Since the price of gold hovers around 67 times the price of silver, the logical discount should be that silver is more plentiful and easier to obtain than silver. On the contrary, the evidence shows otherwise. In fact, there is very little silver anywhere.
Known over the terrestrial silver holdings in ounce
SLV Silver ETF 295,313,780
Minted United States Eagles 240.418.077
Comex Warehouses 114102049
The number of special alloys (other than eagles or maples) is estimated at 120,000,000
Central Fund of Canada 75,209,103
LBMA estimate of stocks is 75,000,000
Minted Canadian maple 21303000
ZKB Silver ETF – Swiss 7,397,885
BMG Bullion Box 5,033,609
There is almost twice the amount of gold in silver in the form of investment bars over the ground and coins, and this ignores the fact that 52 percent of the world’s gold is held in jewelry. While there are 953 million ounces of silver above the ground, there are an estimated 1803 million ounces of gold above the surface in the form of ingots.
It is important to note some structural differences in gold and silver holdings as well. Nearly half of the gold bars above ground are owned by governments. There are no known silver reserves to be held by governments. While governments have historically sold their gold to fund their budgets and keep the price of gold content, there is no comparable entity readily available that can sell silver bars. Precious metals investors often hold their precious metals for periods of time that are measured in years, decades, and lifetimes. Most private investors will not sell their bullion for 10 percent or maybe even 100 percent. Therefore, even if there is approximately 1 billion ounces of silver in existence, the question remains about how much is actually offered for sale anywhere near today’s prices.
The implied dollar value of all silver bars is negligible compared to gold or other assets. In fact, silver is measured in dollar terms, which is 1/127 of gold. Many mutual funds own more than the $ 16.88 billion silver market, but gold is more readily available for purchase in larger amounts of dollars. Silver may be one of the century’s most neglected and unpopular assets. Perhaps the reason silver is so cheap and ironically is that it is so rare that it is invested in by asset managers. Or is it?