Nelson Baker Hunt began buying silver with his brothers in 1973, it cost $2 an ounce and a big consumer was Eastman Kodak Co., which used it to make film. Through the 1970s the price rose slowly, steadily. Then, in 1979, quickly. Silver started the year around $6 an ounce and ended the year at more than $32. On Jan. 7, 1980, in response to the Hunts’ massive silver position, Comex and the Chicago Board of Trade imposed emergency rules that included higher margin requirements.
On March 27, 1980, what came to be known as “silver Thursday,” Comex asked Bache Group, the Hunts’ broker, for $134 million. The 3 Hunt brothers had $4.5 billion in silver holdings, $3.5 billion of it pure profit, Knight said. But they didn’t have $134 million in cash as most of their silver was in Swiss warehouses.
Hunt died Oct. 21 at the age of 88 of congestive heart failure after a long battle with cancer and dementia, according to The Dallas Morning News. Rule changes were made in the wake of the Hunts’ rout, and they are Hunt’s legacy, David Kovel, an attorney at New York-based Kirby McInerney LLP specializing in commodities, told Bloomberg News.
On Thursday, October 23, US silver fell by 2.0% to $17.17 per ounce, making it the day’s biggest mover. Indian silver ended the day at INR 38,767 ($632.36) per kilogram, after the 1.5% drop yesterday. Following a couple days of improvement, the price of Chinese silver weakened by 1.2%. Prices closed at CNY 3,850 ($626.86) per kilogram. After improving for two days, the price of Japanese silver declined 0.5% to JPY 597.00 ($5.48) per 10 grams.
US gold bullion prices saw a 0.7% decline to $1,241 per ounce. Weakening prices followed two days of improvement as the price of Chinese gold bullion dropped 0.5% to CNY 244.80 ($39.86) per gram. At JPY 4,293 ($39.43), the price of Japanese gold bullion finished the market day up 0.5% per gram. The price of Indian gold bullion declined 0.4% to INR 27,554 ($449.46) per 10 grams, after two days of improvement.
The price of US platinum bar declined 1.6% to $1,254 per ounce. Japanese platinum bar prices inched up 1.1% to JPY 4,408 ($40.49) per gram. Chinese platinum bar closed 0.7% lower at CNY 266.00 ($43.31) per gram.
US palladium bar finished the day down 1.3% to $764.00 per ounce. Japanese palladium bar held its value on Thursday at JPY 2,677 ($24.59) per gram. The price of Chinese palladium bar steadied at CNY 169.00 ($27.52) per gram following two-days of increases.