This is a very common question and most times our customers are asking about American Silver Eagle coins in specific. To answer that, there are 20 American Silver Eagle Coins in 1 tube.
In general, there are USUALLY 20 silver coins per tube on just about every silver coin out there. However, that is not true for ALL silver coins. Below you will find a list of how many silver coins are in a tube for each specific product.
American Silver Eagles – 20 coins
American Silver America The Beautiful Coins (5 oz) – 10 coins
Austrian Philharmonic Silver Coins – 20 coins
Royal Canadian Mint Silver Maple Leafs – 25 coins
Royal Canadian Mint Silver Birds of Prey – 25 coins
Royal Canadian Mint Silver Wildlife Series – 25 coins
Royal Canadian Mint Silver Commemorative Series (1.5 oz coins) – 15 coins
Chinese Silver Pandas – Each coin encapsulated and sealed in plastic sheets of 30
Perth Mint Silver Bullion Series (2014 – present) – 20 coins
Mexican Silver Libertads – 20 coins
Great Britain Silver Britannias – 20 coins
New Zealand Silver Bullion (Turtles) – 20 coins
Armenian Silver Noah’s Ark – 20 coins
Many times silver and sterling silver are mistakenly described as the same thing. But what some people don’t realize is that silver is a pure metal with no other metals contained in it – it has a content of 99.9% pure silver. When you see the term “fine silver” this is what they are referring to. Sterling Silver on the other hand, is an alloy. This means that it is made up of primarily silver, but as well as a combination of other metals. Sterling silver is approximately 92.5% silver and the remaining 7.5% is made up of other metals such as copper and steel.
Pure silver, while a metal, is actually quite soft. If you were to make utensils (forks and knives) out of pure silver they would bend and not hold their rigidity. This is precisely why sterling silver was created. People wanted to make utilitarian items out of the beautifully shiny metal but the softness wouldn’t allow these items to hold up over time. By adding in around 7.5% of other metals such as copper and steel, the new alloy (sterling silver) was much stronger and more stable but retained the white, shiny look that was desired. This is why you see sterling silver used in utensils such as forks, knives and spoons, as well as tea sets and other useful household items.
The downside to sterling silver vs silver is that sterling silver will tarnish more easily. While all silver (pure or sterling) will tarnish over time, the other metals in sterling allow the alloy to oxidize quicker. This is why you will frequently have to polish your silver to keep it shiny and free from oxidation.
To summarize, there is one major difference between sterling silver and fine silver:
Sterling Silver is an alloy made of approximately 92.5% pure silver. The remaining 7.5% is made up of other metals such as copper, steel and sometimes even iron. This makes it stronger and less expensive. Fine silver is composed of 99.9% pure silver and as such is more expensive.
The short term fundamentals for silver, which has slumped 59% over the past five years, don’t look particularly great. It has become a troublesome investment material since the decline of the photographic industry. However in the longer term, supply and demand fundamentals of the metal look to be finally improving. The potential upside for investors is significant, as multiple industries find use for gold’s erratic little sister. Meanwhile, supply looks set to dry up due to the current market conditions. Explore the silver situation further. Check out these five reasons silver looks like an attractive option for long term investment.
For years now, amounts of silver mined annually worldwide have been lower than the amounts consumed or bought for investment purposes. The gap is being filled by vendors who are willing to sell from existing inventories of the metal. The total available inventory is already low and will tighten up further with time. Additionally, demand for silver is growing in excess of mining production growth. This imbalance must eventually push prices higher.
As solar power has become more of a ‘thing,’ demand for silver in that sector has sky rocketed. Silver is required as a key component of photovoltaic cells, used in the creation of solar power. Back in 2000, about a million ounces of silver was used for these cells. Yet by 2013, that figure had increased to 50 million ounces, amounting to about five percent of of global silver supply. Many nations are now beginning to implement renewable energy targets that will see solar power usage increase further. China recently quadrupled solar energy targets and is now aiming to generate 200 gigawatts of electricity from solar sources by 2020. So if you see a future in solar power, it’s a good indicator silver will yield well in the long term.
Silver consumption has also been steadily growing along with the electrical, mobile and computer sectors. Which of course, are sectors that don’t look like slowing down anytime soon. In addition, silver’s use in the biotech, medical and even clothing fields is also on the rise, as new discoveries are made. For instance, silver is now being investigated for its ability to combat infection, bacteria, fungi and even nasty odors.
Silver demand currently sits at around a billion ounces per annum. Eighty per cent of that demand is from mining, the rest from scrap. The current slump in silver prices however means many primary silver producers are now struggling to make a buck. Increasingly, operations are being scaled back with some mines going offline, as silver mining companies announce cut backs in production. An example is Endeavor Silver Corp. (TSX:EDV) which announced a 25 percent cut back in production for 2016. Investment in the silver exploration projects has all but disappeared.
Pure silver production aside, it’s important to remember that 70 percent of the world’s silver is produced as a by-product of mining other metals, including gold, copper, zinc and lead. Investment in the mining of these metals is also on the decline.
In short, the silver spot price is determined by silver futures, but before we get into that, I want to explain some basic concepts, like:
A futures contract is a contract that is traded on a special stock exchange called a futures exchange. You buy or sell an instrument, like silver or gold, at a certain date in the future, at a specified price. Basically, when you buy a futures contract, you’re making bet that something will be worth something at sometime in the future. The advantage of trading futures contracts is that they are purchased on the margin, so it’s possible to make huge profits from a small investment. The disadvantage is that if you lose, you pay the full amount (not on the margin).
If this seems like a crazy way to buy silver, you would be correct because most purchasers of futures contracts never take possession of the underlying asset (silver in this case). We call this type of buyer a speculator. Speculators try to profit from from future price changes. Although speculators are often demonized by the media, they actually provide an important market function and help to hedge against rapid rises and falls in commodity prices.
When people speak of “paper silver” they’re often referring to silver futures contracts. The problem with the gold and silver futures market is that the paper “inventory” exceeds the physical inventory by an alarming amount, providing a mechanism to manipulate gold and silver prices. But that’s a discussion for another article.
As you may have already guessed, silver futures are simply futures contracts where the commodity is silver. Silver futures contracts can also be called futures contracts, or simply futures, depending on the context. Futures contracts for silver are usually made in 5,000 troy ounce increments. Silver futures trade on many exchanges around the world. In the US, silver futures are primarily traded on COMEX, an abbreviated name for the former Commodity Exchange, Inc., which is now owned by the CME Group.
All silver futures traded on COMEX must specify 5,000 oz. of 99.9% pure silver (five 1,000 oz. silver bars) made by a COMEX-approved refiner.
When trading futures, traders must follow certain rules, but the only variables that are decided during an auction are:
Price discovery occurs via the auctioning process as buyers and sellers determine what is in their best interests. Later, we’ll discuss how the silver spot price is determined via silver futures pricing agreements.
A spot agreement requires immediate payment (within a few days), and delivery of the silver follows immediately after payment is cleared by the seller. When you buy silver coins or bars from your LCS, it is considered a spot trade. This is why silver dealers use the silver spot price to determine the price of their coins and bars.
Like spot trades, a futures trade is a price agreement in the present. The difference is, however, that payment and delivery occur during a future contract delivery month. The contract reflects the buyer and seller expectations of future silver prices.
As a futures contract month approaches in time, it becomes “nearby” and eventually becomes the current delivery month. Contracts with current-month delivery dates cease to be futures and become cash-for-silver transactions.
At the COMEX:
The nearby silver futures contract month typically means the closest month when the silver bullion may be delivered and the contract expires.
During certain contract months, trading at settlement (TAS) is allowed. This means a trader can liquidate (exit) an open position with an offsetting trade ending the requirement to exchange silver for cash. Because of this option to offset a futures contract without having to deliver physical silver, trade volumes are much higher during active contract months.
At COMEX, the active contract months for silver futures are:
In the COMEX, the active contract month is the nearest, but not current, base contract month. For instance, if the current month is May, the active contract month for silver futures is July. During contract months that have very low trading volumes, exchanges discover spot prices from nearby active contract months with higher volumes.
You can see the silver futures chain at Yahoo Finance.
In the US, depositories approved by COMEX store the silver bullion involved in futures trading. As noted earlier, however, the actual physical deposits are much lower than the amount of paper contracts at any given time. It has been reported that at some times, paper silver ounces have exceed physical silver ounces by a ratio of 500 to 1. What do you think would happen to the price of silver if too many traders tried to collect their contracts in physical form?
If you purchase a futures contract and hold onto it until it is completed, you can take delivery of physical silver. However, after the silver leaves the COMEX network, it must be assayed if you want to sell it on COMEX. Having silver assayed is a certification process that ensures your silver meets COMEX specifications, and of course this costs money.
Personally, I would never buy silver futures. First of all, I have a moral objection to trading paper representations of physical commodities that don’t exist; silver futures are the fractional-reserve banking of commodities. Secondly, silver futures require considerable experience and knowledge and even then, they carry a high risk. When they system implodes, you’re better off holding physical silver bullion instead.