In an interview with Lara Crigger of Hard Assets Investor, Jennifer Ropiak explains mini-futures contracts and how they work. The gold mini-futures contract is for 33 ounces, and the silver one is for 1,000 ounces. As the prices of both metals continue to rise, both minis are becoming more popular.
One interesting point: physical delivery is not allowed for a single mini contract; instead, a Warehouse Depository Receipt (WDR) is issued. Once three gold WDRs are accumulated, or five silver WDRs, the holder can exchange them for a regular-sized contract delivery of physical metal. These contracts don't have to be settled in cash.