Record Silver Price and All Time Highs

Author: Ian Davis - Chief Operations Officer

Published: 24 Jul 2019

Last Updated: 1 Feb 2023


The all-time high price for silver was hit on 18th January 1980 at $49.45 (£21.65) per troy ounce fuelled by Nelson Bunker Hunt's cornering of the market.

Highest Ever Silver Prices in US Dollars, Sterling and Euros

The silver price record high was set on 18th January 1980 at $49.45 (£21.65) per troy ounce fuelled by Nelson Bunker Hunt's cornering of the market.

Due to exchange rates at the time the pound and the euro were able to set record highs in 2011 but the US dollar fell $0.75 short of the record set back in 1980.

Currency Silver Price Per Ounce Date
Pounds Sterling £29.29 28th April 2011
US Dollars $49.45 18th January 1980 
Euros €32.88 28th April 2011

Historical Silver Price From 1792

Record Silver Prices From London LBMA Fix 

The prices quoted are London Silver Fixing prices, the intraday prices on 18th January 1980 reached about $50.50 per ounce. The Pound and Euro reach price peaks at different times due to the exchange rate against dollars. Intraday highs are likely higher than these values as we only list the fix on morning and afternoon. 

Date Price $ Price £ Price €
28th April 2011 $48.70 £29.26 € 32.88
21st April 2011 $46.26 £27.94 € 31.65
20th April 2011 $44.79 £27.36 € 30.84
19th April 2011 $43.22 £26.52 € 30.28
18th April 2011 $42.79 £26.31 € 29.94
15th April 2011 $42.61 £26.06 € 29.47
11th April 2011 $41.37 £25.30 €28.61
8th April 2011 $40.22 £24.60 €27.90
6th April 2011 $39.63 £24.30 €27.70
4th April 2011 $38.46 £23.83 €27.06
31st March 2011 $37.87 £23.53 €26.66
25th March 2011 $37.68 £23.40 €26.62
24th March 2011 $37.78 £23.34 €26.71
8th March 2011 $36.37 £22.49 €26.12
7th March 2011 $36.60 £22.43 €26.08
2nd March 2011 $34.75 £21.29 €25.13
28th February 2011 $33.49 £20.62 €24.21
21st February 2011 $33.43 £20.62 €24.45
30th December 2010 $30.70 £19.88 €23.17
29th December 2010 $30.44 £19.77 €23.19
7th December 2010 $30.50 £19.32 €22.81
6th December 2010 $29.60 £18.89 €22.29
4th Janaury 1999 $4.99 £3.02 €4.23
18th January 1980 $49.45 £21.65 N/A


April 2011

On 28th April 2011 silver hit new highs in sterling and euros. In sterling silver peaked at 35% more than it's peak in 1980. In US dollar terms it reached 98% of it's all time record high.The dollar didn’t quite make it past its own all time silver price high of $49.45 set on 18th January 1980. The weakening pound since 1980 has helped the price of silver rise to this record high while in US dollars remain a fraction short. 

March 2011

On 7th March 2011 silver hit new all-time highs. In US dollar terms, silver is still only about 70% of its all time record high, but in pounds sterling, it is a new all time high.

The very next day, silver fixed at a new peak in two of the three major three currencies, sterling and euros.

December 2010 - Near Highs in Sterling

We created this page on 6th December 2010 as silver hit new 30 year highs. In US dollar terms, silver is still only 60% of its all time record high, but in pounds sterling, it is now 87% of its all time high.

The very next day, silver fixed at a new recent peak in all three currencies, dollars, sterling and euros.

The previous occasion that silver fixed above $30 was the 10th March 1980. It fixed above £20 on 5th November 1980, and was still over £19 on the 24th November 1980.

The Bunker Hunt Bubble

The Bunker Hunt's were a wealthy family from oil and other resources, and it is believed that Bunker Hunt started to invest in silver as early as 1970, when it was only slightly above $1.50 per ounce, doing so partly because US citizens were not permitted to own gold directly, and silver was the next best thing. He seems to have maintained and increased his silver investment throughout the 1970's, and by late 1979, he is believed to have owned about 100 million ounces, and to be sitting on a profit between $2 and $4 billion.

We respect his foresight, and his reading of the market. We also, along with others, believe he was "cheated" out of his profits by the commodity exchanges, and the many other dealers who influenced or controlled the markets. Many other market makers were seriously embarrassed and squeezed by the Hunts taking physical delivery of most of their metal, so they changed the rules. The Hunts unfairly lost fortunes as a result.

Silver Thursday 27th March 1980

The silver bullion price dropped sharply on this day, as it had done previously, and was to do again, but on Silver Thursday the commodity and futures markets went into panic mode. We show the London Silver Fixing prices for Silver Thursday, and the two surrounding days (figures rounded where applicable):

Date Price $ Price £ Price €
26th March 1980 $19.65 £8.94 N/A
27th March 1980 $16.00 £7.34 N/A
28th March 1980 $13.99 £6.45 N/A

Recent Low Silver Price

After the all-time high of 1980, silver bullion prices declined somewhat erratically, to the lowest point reached on 25th February 1991, when it fixed at $3.5475 U.S per troy ounce precisely, equivalent to £1.8325 sterling. Intraday prices on that day would almost certainly have included a few slightly lower figures (figures rounded where applicable):

Date Price $ Price £ Price €
25th February 1991 $3.55 £1.83 N/A

Gold Silver Price Ratio

When the first coins were made over 2,500 years ago in ancient Greece, the ratio of gold to silver was generally between 10:1 and 13.5:1, depending on the relative proximity of gold or silver mines. In the 1930's and 1940's the ration reached 90:1 or higher, and in 1991 it peaked at about 98:1, although we have seen one source which claims over 100:1 peak. Other sources state that the gold:silver ratio is no longer relevant in today's markets. We believe it is a worthwhile measure, but would stress that it is difficult if not impossible to state what the ratio "should" be.

Follow this link to our live silver price chart

Follw this link to our gold:silver ratio chart.

Learn more about record gold prices.

Learn more about record palladium prices.

Related Blog Articles

This guide and its content is copyright of Chard (1964) Ltd - © Chard (1964) Ltd 2024. All rights reserved. Any redistribution or reproduction of part or all of the contents in any form is prohibited.

We are not financial advisers and we would always recommend that you consult with one prior to making any investment decision.

You can read more about copyright or our advice disclaimer on these links.