Mercury Price

Mercury (symbol: Hg; atomic number: 80) is a heavy metal with a silvery appearance. It’s notable for being the only metal with a liquid structure under standard pressure and temperature conditions.  It is also present in deposits worldwide, usually as mercuric sulfide or cinnabar.

Below is the historical Mercury price per flask.

YearPricePrice (Inflation Adjusted)Change
1899$43.63$1,486.360%
1900$51.00$1,714.6314%
1901$47.00$1,539.65-9%
1902$48.03$1,534.122%
1903$41.32$1,319.80-16%
1904$41.00$1,293.41-1%
1905$38.50$1,185.27-6%
1906$40.90$1,201.256%
1907$41.50$1,178.231%
1908$44.84$1,273.057%
1909$46.30$1,245.273%
1910$47.06$1,265.712%
1911$46.54$1,225.86-1%
1912$42.46$1,084.87-10%
1913$39.54$990.06-7%
1914$48.31$1,197.6818%
1915$87.01$2,135.7644%
1916$125.49$2,854.7731%
1917$106.30$2,059.81-18%
1918$123.47$2,027.5614%
1919$92.15$1,320.45-34%
1920$81.12$1,005.54-14%
1921$45.46$629.62-78%
1922$58.95$869.4923%
1923$66.50$963.5111%
1924$69.76$1,010.745%
1925$83.13$1,177.3816%
1926$91.90$1,287.4310%
1927$118.16$1,683.9322%
1928$123.51$1,790.614%
1929$122.15$1,770.90-1%
1930$115.01$1,706.63-6%
1931$87.35$1,424.38-32%
1932$57.93$1,048.44-51%
1933$59.23$1,129.572%
1934$73.87$1,366.4120%
1935$71.99$1,302.97-3%
1936$79.92$1,425.1210%
1937$90.18$1,552.2011%
1938$75.47$1,326.87-19%
1939$103.94$1,853.3627%
1940$176.86$3,131.6841%
1941$185.02$3,120.164%
1942$196.35$2,985.786%
1943$195.21$2,797.78-1%
1944$118.36$1,668.00-65%
1945$134.89$1,858.2112%
1946$98.24$1,249.61-37%
1947$83.74$931.09-17%
1948$76.49$786.76-9%
1949$79.46$827.234%
1950$81.26$835.112%
1951$210.13$2,001.4161%
1952$199.10$1,860.99-6%
1953$193.03$1,789.94-3%
1954$264.39$2,434.6027%
1955$290.35$2,684.399%
1956$259.92$2,367.54-12%
1957$246.98$2,177.81-5%
1958$229.06$1,964.78-8%
1959$227.48$1,937.66-1%
1960$210.76$1,765.23-8%
1961$197.61$1,638.71-7%
1962$191.21$1,569.93-3%
1963$189.45$1,535.52-1%
1964$314.79$2,518.6840%
1965$570.75$4,494.7445%
1966$441.72$3,380.57-29%
1967$489.36$3,632.5610%
1968$535.56$3,815.279%
1969$505.04$3,410.28-6%
1970$407.77$2,604.98-24%
1971$292.41$1,789.29-39%
1972$218.28$1,294.26-34%
1973$286.23$1,598.0824%
1974$281.69$1,416.88-2%
1975$158.12$728.99-78%
1976$121.30$528.58-30%
1977$135.71$555.2811%
1978$153.32$583.0311%
1979$281.10$960.4145%
1980$389.45$1,172.3328%
1981$413.86$1,129.476%
1982$370.93$953.21-12%
1983$322.44$802.91-15%
1984$314.38$750.57-3%
1985$310.96$716.60-1%
1986$232.79$526.46-34%
1987$295.50$645.0621%
1988$335.52$703.5712%
1989$287.72$575.70-17%
1990$249.22$473.12-15%
1991$122.42$223.03-104%
1992$201.39$356.2239%
1993$187.00$321.13-8%
1994$194.45$325.474%
1995$247.39$402.8021%
1996$261.61$413.545%
1997$159.52$246.49-64%
1998$139.84$212.68-14%
1999$140.00$208.340%
2000$155.00$223.0810%
2001$155.00$217.000%
2002$155.00$213.590%
2003$170.00$228.999%
2004$400.00$524.6357%
2005$775.00$983.0548%
2006$670.00$823.51-16%
2007$530.00$633.69-26%
2008$732.00$843.1728%
2009$753.00$870.843%
2010$900.00$1,024.4616%
2011$1,450.00$1,599.3338%
2012$1,990.00$2,149.8027%
2013$2,600.00$2,767.2823%
2014$3,540.00$3,708.4227%
2015$3,740.00$3,914.025%
2016$4,120.00$4,214.769%
2017$4,120.00$4,120.000%

Brief History

Mercury has been used since ancient times although its uses have evolved with the discoveries related to its safe processing and handling. In ancient Greece, cinnabar was used in topical ointments since it was thought to cure a wide range of diseases. In ancient Egypt and Rome, it was combined with cosmetics to achieve the desired youthful glow. Even among the Mayans, it was also used for several purposes, as evidenced by the discovery of a pool of mercury in a ball court, as well as in a temple pyramid in Teotihuacan, Mexico.

In China and Tibet, the liquid metal was even believed to be the fountain of youth! It was then used in healing fractures, treating diseases and maintaining good health, although we now know that this isn’t the case. Alchemists, the first chemists, used mercury in transforming base metals into gold.

Today, we know better than to use mercury on our skin, much less consume it for the treatment of diseases. But the liquid metal still has several uses in modern times from liquid mirror telescopes to mercury vapor lamps, to name a few examples.

Price History

The price of mercury is affected by a wide range of factors including but not limited to:

  • The price of gold in the free market because small-scale gold mining uses mercury in processing the precious metal. Basically, the higher the gold prices, the higher the mercury prices although there are also exceptions to the rule of thumb.
  • The supply of mercury from Spain, China and Kyrgyzstan, among the largest producers of mercury, also affects its price. The law of supply and demand can be keenly felt with mercury because there are only a few countries that can effectively mine it.
  • The supply of mercury available for recycling from end-of-use products containing the silvery metal also affects its worldwide prices. In recent years, the supply has been dwindling for many reasons.
  • The development of non-mercury technology for chlorine and caustic soda production, as well as the final closure of the mercury-cell chlor-alkali manufacturing facilities, have an impact on mercury price, too. This is because tons of the metal will be available for sale, storage and recycling, thus, affecting the worldwide supply and demand equation.
  • The decline in domestic mercury consumption in the United States will also affect mercury prices. This can be partly attributed to the substation of products that previously contained mercury, such as in the case of thermometers.

Experts also estimate that despite the declining production of mercury, especially with the closure of the Almaden Mine, the metal will still be sufficient for a hundred years or more. The worldwide mercury consumption is estimated at 2,000 tons annually. About 50% of the demand is used in the production of vinyl monomer in Eastern Europe and China.

The United States is also among the world’s leading exporters of mercury with its exports being shipped primarily to the Netherlands, Australia, and Peru. The country has also discovered mercury deposits in a few states, namely, Arkansas, Nevada, California, Texas and Alaska although the metal isn’t considered a principal metal commodity, mining-wise, since 1992.

Use as an Investment

Interested investors will find several companies engaged in the mining of mercury as well as in its production and use in a wide range of applications, as mentioned below. Many of these companies are listed on the major stock exchanges, such as the New York Stock Exchange, the London Stock Exchange, and the NASDAQ, to name a few, so stock investments are also available. Many of them are also privately-owned corporations that may allow the entry of new investors.

Mercury as a long-term investment makes good financial sense. It’s widely used in several commercial and industrial applications form gold mining to neon lights so it will be around for decades, if not more. It’s also more stable in terms of pricing than many other metals so it promises good returns on investment if and when investors use savvy investment strategies.

What It’s Used For

Mercury is used in several ways including but not limited to:

  • Thermometers, especially in the ones used for the measurement of high temperatures
  • Manometers
  • Barometers
  • Float valves
  • Mercury relays
  • Mercury switches
  • Fluorescent lamps
  • Production of caustic soda and chlorine
  • Liquid mirror telescopes
  • Calomel electrode
  • Mercury-vapor lamps

Emphasis must be made that mercury should be handled with great care as prolonged exposure to it can cause a wide range of health issues, such as liver failure. Even the recycling, reuse and disposal of the silvery metal should be handled according to safety standards as it can also cause environmental pollution.

But as an investment, mercury is considered a must in many savvy investors’ portfolios. You should consider it, too!

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The displayed metal prices are estimates only. They are aggregated using multiple sources. Actual prices may vary based on region, supplier, or various other factors.