How much Silver and Gold is there in the World?

Combined geological, aggregate mining data, and verifiable historical record show that about 190,000 metric tonnes of gold and some 1.6 million tonnes of silver have been mined physically throughout history.

Of course there are many times these amounts traded virtually every year on precious metal derivative exchanges found in London, Chicago, New York, and elsewhere.

What we will examine here is the historical amounts of physical silver and gold which have been mined from the Earth.

Currently we humans mine about 8 parts of silver to 1 part of gold globally.


Gold silver ratio mine extraction How Much silver and gold is there in the world? SD Bullion SDBullion.com


Most of the world’s silver ore deposits are spread thinly throughout the Earth's crust, and much is not profitably recoverable at these current silver price points. Consequently the vast majority of physical silver mine production comes to market as a byproduct of other mining efforts (e.g. gold, zinc, copper).

Although not highly transparent, there is some reliable data published on total above ground silver bullion and gold bullion levels. Much can also be deduced by all time mining data and standard percentages of physical silver and gold formations (industrial vs jewelry vs bullion).

By the end of this piece we will attempt to answer the question:

“How much Silver Bullion and Gold Bullion is there in the world?”

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How much Gold is there?

To begin, the following chart provided by GoldChartsRUs.com shows the amount of physical gold which has been extracted from 1835 - 2016.  


How Much silver and gold is there in the world? SD Bullion SDBullion.com


We believe now by this year 2018, there is about 190,000 tonnes of physical gold in the world.

In case you didn't know, 1 ton of gold is equal to 32,150.7 troy ounces of gold.

Thus there is just slightly more than 6 billion troy ounces of gold above ground amongst human beings mostly in jewelry (approximately 50%), followed by .999 fine bullion form (approx. 40%, half of which is held by governments).

With the Chinese government currently underreporting her “Official Gold Reserves” by some 10,000 tonnes, it is safe to assume that more than 1 in 5 oz of all the physical gold ever mined is currently being saved by governments and their central bank partners today.

The reason governments buy-own-and-hold-gold long term is simple.

All man made currency proxies eventually fade to a valueless state, while gold bullion never bankrupts nor becomes worthless.

Is summation, there is about 2.5 billion ounces of gold bullion above ground today in the world. Again more than half of it is currently owned by governments and their central bank partners.


How much Silver is there?

The following chart provided by GoldChartsRUs.com shows the amount of physical silver which has been extracted from 1835 - 2016.


Silver all time How Much silver and gold is there in the world? SD Bullion SDBullion.com

Silver is different than gold in the amounts of industrial uses it has (second only to crude oil in real world product applications). Thus the vast majority of all the physical silver we humans have ever mined has been exhausted through industrial applications, thrown out into landfills unrecovered.

We believe now by 2018, just over 1,600,000 tonnes of physical silver have been mined all time.

Again, in case you didn't know, 1 ton is equal to 32,150.7 troy ounces.

Thus there has been just slightly more than 50 billion troy ounces of silver mined in history. Again, most physical silver mined over time has been lost to industrial use and gone unrecycled.

The following is identifiable above-ground silver bullion stocks presented in the 2018 World Silver Survey (bottom of page 37).  


Above Ground Silver Bullion holdings World Silver Survey 2018 SD Bullion SDBullion.com How much silver is there in the world?

According to their data there is now 2.78 billion ounces of .999 fine silver bullion being held amongst silver vaults, silver ETFs or ETPs (i.e. exchange traded funds / products), government silver hoards, industrial silver stockpiles.

What this data doesn’t take into account are private silver bullion coin and bar investment offtake and especially record volumes of .999 silver bullion buying which has taken place since the 2008 Global Financial Crisis.


Silver Bullion coin buying World Silver Survey 2018 SD Bullion SDBullion.com How much silver is there in the world?

Most government silver bullion coin programs began in the 1980s.

Thus we must take into account total all time sales of all major government silver coin sales programs as well as private silver bullion bar and silver bullion round sales over this same time period to accurately estimate the total amount of .999 silver bullion there is in the world.

With available data it is conservative to estimate that there is about 4 billion ounces of silver bullion in .999 silver bullion form being held by investors throughout the world.



“How much Silver Bullion and Gold Bullion is there in the world?”

Today in 2018, there is approximately

2.5 billion oz of Gold Bullion and

4 billion oz of Silver Bullion in the world.


In fiat currency terms, both gold and silver bullion valuations are still magnificently dwarfed by total fiat currency supplies and other asset class valuations.


How much gold is there in the world SD Bullion SDBullion.com John Exter pyramid updated 2018


At current gold spot prices, there is about $3.3 trillion USD in gold bullion in the world, while there is just under $70 billion USD in silver bullion being held by global investors and governments.

Respectively both these silver and gold bullion valuation sums (especially with silver bullion) are dwarfed by the total valuations for debts, real estate, fiat currencies, and derivatives worldwide.

Given current undevaulations of gold and silver bullion relative to other financial assets and real estate, now is likely a very good time to be buying bullion as a longterm store of value (i.e. dependable money). 

Thanks for visiting us here at SD Bullion.



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