What does 2013 have in store for silver bullion? At a time when the United States economy is on the verge of collapse, will silver become the new gold for investors? Although prices have tripled since the start of the Great Recession, silver has traded at around the $30 mark for most of 2012.
That doesn’t mean people are not purchasing it, though. To endure the collapse of the United States economy and to protect their wealth, the general public is still buying silver, tons of it. In total, there were more than 33 million Silver American Eagle Coins sold, according to figures from the U.S. Mint. From Dec. 23 to Dec. 29, there were nearly a quarter of a million sales nationwide.
It was first reported by Coin Update that the U.S. Mint announced that it had run out of American Silver Eagle bullion coins in mid-December and no additional coins would be salvaged for the remainder of 2012. Next year’s Silver Eagles are scheduled to be available on Jan. 7, 2013.
Total sales of American Silver Eagle coins for December 2012 was 1,635,000 ounces, a figure that is down less than 20 percent compared to a year ago. February was the lowest month for Silver Eagles as only 1,490,000 coins were sold, which was when silver was at $38. Meanwhile, January was the best month of the year as 6,107,000 coins were sold.
These million-plus figures aren’t surprising, though, considering that demand for silver has been on the rise for years due to the financial collapse and the Federal Reserve’s inflationary monetary policies. Since the year 2000, close to a quarter of a billion, or $7 billion worth, American Silver Eagle coins have been sold.
As with gold, many financial experts see silver reaching new highs next year and in 2014. For instance, financial and monetary data, such as the Fed’s quantitative easing measures, has suggested that silver could see a boost of 29 percent in 2013 because silver increased 53 percent with QE1 and 24 percent during QE2 – now the U.S. has QE3 or even possibly QE4.
Similar to his projection that gold will eventually surpass the $5,000 an ounce threshold, Peter Schiff, president of Euro Pacific Capital, stated in a couple of interviews that silver will hit the $200 mark – it approached $50 in early 2011.
“They’ll [gold and silver] go straight up. That’s why you want to buy your gold and silver before that atmosphere,” stated the former Republican Senate candidate in an interview with King World News. “I think anything in the low $30’s represents a pretty good entry point for people to buy. Once we go through $50, I see silver going to $200 an ounce. I own a lot of silver personally because of that outlook.”
Meanwhile, Money Morning Global Resources Specialist Peter Krauth sees silver prices hitting “north of $60” by the spring. Bloomberg News reported that hedge funds are being dominated by silver for most of 2012, which is substantially higher than in 2008.
Famed investor Jim Rogers, who thinks gold prices will decline by 20 percent from its current levels, believes silver is a much better investment, despite the conspiracy theories out there that silver is being manipulated.
“Silver is going to go much higher. I own silver and if there’s somebody trying to artificially suppress it, more power to them because in the end it’s going to go up even higher,” said Rogers in an interview with the Daily Bell. “Whenever you artificially suppress something, once it finally breaks free, boy, does it skyrocket. Look at gold in the ’70s. They artificially kept it down at $35 for a few decades. Finally the market said enough and it went up over 40 times.”
On the final trading session of the year, silver is up 0.10 percent at $30.01 (at the time of this writing).