Silver, Up Again

Have you been watching silver this week?

Last week’s silver performance was amazing. On Monday, silver closed on the New York market at $40.22, and on Friday, the closing value was $43.05. With a difference of $2.83, the increase didn’t quite make it to $3.00.

But, just think of silver’s history in the last 30 years. With so much of the trading in the 1980s (after the fall back from the high) and in the 1990s rarely fluctuating more than a few cents, these market swings are almost intoxicating.

They also are scary when you think about why the precious metals are increasing so rapidly.  Generally, if the metals are growing at a fast pace, the economy is in trouble.

But, that’s not today’s discussion point.

After last week’s silver growth, several predicted a pull back this week. That hasn’t happened yet.

On Monday, silver closed on the New York market at $43.38. Here we are just a few days later with Thursday’s close at $46.61. That’s an increase of $3.23.

Simple addition shows a growth of over $6.00 in less than two weeks. That’s amazing.

Related to silver, let’s take a look back to 1968.

Years ago, we had currency with “Silver Certificate” across the top of the bills. In 1967, Congress voted to remove the relationship between silver and currency. But, there was a short time, deadline June 24, 1968, when people could take their silver certificates to the San Francisco mint to redeem them for silver.

Though the market value of silver at that time was $2.25 ($14.45 in today’s dollars), the Mint was authorized to trade the Silver Certificate bills at a silver rate of $1.29 per ounce ($8.28 in 2011 money).

Many people who had saved the Silver Certificates decided to obtain the silver instead. Even on the last day, some people camped at the San Francisco mint to take advantage of the trade.

After June 24, 1968, any remaining Silver Certificates became the equivalent of the Federal Reserve Notes as far as their purchase power was concerned.

Today, however, currency collectors will pay more than a dollar for the Silver Certificates, but unless rare or in extraordinary condition, the bills will be worth $1.25 to $1.50 each.

In one of the articles, one gentleman traded $700 for five 100 ounce bars. (They did some rounding in providing the details as that would have been $1.40 per ounce, not $1.29.)

Now, if those $700 in Silver Certificates had continued in a closet and were sold today for $1.50 each, the amount would be $1050 in today’s dollars.

But, if the family still has those five 100 ounce bars of silver, their value at $46.61 per ounce would be $23,305.

What’s the saying – hindsight is 20/20?

The family may have had the wherewithal to keep the silver bars, but life events happen too. They may have sold the silver for an immediate gain to help with the family’s finances.

Regardless, it’s interesting to look at historical capsules and compare to the values of today.

It’s also interesting to watch silver rise and rise and rise.