Consumers who buy precious metals encounter price terms like, Second London Fix, Spot, Futures, Settlement and Aftermarket, which tend to become confusing, and occasionally cause suspicion and misunderstanding between customers and metals dealers. This article is a simplified explanation of how metal prices are determined.
This occurs in the US between 10-11AM Eastern time and generally reflects the price of gold in England and Europe for that day. This index is posted daily in the Wall Street Journal and on most newspapers’ financial pages. Many gold and silver dealers and their customers agree in advance to use the London fixings as a basis for transactions. This eliminates any confusion as to the exact gold price which changes constantly during the day. London silver is always 7-8 cents higher because of their higher purity requirements of .9995 versus .999 on the COMEX. Spot
In the USA metals are traded within the NY Mercantile Exchange, COMEX division, from about 8:20AM to 1:30PM. If a person wanted to buy gold during trading hours, the price paid for a current month contract at that instant, would be called the spot gold price, which often changes minute by minute.