Visualizing Silver As An Investment

Tyler Durden's picture

Silver is like gold in many ways; both are precious metals with long histories as currencies. They are malleable, lustrous, ductile, resilient, and rare. However, as Visual Capitalist illustrates in this spectacular infographic, silver investors should be aware of the three main differences between silver and gold. From silver's relative volatility and correlation to industrial demand, track record, diversification benefits, and the three ways to get exposure to silver, this colossal image provides everything you need to know in one place.

Click image for massive (legible version).


Source: Visual Capitalist

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CheapBastard's picture

my slv up 300%....mi casa down 42%.

John Williams says silver may rise to $200 with the pervasive debasement of all the currencies as each country attempts to out-export the other with 'cheaper' goods; 'cheap' due to a weak currency. Witness Japan's huge effort to debase its currency.

espirit's picture

And when the U.S. dollar bill is worth one cent or so much like the yen, we'll all be trillionaires...

loaf of bread $150.00

gallon of gas $368.00

median priced home $12,500,000.00

ugly picture Zimbabwe Ben has painted (I mean't printed).

unrulian's picture

bet i could get a nice tailored suit for an oz of gold just like in 1920

TheGardener's picture

A nice tailored suit was 2000 pound sterling in 1986
when gold was at US$ 386. A tailored shirt in Bombay was
3 dollars including your guides' commission.

But you are right, stylish as in the 1920`s you had to
consult some third world old school tailors and 400 dollars well spent would have gotten you all the stares in the City and Wall street.

Bansters-in-my- feces's picture

Lucky it is only $1.00 in value.

Says so right on the coin.


Crash N. Burn's picture

Pretty, albeit inaccurate picture:


Investors have more access to silver than ever before due to more primary silver producers


A little truth please!

For over 4,000 years; most of the world’s silver was produced via “primary mining” – i.e. “silver mines” which produce silver just like gold mines produce gold and copper mines produce copper. Then, in the 1980’s and 1990’s relentless price suppression in the silver market drove the price of silver down to (in real dollars) a 600-year low.

This bankrupted more than 90% of the world’s silver mines (naturally), and most of those mines remain shuttered to this day. Since that time, most of the world’s silver (as much as 80%) has come from the byproducts of other mining. And despite the (current) eight-fold increase in price off of the absolute low, most of the world’s silver continues to come from this secondary mining. 


The Three Legs of the Precious Metals Bull: Part I

Gooseleg's picture

Physical silver is a no brainer.

mantrid's picture

fourth main difference is that, unlike gold, pundits don't even try to ridicule it as barbaric relic or tradition.

money is a social convention. unlike gold, silver is not widely seen as a form of money, central planners and academics are not even afraid of it nor bashing it. for something to become money, people in the streets matter and they don't perceive silver as a currency candidate. it may be a good investment, a store of value but it will never regain its status of a currency.

joego1's picture

As long as I can sell it and doesn't lose value I down for it.

Sean7k's picture

I assume you have looked for 90% silver coinage from pre 1965 in the change you receive after your purchases. You may also be aware of Gresham's law. Just because bad money has run good money to ground does not mean people do not see it money. The reverse is true- it is exceptional money.

mantrid's picture

you may also be aware USA is no more than 5% world population so put these silver coins into valid perspective. in globalised economy Main Street people around the world matter.

just because Gresham's law made them hoard it does not mean they'll use it as money ever again. they have long forgotten about silver. money can't be exceptional, conventions must be universal.



MeelionDollerBogus's picture

no, it's exactly what you say it can't be. If it has no future use as money it won't be hoarded. Period.

Sean7k's picture

Yes, but 25% of its' GDP. We're talking money. You might want to try a better stat.

BigDuke6's picture

Stacking aint easy.

But bit by bit it grows.

joego1's picture

Here in. Mexico you can buy silver libertad coins all day long at the Banko Azteca  with Benny bucks.

Oldrepublic's picture

In Mexico City many of the metro, or subway stations have Bank Azteca branches where one can buy and sell silver.


DosZap's picture

Here in. Mexico you can buy silver libertad coins all day long at the Banko Azteca with Benny bucks.

Here in America you can hardly find Libertads, and if you do the prems are WAY UP.

What is the premium on Libertads in Mexico for Benny Bux?

joego1's picture

Trade Benasourus Bucksucs for plata amigo.

alfbell's picture


talking about the past (where there was virtue, character, ethics, logic, prudence, etc.)... someone would buy a stock because the believed in and used the product or service, believed in the company's management and financials, and agreed with the company's purpose or mission statement.

Today to most "investors" none of those things matter at all. They'll trade in and out of a company numerous times with the hope of making a profit (doesn't matter that the company they are supporting might be a pharma company that is making the drugs that all our mass murderers take before they go out to the movies or drop by to see the kiddies in class at the local elem school).

The fall of the Roman Empire. It's deja vu all over again!!!!!!!

MeelionDollerBogus's picture

In all fairness today's stock issuers & underwriters don't want loyalty or control from the share-owners, they want to sell a company-ticket for fiat-IOU tickets, legal tender of the land, and won't do a damn thing the share-holders want if it's not a CONTROLLING, voting share. Otherwise you'll take your claims of growth, dividends & any other nonsense story while the balance-sheets are filled with fraud & lawyers are at the ready to argue away any accusation of theft, malfeasance, Houdinitis ala Corzined ala You're-Fucked(tm)(c)(R).


shovelhead's picture

Pud just thinks his investments are investments.

What if that education just makes him one of a thousand applicants with an equal 'investment'?

What if the pizza shop folds?

Are equities like real estate and prices always go up?


Face it. It's all gambling and the only differences are the odds.

Unless you own a bank.

alfbell's picture

Is there any chance that any of you fanatical PM guys could admit that there could be a possibility that PMs might not work out for you as a solution after we suffer a major economic collapse? That it doesn't take the place of the USD currency we've been using and allow you to buy or trade for the things that you need and want? Is there a possibility that with international bankers, central banks, federal and state governments, etc. intervening and going for the wealth, that the PM solution might now work? Just asking.

mick_richfield's picture

We're not fanatical, we're thoughtful.

Statists are fanatical -- more loudly proclaiming their belief in their sacred status quo and its tyrannical fiat currency, no matter how obviously rotten it is, no matter how clearly it is self-destructing. 

It's like Jonestown, but the Kool-Aid is USD green.


espirit's picture

And copper clad lead, along with other precious metals have retained value throughout history.

Viva la revolution.

Clint Liquor's picture

Nope. No chance.

The USD will be ass-wipe. Because........................... it's just paper.  It's not wealth, it's not money, it's paper! Pretend all you want that it has magical powers, but it's just paper and there is an unlimited supply.

BlackMagician's picture

To add...USD is CASH or currency...a medium of exchange... SILVER or GOLD is a STORE OF WEALTH.

Sean7k's picture

Fanatical? Really?

Do you study history? Do you know the history of money? Do you know how it is used, debased, inflated to transfer wealth?

You have a choice: use what people have used for millenia to protect themselves from the depredations of the Elites or play along. Good Luck!


Room 101's picture

During a financial armageddon, the most valuable assets are things like food, medicine, drugs, weapons, etc.  PM's are for the times after that when some sort of order restores itself.  What you're really betting on is that PM's become the medium of exchange instead of, say, salt or antibiotics or laundry detergent. There is a lot of history that shows that PMs would be a medium of exchange given their relative scarcity, portability, etc.  But it's always possible that it doesn't work that way.

I think this discussion is sort of academic as it assumes that worldwide financial armageddon will be forthcoming.  I just don't buy into the premise.  What I think we'll see here in the US in the next 5-10 years is something more along the lines of Mexico in the 1980s.  Rotten enough, but not apocalyptic. 


unrulian's picture

how long do you think the average USSA suburbanite, urban progressive or student debt serf with no job/food will retain his/her sanity in a mid 80's Mexico like economic state?

can you say powder keg?

FeralSerf's picture

Mexico during the 1980s and 90s is an execellent example of the benefits of owning gold and silver money instead of paper pesos.  Silver Cuauhtemoc 5 pesos coins and the 50 peso 1.2 oz. gold coins retained their purchasing power and still are valuable,  paper pesos, not so much.  A 5,000 peso note issued in 1987 is now worth about 50 cents, thanks to the 1,000 to 1 "Reverse Split" of the peso in 1993.

mick_richfield's picture

It only costs five dollars to print up another 5000 oz. COMEX contract.

Magnum's picture

Locally there is a run on silver.  Exhibit A: the large coin show today.  You see the same faces at every show, today was no different, but the lack of silver bullion for sale was unlike anything I've ever seen.  Dozens of dealers and plenty of numismatics, but almost no tubes of silver eagles.  If you could find one it was $36 per coin (a high markup).  No silver maples.  I saw some Phils at $40.  Junk silver quarters bought at $5.92 was best I could get, and there wasn't much avail.

It could be that silver price hovers around $30 and even drops into the mid $20s as it has the last two years, but I doubt it.  

Aurora Ex Machina's picture

Holding physical silver only works if you own the factory that produces Tomahawk Missiles, and you have an angsty buyer needing to smash the crap out of some "Jihadists".

Sorry, but there's only two options here:


A) Do it old style (coffee house) and form a syndicate where all members must own X ounces of Silver, then leverage your position on the global market. [Which, being honest, if Sprott etc haven't done, then you know you're being taken for a ride; that's the only way you become a player here]

B) Hold whatever (truely paltry and shitty amounts) you can until global shortages raise the price, then sell into the market for a tiny [global scale] profit.


Hint: GS and aluminium. JP Morgan and Copper (this year - ffs, just do a GREP, warned you about this ages ago).

When you look at your stored ounces, or perhaps even a whole kilogram, learn something about SCALE. Jesus wept indeed, because you're shitting fairy bricks of Unicorn dust if you think that anything worth under $50,000,000 is going to bother the real players. Try Googling "industrial usage silver per day" for reference. Hint: those coins are minute dust motes in the global trade of silver.

Syndicate or bust: if you've not done this by now, then you're being played. Oh, and grow the fuck up, and learn about how Capitalism was formed. Coffee houses and Syndicates came about for very good reasons. If you're claiming to be Capitalists, then learn something;

Capitalism was formed by equal shares in enterprise, not sitting on a fucking pot of gold (silver) like some retarded Leprechaun. THAT WAS WHAT THE KING DID.



Grow the fuck up already. You are not the Kings here. Oh, and you may junk: but this is honest, and 100% correct. I dare you to step up to debate it, little man.

espirit's picture

Sorry, what was the question again?

Aurora Ex Machina's picture

If you are buying into holding physical silver, then, either:

A) You must be joining a professional old-style Syndicate to leverage your own small holdings with other holders to present a Syndicate position

B) You're a tiny mouse, hoping silver will rise on the markets enough to cash out.

C) The fantasy, which is that when it all crashes, silver will be used as currency, which is over 1,000 years out of date.


My question is simple: Any smart money that organised the rise of silver [Sprott etc] would have instantly grabbed option A), as this is the best and most efficient way to leverage said commodity. With a properly (and legally) formed Syndicate, holding a solid 10-15% of all physical silver would be worth a few billion in terms of power / leverage.


Why has this not happened? Either it wasn't thought of (and you all lost out on the billion dollar pot) or it was deliberate.


Please answer me that. P.S. Junking is not a subsitute for analysis. Heck, if I was asked, I could have turned all individually held little coins into a multi-billion $ pot. It hasn't happened - why?

Aurora Ex Machina's picture

Doesn't work in an industrial market where the real buyers [*ahem* - MIC for missiles, already stated] have much more leverage than you, in both economic and political means. At any point, if the MIC says: "Not enough silver to make those missiles, <SAD PANDA>", the Government instantly, and without recourse, will go hunting for silver.

Hint: Look into Uranium markets.

Diversification means shit all if your market is controlled by serious businessTM

Or, oh wait... you're seriously telling me you're all this naive? And have never thought of even the basics of Capitalism like Syndicates?


Want to play again? I thought you people were good at Capitalism?


Oh shit, are you people fucked. No wonder you're not considered a real threat. Try forming a proper Syndicate, then I hope your Life Insurance is good.

espirit's picture

Those that forget history are doomed to repeat it.

(Or sumthin' like that)

There is a life cycle to these syndicates, with exception of the Vatican.

Aurora Ex Machina's picture

Yes, you're correct, but for entirely the wrong reasons.

The people who bank-rolled the Enlightenment, and Venice and Rome, still exist.


It's called many things, but at the bottom line: it's business. Or the Firm. Or whatever you want to call it.


Fuck me, lambs to the slaughter. And I imagined there was brains behind this plan, not just some scammy "Gold for trade" shit as done by Beck.



Professional tip: you're totally screwed. Sell it at the top, otherwise you're dog-food.

espirit's picture

Silver is still business.

7 - 17 - 27 - 37 - 47.

Aurora Ex Machina's picture

Really? Please grab me a usage chart of silver in industrial sources over the last 10 years. I dare you. I've got one in front of me right now.


Top fucking hint: When NATO were slinging Cruise Missiles at Lybia, they had to stop because they didn't have enough inventory. I think the UK threw about 10? And then had to go re-arm from their tiny supply. And so on. So, please, tell me how many Tomahawk / Cruise missiles the USA fired in the last 15 years of warfare. [Oh, and please: tell me how much pure silver is used / missile, if you're not able to label the other 15 industrial processes that silver is used it. Hint: APPL screens].


Get a grip. Parasites are not determining the market, they really aren't. If you want to make an argument about speculation, then do so: but that's not what's being sold to the ignorant saps, is it?


Hyenas, carrion eaters: meet a lion, and all they can do is snicker & run.

espirit's picture

Ah, quip to the U.S. Mint and give it a break.

Aurora Ex Machina's picture

Well done. Nary a single argument, and nary an ability to discuss the foundations of real Capitalism. You know, that whole trade thing out of London that revolutionised the world, and that "ideology" you're all so fond of. Why Colonialism happened, why "The West is the Best" and so on

Turns out, you're not actually Capitalists: because otherwise, the first thing you do is form a fucking Syndicate, leverage your positions, and make a shit load of cash.


You're just sheep in a silver cloth; not even up to Jason and the Argonauts standards.




(Oh, and for the record: I don't junk; I view them as the soundtrack to the Welsh Highlands here: "Baaaa", "Baaaaa", "Baaaaa")

Sean7k's picture

Capitalism has its' foundations in Salamanca, Scotland and France. England was late to the party, but very capable. You do know where capitalism comes from? 


Aurora Ex Machina's picture

You're joking, right?

Capitalism has its foundations in Babylon, my friend. Adam Smith merely codified something that was far, far older.


Or was all that trade beforehand just... um... "Socialism"? Here's a great learning lesson: tell me why the Arabian countries revolutionised math over and above the Roman system?


Hint: Money and Trade, you ignorant barbarian.

Sean7k's picture

Adam Smith merely put in book form the ideas of his professors and Contillion. Many of which came from the Salamanca School. Was there trade and exchange in older civilizations? Sure- were they capitalism? No. However, feel free to quote or source your material. 

You have yet to provide a single answer, except to your own questions. You think you are some "special" intellect. Poser.