Silver Fix

The term ‘Silver Fix’, refers to the benchmark used for the trading of silver bars, silver coins, and other silver assets across the world. For more than a hundred years, major players in the silver industry would hold a conference every day, at 12 noon GMT, in which they would agree a price for the trading of silver. It is generally only used by major buyers and sellers of silver such as banks and refiners, while the majority of gold and silver investments are made using the spot price.

Historically known as The London Silver Price, the price would be set by ‘London Silver Fixing Limited’ once a day during a conference between market makers Deutsche Bank, HSBC, and the Bank of Nova Scotia using the same method used to set the Gold Fix.

Since 2014, however, this process has changed slightly. After Deutsche Bank resigned from its involvement in the fixing of the silver price, alternative methods were explored, bringing to an end a system that had been in place for more than a century.

How has it been replaced?

The daily setting of a benchmark for the silver price still takes place, but now under the title ‘the LBMA Silver Price’. The new silver fix uses slightly different methods to the London Silver Price, with the aim of providing greater transparency to investors regarding the valuation of precious metals.

Rather than being set ‘manually’ by the participating banks, the benchmark is now set via an electronic auction that begins at 12 noon GMT. The auction is run in a series of rounds each lasting 30 seconds, in which the price is given in US dollars per troy ounce and participants make orders to buy and silly by volume, in lakhs (100,000 ounces) or quarter lakhs (25,000 ounces). In similar fashion to the system used to set the London Silver Price, the rounds will be repeated until an equilibrium is reached between buy and sell volumes. When this is achieved, the benchmark price has been set. Responsibility for the silver fix has also changed hands since the retirement of the previous system in 2014. The new benchmark is owned by the LBMA, set by CME Benchmark Europe Ltd and administered by Thomson Reuters Benchmark Services Ltd.