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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MeelionDollerBogus's picture

"The last heavy users were xrays and now those are totally digital almost everywhere."

I think you're forgetting all the silver used in the storage, transmission & detection of the x-rays.

The purpose of technology upgrade there was higher resolution & fast handling time - not reducing silver use.

ShrNfr's picture

You are forgetting that once you shot an xray, the silver was used.

MeelionDollerBogus's picture

No, YOU'RE forgetting that with digital x-rays you're using a lot of silver for transmission & for storage that's hard to recycle but not impossible. This changes supply dynamics as for a while, at a certain cost, we don't recycle it, then suddenly we DO and that is very different than before.

4Y_LURKER's picture


alfbell's picture

hedgehog: please let me watch you go into a gas station, fill up your tank and pay for it all with two mercury dimes?

hairball48's picture

Reminds me of something that happened a while back. Some crackhead girl came into one of the joints I work at. Had a handful of quarters and wanted a couple dollar bills to play a machine. I saw that some were silver and after she went to play, I scooped them up from the runner. 8Q's x .18= 1.04oz $2.00 became over $30 hehhee.

lakecity55's picture

Yep. Daughter #2 works at a 7-11. Low info voter walks in, pays for his stuff with silver dollars @ face value. #2 brings coins home to daddy. I train them well.

Manipuflation's picture

LC55, that is outstanding.  "Low info voter"...LMAO.  Thank you!

omi's picture

Investment is something that carries an income stream. Silver/gold/houses/stocks without dividends are pure plays on someone paying you more for the same asset later. There is nothing wrong with carry speculation, but the two are different things, let's be clear. 

alfbell's picture


"Investment is something that carries an income stream."


Vehicles that yield the possibility of a capital gain are AlSO investments.

I refer you to any decent English language dictionary or financial dictionary.

AgAu_man's picture

One of these days I'd like to see these PM experts and promoters (Sprott et al) make a real prediction. Anyone ever keep score on all their prognostications, and not just the hyped-up broken-clock predictions?

E.g. if a broken clock is right twice a day, I.e. 2x365 per year, are any of these guys right even 7 times (1%)? Just asking.

Lord Of Finance's picture

Silver and gold should not be an investment, but central planning neo-marxist policy makers have made it be a good one indeed. After I graduated college in 1999 I was an economic ignoramus like most americans. I remember getting a job and getting the pitch by some prick financial consultants that the company hired to sell the employees the 401K. It didn't make sense to me because what they were pimpin sounded too good to be true. I did my own research and did a little self education on finances. While all the rest of my colleagues dove head first into the 401K abyss, I took the money that i would have thrown away into that abyss and rocketed it into gold. My gut told me not to trust the cocksultants. It was not until 2006/2007 that I had my true economic epiphany when i read a book called 'crash proof' by Schiff. When I saw the whole thing unravel a couple years later is when I put my self education into high gear.


  The american people are too lazy to do it themselves. They don't want to think about it. They just want to turn on the boob tube, click the you tube and apply the ass lube as they prepare to take what the powers that be are shoving up that oriface on a consistant basis. Eventually it will become so used to it they won't need the lube anymore. They won't even notice the point of entry.

   I was always aware that the rectum was meant for exit only.

AgAu_man's picture

I noticed that the gun scare did NOT result in any draconian Exec Order confiscations, as millions of gun owners and the vast majority of ZH commentators feared. But I think we all noticed a rather nice sales (and GNP) bump.

If there are two areas where you can get Libertarians and low-income preppers to spend FRNs, it is in G&A and silver.

Anyone concerned about being 'played'? Just asking.

Dr. Sandi's picture

If our owners stopped selling weapons to Merkins and Furriners alike, the entire economy would collapse. I'm guessing they don't want that to happen just yet.

Winston of Oceania's picture

You have much to learn and little time to wise up. All decrees were intentionally vauge so that in execution the brute squad will have a great deal of lattitude. Decree #10 I think is the foundation on which confiscation will be based. You should look them all over again this time without the illusion of Constitutional protections as there will be a crisis at hand when the plan is put into action.

toomanyfakeconservatives's picture

You're right about one thing... there isn't going to be a national ban on "assault weapons", magazines, etc. The guns and ammo buying/speculation frenzy peaked about a week ago and prices have begun to fall. Most retailers are out of the popular guns and ammo, but private sale prices are definitely dropping. Some speculators made a good profit, but many will be stuck with guns and ammo they cannot sell even at pre-craze prices.

All Out Of Bubblegum's picture

It always feels like I'm getting over whenever I trade in the FRNs for some junk.

toomanyfakeconservatives's picture

Me too... whenever I hand over that green monopoly money for beef, kerosene, or ammunition, I feel like I'm getting the deal of a lifetime.

jmcadg's picture

Four precious metals, let's have a look:

Gold $1685

Platinum $1665

Palladium $719

Silver $31.89

All manipulated, but one far more manipulated than the others, I wonder which?

Silver to Gold ratio: 53:1, Historical average: 16:1, Mined ratio 9:1, Investment ratio: 3:1

Got phyzz?

Mr. Hudson's picture

If silver is being manipulated, then it appears that it is being manipulated to follow gold's movements, because when you look at the charts, that is exactly what silver does; it follows gold. It would seem that if silver were truly being manipulated more than the other PMs, when gold spikes up, silver wouldn't follow. But that is not the case. Why is that?


Winston of Oceania's picture

Got any charts to back up those assertions? Gold and silver move in unison? Got any?

Just something I spent 30 seconds finding but it will do.

MeelionDollerBogus's picture

The charts are here

2011 dec 27 gold 08 | scatterplot gold vs silver zoomed in

2011 dec 27 gold 07 | 10 years gold vs silver scatterplot

Data is from and

CSV format inside ZIP file, shove into OpenOffice,LibreOffice or Excel & produce a scatterplot. Done & done.

Silver always moves WITH gold, silver will never pull up while gold heads down.

THIS CHART very much contradicts time & scale shown by your SD Bullion link:

Gold, silver and even copper did in fact continue to move in tandem - no real divergence at all.

MeelionDollerBogus's picture

it’s actually the scatterplots that matter on this one, not simple x/y ratios.

e.g. gold vs silver scatterplot reveals the true nature

Get data series for Platinum, Palladium and merge them with gold like I did for silver to get the real picture

2011 dec 27 gold 08 | scatterplot gold vs silver zoomed in

2011 dec 27 gold 07 | 10 years gold vs silver scatterplot

Platinum_Investor's picture

I sold my gold bullion to buy gold and silver stocks.  But I held my silver bullion because its far under valued.

e.blair's picture

Tyler, why are you pushing PM ETFs???  Come on Mr. Fight Club, tell the folks.

Venerability's picture

Of course, that might be an Orwell reference.

But if not, the EB Lair has been trading with EB lately, not against EB - particularly if they are bright.

AgAu_man's picture

I see some ppl here buying PM on spec, hoping to make a quick buck. And that's fine. But...

Where we diverge, is where some of these ppl are ready to bemoan the bogus fiat FRNs, while a week later trade PM for FRNs. Unless they are using the fiat as a medium to purchase other real assets that will provide a good ROI, they are unconsciously showing that they don't truly believe in PM. And that's their right also, but then they should stop being hypocritical and stop bemoaning fiat. It's not intellectually honest.

My own position on price fluctuations is this:

Since I see PM as a STORE of value against fiat inflation, I buy phyz on dips, and relax when it goes up. Since my income of fiat is from several sources, I do not treat PM as such a source. It is purely an insurance policy against fiat inflation or eventual currency collapse. As such, I see no need to rejoice in having this insurance policy work, as it sadly reflects the Republic going down the tubes and I take no sadistic pleasure in that.

Venerability's picture

How worried is good ole JPM this time?

Right after the release of what were generally thought to be very nice stats by CDE a couple of days ago, JPM's analyst "reiterated" - and LOUDLY - its Target on the stock of 25, 7 points below the median consensus and as much as 11 points below some very good analysts. The stock is above 24 lately, so the Target is laughable, unless one HATES Silver and its prospects.

(The ultra-corrupt Zack's, which often follows JPM's bidding, moved its rating on CDE and other major Silver stocks to Strong Sells over the past few days.)

(Note, too, that CDE is Eric Sprott's favorite Silver stock, in which he has a very large holding, and that Forbes and others believe it will get the next Metals slot in the S&P 500.)

If the Alpha Bank itself does not feel backed into a corner by its humongous paper Silver Short right now - based on both GFMS and now even Commerzbank (inheritors of the Dresdner Short) turning against its interests - one believes that many of the UK and European hedge funds in the general orbit of JPM-London are worried out of their minds.

In any case, JPM's LOUD protests the past few days show them as very vulnerable. Keiser is correct to start another on-line clip campaign. Let's hope others will jump quickly on the Bad Bad JPM bandwagon while the time is ripe. 

KansasCrude's picture

Veneralbility I saw your post similar information on a silver thread last week and appreciate you following up on the reports.  Last week was a mixed bag as the metals provided some nice gains but in my case they were totally masked by the downside action in the PM stocks especially silver...  To see the perpetuation of the valuation rape  of the miners is obviously the devious plan of the PM manipulators and IMO continues to provide them an escape hatch out of the eventual upwards explosions in the physical metals providing they move quickly at the right time. That time will most likely occur when they can no longer shake  shares out of the abused longs....sadly we are already way past the time I thought this would occur.

Watching stocks like Sprotts Physicals maintain a puny premium again IMO due to manipulation again fills two purposes for the crooks, it inhibits Sprotts ability to expand investment and thus more stock offerings of new physical due to flat premiums on the funds and thus this discourages more  physical supply to come off the market .  Secondly, the low premiuns again provide below market entry to the covering shorts. I wonder to what extent the Sprott Funds could be held hostage by liquidators if physical demand really overwhelms supply and the crooks pile in with short air shares created longs and demand Sprotts Phys.?  Is it a possibility that excessive shorting creates pandemoniun in determining whom holds the legit longs?

Your comment along with the many others on the extent of shorting in this sector I admit concerns me not only in the sense that it continues to deal a valuation blow to the companies but to the extent that a massive train wreck along with the comensurate confusion allows the bastards to slither away.

Venerability's picture

So we trade around them!

This is likely to be a far better year for the sector than 2012 was, because 2012 was very, very abnormal, with an entire quarter lost to the Indian Gold Merchants' Strike.

This year, we'll see quite a lot of sector M&A - including by both Barrick and NEM, IMO - which always makes it more exciting.

And labor turmoil in South Africa, which was also extraordinary in 2012, virtually always leads to a new higher range for Gold with a slight lag-time, which means right about now.

Re JPM and its constant manipulation via paper: Once again, I think they are becoming more and more isolated. If even Commerzbank, inheritor of the Dread Dresdner Short, wants to distance themselves from the Alpha Bank - which it now seems they do - the Alpha Bank isn't looking all that Alpha anymore. 

MeelionDollerBogus's picture

How sure are you that the valuations are unfair? If miners can’t get good ore grades and/or if energy costs outpace the future gains, or tribulations on the way there from the metals to be extracted & sold, shouldn’t the indication of this (expected) set of problems be a valuation hit to the miners? If they’re producing from good ore grades (many are not) THEN I’d be highly suspicious.

SLW for example has not taken nearly the harder hits even with silver prices on declines and as it happens they source slag silver for cheap & resell it for profit. Real cheap.

Venerability's picture

Rumors of silver shortages at Apple suppliers, at Kitco, of all places! 

This is a story Zero Hedge needs to jump all over early this week.


saulysw's picture

This is a very short on facts and long on guesswork. Certainly not hard evidence of an industrial silver shortage here.

orangegeek's picture

Lots of push out there to make silver climb, but it seems more like a corrective move.


US Dollar needs to fall for silver to push much higher.

plata pura's picture

out of vietnam cometh h5n1 with a fatality rate of 83.785%. the highest and best use for the precious and it's lessor cousin gold follow. this generation of youts will see the end of factory farms along with citizens united. furthermore and in conclusion; if you spread the wings of chickens slaughtered each day and put them tip to tip the distance would circle the earth twice at the equator.  

headless blogger's picture

What do the experts on this site think about the Business Insider article:

Why The Coming Few Years Could See A Brutal Collapse For Gold

The guy that wrote it, Joe Weisenthal, was talking about a Goldman Sach person saying that by 2018 Gold will be at $1200 an ounce. He then goes on to quote another Jewish guy, Elfenbein, to back up his article. So, 3 Jewish sources talking about this, which from what I've heard (thru the grapevine of course) the Jews are the ones with the inside knowledge and connections...Plus, more and more they are the ones with a bigger cut of the pie...Do they know something the rest of us are left out of the loop on? .

Should the rest of us be worried about that?


Venerability's picture

Whenever - that's WHENEVER! - you see any kind of Market prediction about what will happen five years from now, it's not only likely to be very wrong, it is per se very silly.

Not only Traders, but any astute longer-term Investor realizes that it's hard enough to figure out what's going to happen next week or next month. More than six months out, it is totally impossible and an exercise in pure futility.

ALL long-term Market predictions are there for Propaganda purposes only.

MeelionDollerBogus's picture

goldpricemodel 2011-3-30 silver price model parameters based on Adrian Douglas scatterplot

2012 06 18 277week roc 02 goldpricemodel 2011 Jan to 2012 Dec 28

goldpricemodel 2013 projection

More than 6 months out I’ve consistently made accurate gold price predictions, day to day in graphs with dates at the bottom.

You are in error.

Business Insider is in error.

It is in fact Business Insider never to be trusted for financial forecasts.

Same for Goldman Sachs.

If you don’t know this then I refer you to rule #8:

If it’s your first night at Fight club YOU HAVE TO FIGHT.