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Silver Follows Gold into Portfolio Investments

While the demand and price of gold as an Alternative investment has skyrocketed in recent years, another precious metal, silver, has risen as well, just not as fast or as valuable. Silver was once considered as a backing for paper money, especially in the United States; however, that ended in 1968 when what was called silver certificates could no longer be redeemed for actual silver.

Also like gold, silver is weighed in Troy ounces and often traded on the retail market as bullion, coins or in specialty shapes and cuts. Often sold to consumers as commemorative pieces, silver coins can be stamped with any number of designs, but hold no monetary value as a currency. Precious metals such as gold and silver also hold their value during economic troubles and as the price of these metals continues to rise, investors and private citizens use them as a hedge against inflation.

Industrial use of silver remains high but with the expansion of digital photography, its use in that industry has fallen sharply. With its low resistance properties, silver is used in computers, mobile phones, keyboards and many different appliances. While still comparatively expensive to other metals, silver almost seems like a forgotten investment.

Purifying water and new technology such as radio frequency identification (RFID) tags are pushing the use of silver in their products. Even wood preservatives and food hygiene industries have found a use for this highly reflective metal adding to demand and price.

Despite the major price difference between gold and silver many investors are looking towards the new products coming into the market as a hint that silver prices will rise, though they do not expect it to hit anything close to gold. Unlike gold, since the end of the silver standard it is no longer used as legal tender, hence the loss of value to the monetary market.

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