The pricing method for silver begun during Queen Victoria’s reign ended yesterday as the $5 trillion (R53 trillion) market shifted to a more transparent process and regulators probe how commodity benchmarks are set. An electronic, auction-based mechanism replaces a ritualised negotiation among a few traders that had been in place for 117 years. Silver is the first of the precious metals markets to ditch a daily “fixing” where dealers agree to a price over the telephone. Revamps are planned this year for fixings in gold, platinum and palladium. Top US silver producer Coeur Mining says changing the outdated method will enhance confidence in a benchmark used as a reference for trading and valuing holdings. – Bloomberg