Turn Silver into Cash with Math!

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If you take a look around your house at any given moment, you'll quickly find that you probably have a lot more silver laying around than you realized. Maybe you've got some old jewelry sitting around that you never wear anymore (seriously, a pinky ring? What were you thinking?), some old coins or maybe that old smartphone that you upgraded years ago has a lot of little silver components hidden inside the case.

What you probably DON'T realize is that you might have quite the nice little payday on your hands, provided that you're willing to scrap all of that silver for its fair market value. Congratulations! It's like finding money in your couch cushions, only you have to convert it from "the silver in an old MP3 player I don't use anymore", to dollars and cents.

Before you head off to scrap those old silver coins you bought from an infomercial at 3:00AM, though, you'll want to keep a few key things in mind. You can use this handy Silver Calculator to help make sure you not only know exactly what you're going to get, but also that you don't get taken advantage of by someone who thinks they know more than you do.

Breaking It Down - What's That Silver Worth

The Silver Calculator can be used in a few different ways depending on exactly what type of silver you're talking about. Before we estimate the value of your silver, there are three terms you need to know: bullion, scrap and junk.

  • Bullion Silver is typically highly refined silver (0.999 pure). It comes in minted bars, rounds or coins like the Koalas in the picture.
  • Scrap Silver has significant quantities of other metals.  For example, sterling silver has 92.5% silver and 7.5% other metals.
  • Junk Silver refers to coins with high silver content but no numismatic (rare collectible) value.  These are silver dollars, half dollars, quarters and dimes minted before 1964.SilverBullion.JPG     Australian Silver Koalas

Bullion Silver

If you have any of these bars, rounds or coins, the value formula is pretty easy.  It's just the total weight of your bullion times the current spot price.  To make this calculation, click HERE.

Scrap Silver

The "Scrap Silver Value" equation, for example, calculates the "jeweler's buy price" based on the current value for refined silver. This will help give you an idea of what you can expect to receive, while still leaving money for the buyer to make a tidy profit of their own. Everybody wins!

To use the "Silver Value" calculator, you'll need to find a few key pieces of information. You'll need to know how much the silver weighs, the purity (which will be measured out of 100%), the scrap percentage and the fee the buyer will eventually take. Once you know all of that data, you can then plug it into the following equation:

    Silver Value= weight⋅SPOT(silver)⋅Purity(%)−(Refinement fee and Dealer Profit)

So say you're dealing with a 10 ounce piece of sterling silver at 92.5% purity, with a 5% scrap (refinement) fee. You also know that your buyer is going to be taking a 20% fee off the top, which may sound hefty but hey, he's a nice guy and your kids play soccer together, so what are you going to do?

With all of that information, our equation then becomes:

    Silver Value= 10troy_ounce⋅SPOT(silver)⋅(92.5%)−5%−20%

Because we know that the current Silver Spot Price is roughly $17.13 per troy ounce in US dollars, this means that you can expect to receive approximately $120.45 for your item. Not too bad for something that was probably just sitting around in a drawer in your bedroom!  To make these calculations with the current market silver SPOT price, click HERE.

Junk Silver

The "Junk Silver Value" equation calculates the current value for junk silver based on the actual current silver spot price. This would come in handy if you've got a silver coin that doesn't have a face value (stop buying random coins from infomercials - we mean it).  This calculation is much easier.  It's just the face value of all of your junk coins (say $4.75) times 0.715 times the current spot price of silver.  So, count the value of your coins, and click HERE.