What Factors Determine the Price of Silver?

Susan Grindstaff

The price of silver is affected by many different factors. Market conditions, demand, and the type of silver being purchased all impact the cost of this precious metal. The main factor that determines the price of silver is the current market value of currency. Typically, when the value of currencies are low, prices for precious metals such as silver and gold rise. This is because in such an environment, these metals are considered safer investments than those based on currency.

Antique silver cups.
Antique silver cups.

During economic periods that create low values in currencies, the demand for silver increases. This usually causes the price of silver to go up. Precious metals such as silver and gold do not have an infinite supply, therefore great demand most always results in higher value and higher pricing.

Rare Greek silver coins.
Rare Greek silver coins.

Silver is used primarily as a metal for making jewelry and industrial parts, but it has many other uses. Silver may actually have more uses than gold, copper, or many other metals. Silver is used in the aero-technology industry, and in dentistry and electronics. In addition, silver is used in producing many home appliances.

Most financial advisers agree that in most markets, silver is usually a good investment. Unlike gold, which is directly tied to currency valuation, the price of silver is not usually as volatile. This generally means that profit margins may not go as high as with gold, but drops in value are not as severe. Many experts consider silver to be a safe and steady investment.

Those interested in purchasing silver as an investment should consider buying silver in bars rather than in jewelry or coins. Barred silver has already been melted down, ready to be used for a variety of purposes. Jewelry or coins have more limited uses, and both need to be melted down and purified to attain their highest possible worth. An exception to this is purchasing antique jewelry or silver coins that have value as a collectible item.

Before purchasing silver, buyers should take care that they are dealing with a reputable broker, because fraud is a common problem connected with the sale of silver. In many cases, silver can be purchased directly from a mint; however, the minimum purchase can be quite costly. One way to purchase silver bars through a mint without a huge outlay of cash, is to combine funds with other interested parties to make a group investment.

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