silver.
The Gold spot price is currently around $1700 per troy ounce. The current Gold spot price is about 70€ per gram or $215 per ounce. Different types of Gold coins have different premiums over Silver spot price. It is vital that investors keep up with live Gold prices to make sure that they are buying Gold and selling Gold at the most opportune times.
Some coins, like Gold Buffalos from the U.S. Mint, do not come with a premium because they are one of the most popular Gold coins in the world. Therefore, Gold Buffalos sell for the Gold price per ounce plus any additional numismatic or collectible costs that may be involved.
Investors should always be aware of the premiums being charged over the spot prices when purchasing Precious Metals, as they can vary significantly from one product to the next. By understanding what drives premiums – production costs, rarity, collectibility – investors can make more informed decisions about which Precious Metal products are right for them.
Understanding Premium Over Spot
Understanding premium over spot is equally important for investors and collectors. Investors naturally want to purchase items as close to the spot as possible. However, collectors must also be aware of the spot price to understand how much they are paying for the numismatic aspect of a Precious Metals product.
Collectible Silver and Silver coins do not always sell for spot price plus premium. In fact, Silver bullion and Silver coins can sell for several times their Precious Metal value due to demand and rarity.
This is why it pays to research different Precious Metal products before investing, as Precious Metals prices can vary significantly between items. By understanding the factors that influence premiums, investors can make more informed decisions about which products to purchase and avoid overpaying for their investments.
Premium Over Spot: What Drives It?
The spot price of Precious Metals is determined by their commodity markets, fabrication costs and coin premiums. Precious Metal fabricators use Precious Metals as the raw material to produce bullion bars of varying weights and designs. These bars sell for the spot price plus a small premium over the spot.
The live spot prices move up and down in relation to supply and demand. During periods of increased demand, Precious Metal dealers may need to charge a premium that is higher than normal. This is because there are fewer sellers willing to sell Precious Metal bullion at spot price during periods of high demand. Conversely, the spot price normally falls when Precious Metal supplies are greater than the demands.
The Gold spot price is determined by the same global factors as Silver, but Gold is also influenced by its own unique supply and demand dynamics. The production of Gold coins, for example, normally has a higher premium over the Gold spot price than Silver coins because there is a greater fabrication cost associated with Gold coins. In times of political or economic uncertainty, investors often flock to Gold as a safe haven asset, driving the Gold spot price up.
Gold bars also sell for the Silver spot price plus premium due to Silver’s unique position as both an industrial metal and Precious Metal. This means that the Silver spot price is tied to the Gold spot price because Silver is a significant component in the manufacturing of Gold coins and Gold bars.
The Silver coin market, like Silver bullion, can be influenced by supply and demand. Supply issues may drive prices up during periods of limited silver production. For example, Silver is traditionally used in the photography industry. However, with the advent of digital photography, the demand for Silver in this industry has fallen significantly, reducing the premium over spot price.
Rarity is another key factor that drives premiums for Silver and Gold coins. Some coins are rarer than others due to low mintages or being from a collection, and Silver and Gold coins with low mintages can often sell for spot price plus a premium.
Gold and Silver Spot Price
It is virtually impossible to buy exactly at the spot price. Gold spot prices and Silver prices show the market price for a raw ounce of unrefined metal, but there will always be a modest markup for a refined and minted product. It is normal to pay something over the spot price, but a wise buyer armed with information can make the best decision, and it is easy to follow Gold and Silver prices on any reputable website.
Look for a reputable coin dealer or bullion seller that can provide a cert of authenticity and a gold spot price chart to see the variations in the Over Spot Gold Price. Just as with Silver, often there is a difference between buying Gold coins and Gold bars. Some investors prefer Gold coins because they are beautiful and historic, but Gold coins tend to carry a higher premium over the Gold spot price. Gold bars usually have a lower premium because there is less work that goes into producing them.
Premium Over Spot Summary
Investors and collectors should remember that Precious Metal prices vary not only by item but also within the Precious Metal market as a whole. While Gold and Silver bullion generally costs less than Gold and Silver coins, bullion and coins alike have a premium over Gold and Silver spot price. Investors should factor premiums into their Precious Metals portfolios’ total returns to determine whether investing in Gold and Silver will meet their individual needs.
In addition, investors can also consider Gold as an alternative option to Silver. Gold spot prices are generally more expensive than Silver spot prices, but it is not without their benefits. For example, Silver has greater industrial use than Gold, which means the premium over Silver spot price may be more volatile. However, Gold also has some industrial uses that can drive up the Gold spot price with supply and demand dynamics but is not used as much as Silver.
Gold is also preferred in many Precious Metals portfolios because Gold is viewed as a hedge against Silver’s volatility.
Learn more about the Gold and Silver price charts.
APMEX encourages those interested in investing in Precious Metals to consult with their financial advisor before doing so.