The first Silver Fixing took place in 1897 at the office of Sharps & Wilkins.
For over 110 years we have been fixing the price of silver providing market users with the opportunity to buy and sell silver at a single quoted price. It also provides a published benchmark price that is widely used as a pricing medium by producers, consumers and investors.
The fix is carried out once a day at 12 noon by the 3 members via telephone conference.
At the start of each fixing, the Chairman announces an opening price to the other 2 members, who report that price back to their dealing rooms. They in turn relay this price to their customers, and based on orders received from them, instruct their representatives to declare themselves as buyers or sellers at that price. Provided there are both buyers and sellers at the price, members are then asked to state the number of ounces they wish to trade.
If at the opening price there are only buyers or only sellers, or if the numbers of ounces to be bought or sold does not balance, the price is moved and the same procedure is followed until a balance is achieved. The Chairman then announces that the price is fixed. It should be noted that the Fix is said to balance if the buy amount and the sell amount are within 300,000 ozs of each other. The Fixing will last as long as it is necessary to establish a price that satisfies both buyers and sellers.
Customers may leave orders in advance of the Fixings. Alternatively, they may choose to be kept advised of price changes throughout the Fixing and may alter their orders accordingly at any time until the price is fixed. To ensure that any order change is communicated quickly to the Chairman, each representative has a verbal flag, which he raises immediately upon hearing of the change from his dealing room. As long as any flag is raised, the Chairman may not declare the price fixed.