The ability to determine the melt value of a silver ingot in terms of its silver content plays a vital role in any successful silver investing strategy. The reason being is because it’s easy to overpay or to miss out on an opportunity to buy silver at below melt value if one isn’t in the know. It should therefore be important to silver investors, especially those who have developed a liking for silver ingots (silver bars), to know how to determine the melt value or intrinsic value of the silver contained in a silver ingot(s).

For all practical purposes, we’re going to focus only on how to determine the melt value of silver contained in silver ingots. It’s after all no secret that most silver ingots are normally made up of a silver alloy that consists of silver and other metals such as copper. We are however only interested in the value of the silver. This is not to say that a metal such as copper is not valuable, it’s rather to say that the successful silver investor prefers to focus on silver and silver alone. The value of copper and other metals used in a silver alloy, besides silver, although not determined now will be an added bonus at the end of the day.

What is the melt or intrinsic value of a silver ingot?

The melt or intrinsic value of a silver ingot refers to the value of the metal (copper, silver, etc.) contained in the silver ingot. E.g. the silver melt value of a silver ingot refers to the value of the silver contained in a silver ingot.

What info do I need to accurately determine the melt value of the silver in a silver ingot?

Metal composition, total ingot weight, silver price and conversion factor(s).

You need the metal composition, total ingot weight, silver price and conversion factor(s) in order to accurately determine the melt value of the silver in a silver ingot. Metal composition refers to the ratio or proportion of a metal in relation to another contained in a silver ingot and is normally expressed as a percentage (%). E.g. the metal composition of a silver ingot can be 99.9% silver and 0.1% copper. The total weight of the silver ingot refers to the weight of the silver ingot in its totality and is normally expressed in grams. The silver price refers to the spot price of silver and is normally expressed in troy ounces or troy ounce (t oz / ozt). This makes it necessary to convert to grams when determining the exact melt value of the silver content. This is done by multiplying the silver price by a conversion factor of 0.0321507466 in order to make the conversion to grams. Depending on the info or data which are available, more than one conversion factor might have to be used.

In other words, metal composition, total ingot weight, the silver price (spot price of silver) and a conversion factor(s) are the info that’s needed to accurately determine the melt value of the silver contained in a silver ingot.

Troy weighting system…

The troy weighting system was originally used in Troyes in France to measure the weight of precious metals such as gold and silver. The troy ounce (t oz / ozt) is however the only measure of the troy weighting system that is still in use today.

1 troy ounce (t oz / ozt) = 31.1034768 grams

1 troy ounce (t oz / ozt) = 0.0311034768 kilograms

1 troy ounce (t oz / ozt) = 480 grains

1 grain = 0.06479891 grams

It’s important for the silver investor who wishes to accurately determine the melt value of a silver ingot to know that 1 troy ounce of silver is equal to 31.1034768 grams of silver (or that 1 gram of silver is equal to 0.0321507466 troy ounces of silver). On the other hand, for rough estimates, it’s sufficient to know that 1 troy ounce of silver is equal to more or less 31 grams of silver.

More than one way to skin a cat…

An old saying has it that there is more than one way to skin a cat. The same notion applies to determining the melt value of the silver in a silver ingot.

Accurate estimate

The silver investor who wishes to accurately determine the melt value of the silver in a silver ingot, can do it by using the following formula:

Silver Price (t oz) x Ounce/Gram Conversion Factor x Total Ingot Weight (grams) x Metal Composition Factor (99.9% expressed as 0.999, etc.)

E.g. metal composition = 99.9% silver (0.999), 0.1% copper (0.001), total ingot weight in grams = 14 grams, silver price (spot price of silver) per troy ounce = $35 per troy ounce and ounce/gram conversion factor = 0.0321507466
 
Thus, $35 x 0.0321507466 x 14 grams x 0.999 = $15.74

In other words, the accurate melt value of the silver contained in the relevant silver ingot is $15.74. This is the value silver dealers normally use when selling silver ingots at melt value.

Rough estimate

The silver investor can also choose to make a rough estimate of the melt value of the silver contained in a silver ingot by assuming that 1 troy ounce of silver is equal to more or less 31 grams of silver:

Total Ingot Weight (grams) x Metal Composition Factor (99.9% expressed as 0.999, etc.) x Silver Price (t oz) ÷ 31

E.g. metal composition = 99.9% silver (0.999), 0.1% copper (0.001), total ingot weight in grams = 14 grams, silver price (spot price of silver) per troy ounce = $35 per troy ounce and ounce/gram conversion factor: = 0.0321507466

Thus, 14 x 0.999 x $35 ÷ 31$15.79

In other words, a rough estimate of the melt value of the silver contained in the relevant silver ingot is $15.79.

Small difference…

It should be clear from the answers obtained by using the formulas recommended by Silver Bullion that there’s a difference of less than 0.5% between an accurate and rough estimate of the melt value of the silver contained in the relevant silver ingot. This difference is small enough to allow the silver investor to make an informed decision in spite of the formula used.

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