Gold is the top choice for investors who are interested in trading with precious metals. It is usually bought as protection against economic, social, or currency crises such as rising national debt, war, market decline, and currency failure. However, no market is safe from speculation, and that includes the gold market. This should not come as a surprise. The role of gold in central banking and its price compared to currency prices, especially during the recent global downturn, are such that the metal seems to behave less like a commodity and more like a currency.
Historically, gold has been used as money, and it still plays this role. This is what makes it a good form of investment. In fact, it was pegged to many currencies throughout history. Gradually, the pegs were removed. The last currency to split off from gold was the Swiss franc. It makes sense that the most stable metal and the most stable currency would go together.
What makes gold so valuable is that it is never lost. Most of the gold that has been mined is still accessible. This includes bullion and jewelry, which can return to the market for the right price. Gold serves as a hedge against devaluation, inflation, and depreciation. The demand for gold rises when the returns on real estate, equities, and bonds are insufficient to cover risk.
Silver is also a popular investment target for many. There are a number of silver bullion products one can choose from. Silver bars are easy to handle and store. They are compact, which allows holders to store them in relatively small areas. If their hallmarks are recognized, they can be easy to resell and thus convert to cash. The industry standard for silver bars is .999, which means 99.9 percent pure. The most widespread silver bars come in 100 and 10 ounces, while one-ounce rounds are a popular investment. Silver bullion bars are a relatively inexpensive option, and their price is quoted widely. Major disadvantages are that they dont yield any interest and have to be stored securely. As an alternative, you can invest precious metals in IRAs.
Another option involves buying silver coins. Officially, they are not considered bullion, but in reality, they are because $1,000 face yields exactly 715 ounces pure silver. Experts recommend investing in 100-ounce bars if you choose .999 fine bullion. Buying silver mining stocks in another way to invest in silver. The opportunity for capital appreciation is the main advantage of mining stocks. They may also yield a dividend. Those who choose this option will need to invest more than in silver bullion. Investors should also have a good knowledge of the equity market. Silver medallions are still another option, and prices vary from relatively inexpensive to very expensive. They are small in size and easy to store. On the downside, they are not as easy to convert into cash.
It is considered that silver is a better investment than gold. The reason is that silver has always brought a bigger increase in percentage points during bull markets. It has more industrial uses than gold. Silver is used for making batteries, catalysts, mirrors and coating, medical applications, and much more. In fact, the industrial demand for silver is at an all-time high. There is more gold in bank vaults than there is silver above the ground.