Throughout history silver has enjoyed a variety of uses in the form of money, decoration, and jewelry. Evidence of the first silver mines date back to 3, 000 B.C. in a place called Anatolia, now known as Turkey. It gained popularity in the years 1, 000 to 1, 500 thanks to the discovery of more mines, improved technology and mining techniques.
Silver production in the United States escalated during the 1870s and before the end of the 19th century and reached more than 120 million Troy ounces (3, 732.417 kg) every year. The reason behind this colossal production was its use to create mint coins.
As of today, silver has the ticker symbol of SI.
Thanks to its nature of being both a thermal and electrical conductor, silver has become an ideal component for electrical applications and cannot simply be replaced by less expensive metals and this precious metal has found its way into industrial applications. Its uses can range from being a simple component for something as small as a battery to something enormous like a solar panel.
Silver Investment Options:
Investors who are interested in investing in silver may choose from the following options:
- Bullion – Bars, often called bullions, enable investors to buy 10 oz., 1 kilogram, 100 troy ounces (3 kg), and 1, 000 oz. silver bars. The downside with choosing the bullion option is the need to store them physically and that they produce no value to investors.
- Coins – Another popular way to purchase silver in its physical form is through coins. However, these coins usually sell for a premium compared to the price of bullions. They also share the same disadvantage with bullions, meaning that they too do not yield interest for the investor.
- Certificates – This type of option allows the investor to purchase and sell silver without owning it physically.
- Futures – Are financial contracts that require the buyer or seller to purchase an asset at a predetermined date and price. This allows investors and companies to use their contracts to invest or predict the price of silver.
- Exchange-Traded Funds (ETFs) – provides investors another way to be exposed to silver. Through this, investors are able to directly hold silver, invest in derivatives, is a contract between two or more groups and is based on the asset/s, that track the price of silver.
- Mutual Funds – are a great way to gain variation among the numerous silver companies. However, larger investments are preferred over small silver purchases.
- Silver Miner Stocks – This type of option requires knowledge in the equity markets. Companies do offer leverage, which can be created through futures and other financial instruments, to silver prices.
Its unique qualities and numerous applications make it the most versatile of metals known. Trading and predicting its price is a carful balancing act between what the consumers want and what the currency markets demands.