Silver is one of several precious metals traded as commodities throughout the world. Many people invest in silver as a hedge against inflation. As supply and demand increases or decreases, the price of silver by the ounce rises and falls respectively. Inflationary fears worldwide have caused the price of silver and gold to rise steadily from 2004 through 2010.
In 2004, the price of silver was roughly $6 per ounce. By the end of 2010, the price has more than quadrupled to over $27 per ounce. Silver was a popular commodity in Europe dating back thousands of years. The metal was seen to have value in terms of functionality in making everything from utensils to ornate jewelry. As the population of Europe grew, so did the demand for silver. The price per ounce hit a high point of $806 in 1477 amid increased demand and diminishing silver mining returns.
Modern All-Time High Silver
Modern all-time high silver. Texas oil tycoons Nelson and Herbert Hunt began acquiring quite a bit of silver during the 1960’s and 1970’s. At the time the purchase of silver could be done using an immense amount of leverage. Leverage is when an investor uses only a small amount of actual capital to purchase a larger amount.
Through a myriad of acquisitions, the price of silver rose to a modern record of $48.70 per ounce in January of 1980. However, shortly thereafter, the commodities market changed the leverage rules. The Hunt brothers could not come up with the additional capital in order to cover their new monetary obligations. This sent fear through the markets and caused the price to plummet 50 percent within four days. The culmination of this event is referred to as Silver Thursday.