The price of silver today, as of 8:17 am ET, was $19 per ounce. That’s down 2.86% from yesterday’s silver price of $20.
Compared to last week, the price of silver is down 2.66%, and it’s down 3.65% from one month ago.
The 52-week silver price high is $18, while the 52-week silver price low is $21.
Silver Prices Today
Silver Price Chart
How to Invest in Silver
Silver has long been considered a reliable asset to help diversify your investment portfolio. Some investors choose silver to hedge their other holdings, while others see it as a store of value that helps in uncertain times.
Here are the most common ways to invest in silver, from owning bullion to purchasing the shares of companies involved in silver production.
- Silver bullion. You can buy investment-grade silver bars of 99.9% purity in weights ranging from 1 ounce to 100 ounces. Lower-weight bars may be easier to sell in a challenging market than larger bars.
- Silver coins. There are a variety of silver coins available for purchase on the market, including both new-issue coins and collectible coins. Popular choices include the American Silver Eagle, the official silver bullion coin of the U.S., and the Canadian Silver Maple Leaf, which is Canada’s official silver bullion coin. Both weigh in at one ounce and are guaranteed to be 99.9% pure silver.
- Silver futures contracts. Futures are derivative contracts where a buyer agrees to purchase a set quantity of silver at a predetermined price on a future date. Silver futures let sophisticated investors speculate on prices and hedge their wider portfolios, providing exposure without the hassle of handling physical metal. Futures contracts can be easily sold prior to expiration.
- Silver stocks. Owning the shares of publicly traded silver mining companies is an easy way to get silver exposure without holding physical metal. Just be warned that the prices of silver stocks may be only loosely correlated with the price of silver.
- Silver ETFs. There are more than a few thematic exchange-traded funds focused on silver. Typically they invest in a diversified basket of silver assets, including stocks, physical bullion or futures contracts.
Silver vs. Gold
Silver and gold are among the most popular alternative investments on the market, drawing more investor interest and trading liquidity than other precious metals. Here’s how you should understand their key differences.
- Utility. Precious metals like gold and silver have low commercial utility. Beyond their use as stores of value, they have relatively few industrial uses. That said, compared to gold silver has many more industrial and commercial uses—around half of the silver traded in markets is used commercially, in applications ranging from dentistry to electronics.
- Relationship to markets. The price of silver tends to track the performance of the overall stock market and the economy. During economic expansions, silver prices tend to rise along with GDP and markets, while during recessions silver prices generally fall as the economy slows. Gold prices tend to move in the opposite way, rising when the economy is tough and declining during boom times.
- Price volatility. Unit prices of silver are a fraction of gold prices—today’s silver price is $19 per ounce while gold is $1,650 per ounce. Lower-priced financial assets tend to be more volatile than higher-priced assets, and since silver is almost always much cheaper than gold, prices move up and down more frequently by greater magnitudes, exposing you to greater potential gains and losses.
Should You Invest in Silver?
If you’d like to further diversify your portfolio, silver can be a good investment as part of a larger basket of commodities. A good rule of thumb is to allocate no more than 5% of your investments to commodities, although that amount could be higher or lower based on your goals and time horizon.
It makes sense to invest in silver under certain market conditions. When supply and demand are out of balance is the right time to invest in silver. When prices are low and you find a silver company that has proven its ability to exploit the situation, that’s when you want to buy.
Is Silver an Inflation Hedge?
When inflation heats up, some investors believe that precious metals like silver provide a good hedge against price rises. In fact, silver is only an effective inflation hedge over extremely long periods of time, measured in decades or centuries.
During the oil price shock of 1973 to 1979, average annual inflation in the U.S. was around 8.8%. Over the same period, silver averaged an 80.8% annual gain—thanks in part to Herbert and Nelson Hunt’s attempt to corner the market in 1979.
If you leave out the unusual situation involving the Hunt brothers, silver averaged a 22% gain from 1973 to 1978, more than double the average rate of inflation.
Silver has not been an effective inflation hedge since the 1970s. From 1980 to 1984, annual inflation averaged 6.5%, but silver prices fell by nearly 23%. There was average annual inflation of around 4.6% from 1988 to 1991, but average annual silver prices fell 12.7%.
Since April 2021, the monthly U.S. consumer price index reading has averaged an annual gain of nearly 7%, but the price of silver is down 25%.
Over extremely long periods of time, measured in decades, silver has proven to be an effective hedge against inflation. In shorter time periods, silver may not be the best way to protect your portfolio from price rises.
*The silver price data above is provided by Zyla Labs, which sources asset price data from a wide range of sources. This silver price represents an average of spot silver prices on several leading metals exchanges. Prices are updated once every business day.
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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.