925 silver - what does that mean?
As with gold the purity of silver is measured in percentage. The most common and most demanded silver is 925 silver, also known as sterling-silver. As pure silver is quite soft (slightly harder than pure gold), it is often alloyed with other metals to make it harder. 925 silver means that the bar or jewelry consists of 92,5% pure silver and 7,5% of other metals. Coins and bars are almost always made of 999 silver, 925 silver is mostly used for jewelry production. The economic crisis led to a silver and precious metals rush as many investors want to carry their money into safety. Even though silver is not as safe as gold as an investment one should at least invest 5% of the fortune in silver as it is continually consumed by the industry. It can't be reproduced synthetically and thus it is getting more more valuable in the future. It is a real precious and tight raw material. A recommended method of investment is a combination of 5% silver and 10% gold.
Silver miningSilver has been used by human being much longer than gold, for the first time around 5000 BC. In the 6th Century BC the Greeks started to use silver coins as means of payment. Ever since it is used for the production of money. Silver is extracted in Peru, Mexico, China, Australia, Chile and Poland and it is around 20 times more frequent than gold. Worldwide there is every year a lack of 150 million ounces in the industry. 200 million ounces are recycled, 300 millions are alloyed with gold or in combination with sulfur, arsenic, antimony or chlorine. The rest is extracted in ores, for example copper ores, copper-nickel or lead ores.
Silver consumptionA large part of the silver production is consumed by the industry, where it is used in particular for vehicle construction, nuclear reactors, chemical industry and electrical industry (for micro chips, batteries etc.). Its unique characteristics makes silver irreplaceable, thus it has the best electrical and thermical conductivity and can be torn into a very thin thread. The medical industry appreciates silver because of its antibacterial qualities, silver is antiseptic. The so called colloidal silver is used to treat more than 650 different diseases - without any obvious side effects. Bacteria and germs cannot survive on the silver surface. The demand of silver exceeds for a long time the tender. The stock is running short bit by bit and that's the reason why the silver price rises continually. Since 1990 the silver price is in 2008 at its highest level.
Silver as an investment
Silver is very volatile, as it can fluctuate between industrial and store of value demands. Silver and gold has always competing against each other when it comes to precious metals as an investment. Silver can be bought in form of bars and coins. The weight of silver is given in ounces, as with gold. The best bullion coins are the American Silver Eagle, the Australian Silver Kookaburra as well as the Canadian Silver Maple Leaf (99% pure silver). Silver bullion coins are popular among people who wish a "hedge" against currency inflation or store of value. Silver bullion bars can be bought in any bank, but normally these are, compared to online-shops, almost always a lot more expensive. The bars can be stored either at home in a vault or with the respective dealer. Silver bars range from 900 oz to about 1100 oz, called good delivery bars. Silver certificates can be bought instead of holding physical silver. The advantage is, that one doesn't have to worry about transportation, storage and insurance. Perth Mint, which is Partner of 585-gold.com, has the only government-guaranteed silver-certificate program in the world! Silver is consumed by the industry and furthermore the demand is higher than the stock - silver is getting more and more precious and valuable. The reserves of the silver mines reach, according to experts, probably only still 20 years. As silver is extracted together with copper, gold, antimony and chlorine the production and extraction can't be increased overnight when the silver price rises. A long term relation between silver and gold is estimated 1:31. The fixed gold/silver ratio today is actually at 1:15.5 which means, that one troy ounce gold buys 15.5 ounces silver. In a more extended recession experts estimate a gold price of about $5000/ounce (at the natural resource peak). From this perspective silver might cost one day 100 - 160$/troy ounce. So there is a real lack of silver in the world and thus a real demand for it! Opposed to gold silver is quite cheap so that almost everyone can afford to invest in silver. Should China come up with the idea to buy higher amounts of silver and gold in the next few years to strenghen their economy, prices will explode. So one should buy KNOW!
Silver coinsThe most important silver coins that are appropriate as an investment are the Australian Silver Kookaburra, the Silver Philharmonic from Vienna, the Mexican Libertad and the American Eagle. Because of the higher expenditure for minting and the lower value of the raw material coins are always slightly more expensive than the same amount of precious metal in bars. Even if you decide to buy coins as an investment you should inform yourself in advance and compare prices and dealers.
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