Historical Silver Prices

If you are seeking an allocation to an alternative hard currency, Silver Bulllion is perhaps one of the best value options given how much you can acquire in physical ounces with fiat currencies today.

Silver has proven itself over multiple millennia as both a store of value and mankind’s all time used medium of exchange vs all other fiat currency renditions, commodity money proxies, or even physical gold itself.

On this page we will cover in depth historical silver price charts and silver price history from ancient Egypt to today.

You can learn more about silver price history and silver's supply demand fundamental factors today here at SD Bullion.

The following video is but a short introduction on silver.

Silver Price History (United States)

Most of our website visitors are from the USA and for that reason we will begin with charts covering the US dollar price of silver since the founding of the United States of America (USA).

In our nation’s historically brief +240 year history, the price of silver has swung from as low as 25¢ oz in the midst of the Great Depression 1932-1933 to two various high points of some $50 oz in early 1980 and in the early spring of 2011.

Below we will examine some major historical dates and charts for US dollar silver prices as well as current values versus the past.

We will begin with a US dollar silver price chart covering the more than the entire history of the United State of America to date.


Historical Silver Price charts us dollar per ounce 300 year SD Bullion SDBullion.com

Post US Civil War Silver Price Volatility

For the majority of beginning non-war US history held a $1.29 oz USD price defined by the 1792 Coinage Act.

Price volatility changed significantly for US dollar silver prices during and following the Civil War era to today.

The following video clip is provided by the belangp Youtube channel. It is an overview of the Crime of '73 and how silver was demonitized for many decades at the end of the 19th Century in the USA and around the world.

Historical Silver Price History October 1929 Great Depression SD Bullion SDBullion.com

Losing stock speculator, Walter Thornton of New York, offering to sell his Chrysler Imperial Roadster for $100 USD, one day after the stock market crash (October 30, 1929).

The lowest silver price per troy ounce in US dollar terms was 25¢ oz in late 1932 into 1933. See this fact reflected in the brief chart spanning the end of the roaring 1920s in to the 1930s Great Depression below.


Silver Price History chart lowest silver price ever 1932 1933 one quarter per troy ounce SD Bullion SDBullion.com

The highest prices for silver in US dollar (Federal Reserve note) terms are in the two charts below which span the respective 1970s and 21st Century silver bullion bull markets.

After the late 1960’s collapse of the gold price rigging London Gold Pool, the August 1971 Nixon Shock ushered in our current floating fiat currency exchange standard where silver prices seemingly generally gain value vs fiat currencies over the long term.

Below is a chart of silver prices in US dollars during the years 1975 to the end of 1984.

Historical Silver Price chart 1975 1976 1977 1978 1979 1980 1981 1982 1983 1984 SD Bullion SDBullion.com

Next is a chart of silver prices in US dollars during the years 2005 to the end of 2014.

Within it you will see silver's price run up late 2010 into the spring of 2011.

Silver Price History chart 2011 SD Bullion SDBullion.com

Historical Silver Prices vs Gold

One of the best ways to understand silver’s trading value historically is to measure it against its precious monetary cousin, gold.

For this investors often use the historic Gold Silver Ratio to understand perhaps which metal is undervalued vs overvalued short, medium, and even in the long term.

Here is a short definition of the Gold Silver Ratio:

Gold Silver Ratio - (n) a moving ratio measurement of the amount of silver one can buy with a fixed amount of gold. Typically in the western world the gold to silver ratio is measured by simply dividing the gold spot price by the silver spot price. It can be measured using equal like kind weights: grams, kilos, tonnes, troy ounces, etc.

For recorded history, the silver silver ratio has been as low as 2.5 to a somewhat recent all time of about 100 in the early 1940s and 1990s.

The silver silver ratio hit about 33 in the spring of 2011 and dropped to as low as about 16 as silver and silver peaked in prices in early 1980.

As of producing this content the silver silver ratio has risen again near and even recently above 80. The following long term charts show the respective history of silver vs silver price ratios in the USA and UK respectively.

Silver Price History chart vs gold 300 year SD Bullion SDBullion.com

Longer Term Silver Price History vs Gold

The following content and historic data is directly sourced from book is called ‘Silver Bonanza’ and it was authored by James Blanchard III released in 1995.

Mr. Blanchard was a successful business man and a large driving force behind the ‘re-legalization’ of private gold bullion ownership in the USA in 1975.

Only recently have we learned through Wikileaks intercepted US cables that simultaneous efforts were ongoing to discourage US citizenry from buying and saving Gold Bullion long term (but that is a COMEX silver price discovery topic of another post).

Below is nearly 5,000 years of Gold Silver Ratio data with a slight preamble of sources used:

The more ancient ratios are estimates for long periods of time. Those from 1600 to 1900 (AD) are yearly on periodic averages from Michael G. Mulhall, The Dictionary of Statistics, 4th ed. (London: George Routledge and Sons, 1899) and E.J. Farmer, The Conspiracy Against Silver, or a Plea for Bimetallism (New York: Greenwood Press, 1969; originally published 1886), p. 13.

The other statistics are from Steve Puetz’s Investment Letter, or from our own records. Statistics after 1900 are not yearly averages, but lows or highs that generally did not sustain for long periods. In 1980 the ratio stayed below 20 to 1 for the first two and a half months only, and touched under 16 to 1 for only a few days around January 21, 1980.

TIME FRAME / ERA

Buy 1 oz Gold

With X oz Silver

Menes, Egypt 3200 BC

1

2.5

Egypt, 2700 BC

1

9

Hammurabi, Mesopotamia

2700 BC

1

6

Egypt 1000 BC

1

10.0

Croesus, Lydia 550 BC

1

13.33

Persia under Darius, son of Hystaspes (father of Xerxes)

1

13.0

Plato, ca. 445 BC

1

12.0

Xenophon (in Persia)

1

11.66

Menander, ca. 341 BC

1

10.0

Greece, ca. 300 BC

1

10.0

Rome, 207 BC

1

14.5

Rome, 189 BC

1

10.0

Rome, 40 BC, Julius Caesar

1

7.5

Rome, Claudius

1

12.5

Constantine the Great

1

10.5

Theodosian Code

1

14.4

Medieval England

1

11.1

Medieval Italy

1

12.6

TIME FRAME / ERA

Buy 1 oz Gold

With X oz Silver

Spain, 1497 AD, Edict of Medina

1

10.07

Germany, 1500 AD

1

10.05

1600 - 1620 AD

1

12.1

1700 - 1720 AD

1

15.1

1800 - 1820 AD

1

15.3

1821 - 1840 AD

1

15.6

1841 - 1860 AD

1

15.6

1861 - 1870 AD

1

15.6

1871 - 1880 AD

1

16.7

1881 - 1882 AD

1

17.6

1883 - 1884 AD

1

18.4

1885 - 1886 AD

1

19.9

1887 - 1888 AD

1

21.2

1890 AD

1

18.3

1932 AD

1

75.0

1940 - 1941 AD

1

100.0

1980 AD

1

16.0

1991 AD (February)

1

100.0

1994 AD (July)

1

73.25

+700 year Gold Silver Ratio English Prices spliced to US dollars

Gold Silver Ratio 700 year using historic english prices spliced to US dollar prices.

With the industrial revolution and expanding government central bank price fixing, the value of gold vs silver has mostly widened over the last +100 year history.

Historical Silver price chart vs gold 700 years SD Bullion SDBullion.com


The following Gold Silver Ratio chart focuses on the current full fiat currency era we are living in since the end of the Bretton Woods agreement and gold exchange monetary standard.

The last time we dipped below the green trendline was during the 2011 silver and gold nominal record price runs with a gold silver ratio of about 33 being the interim low of the last few decades.

Historical Silver price charts vs gold full fiat currency post Nixon Shock Petrodollar era 1970 2018 SD Bullion SDBullion.com

Next chart covers the last major bullion bull market before this 21st Century Gold Rush began in the early 2000s.

The then price peaks of all 4 major precious metal prices occured within months of one another in the first half of 1980 (gold and silver, followed by platinum and palladium respectively).


Silver price history chart 1970 1980 SD Bullion SDBullion.com

Hawkish Federal Reserve policies of near 20% interest rates were possible at the time given the respective lower levels of debt throughout the economy at the time.

Today our worldwide record debt levels and fundmental economic factors are highly different than they were in 1980.

In this onging silver bullion vs US dollar value war, we are more likely to see negative real interest rates and currency debasement as the main mechanisms of debt defaults and debt super cycle restructuring.

Many industry experts expect the 2020s to be great years for both gold and silver values respectively. Even going so far as to say new nominal record prices will ensue from 2022 to 2024 with another global financial crisis being the catalyst.

The following is a potential roadmap under such a scenario.


Silver price history chart 2000s 21st Century SD Bullion SDBullion.com

Historical Silver Prices Adjusted for Real Price Inflation

Finally we will use the most accurate historical inflation data available produced by ShadowStats to better understand silver’s US dollar value over the span of our nation’s history.

The chart below uses the ShadowStats Alternative CPI-U Measure which is an attempt at adjusting government benefiting CPI-U inflation underreporting which has widened since 1980.

Alterations in methods used to report inflation have drastically changed over recent decades in the United States. They were likely designed to move the concept of the CPI (core price inflation) away from being a measure of the cost of living needed to maintain a constant standard of living to one which allows the government to under deliver on promises made.

This real inflation Silver Price Chart value data is based on more accurate price inflation reporting methods in place as of 1980.

According to the chart US dollar silver prices and values were cheapest now, in the year 2000, and most expensive in late January 1980.

Historical Silver price chart real inflation 300 year SGS SD Bullion SDBullion.com

For further information on silver price history and investing fundamentals, check out our 21st Century Gold Rush guide.

You can always find fresh up to date silver price information on our live Silver Price page.

Be sure to bookmark them both if silver price history and information are important to you.

For daily US dollar silver price quotes and data you can search 50 years of data below.

In our opinion these silver price years are most important, relative to the span of time that they cover. The last near 5 decades of our continued living under a fully fiat global monetary order.

Daily Silver Price Data 1968 - 2017

Click the year of your choice below for both Daily Silver Price History and Yearly Silver Price Charts throughout this ongoing Fiat Currency Era.