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The evolution of the name ‘silver’ for the very sought after white shining metal is quite interesting. The term ‘silver’ is derived from ‘seolfor,’ the Anglo-Saxon for the shiny white metal, silver. Seolfor, in turn, comes from ancient Germanic ‘silabar.’
Silver’s chemical symbol is Ag. It is an abbreviation of ‘Argentum’, the Latin word for silver which originates from argunas, a Sanskrit word meaning shining.
Though the discoverer and the discovery date of silver is unknown, the fact is that its existence goes back to prehistoric times is very evident. It was one of the first five elements to be used by man. Silver artifacts date back to 3000 BC which were found in the Sumerian city of Kish.
Silver is the second most sought-after metal for investment. Be it industrial process, jewelry or long-term investment, silver has always been the next best alternative to invest. Not only that, silver has also gained popularity in the commodities exchange market. This is also a major factor that is rendering to the volatility of silver rate. That silver offers good returns and is liquid in nature makes it an attractive avenue of investment.
Silver is available in various purities and grades but 99.9% silver is the purest form and is termed as “fine silver”. Next comes sterling silver with a purity of 92.5%.
Like most commodities in the market, silver rate is also affected by multiple factors. It has been observed time and again that gold and silver prices are closely linked. That is to say, when gold prices rise, silver prices also rise. Vice versa is also true. Also, silver rate in the market today is a direct reflection of its usage as an investment and not mostly asjewellery. Following are some of the key factors that affect the silver rates in India:
Trade Deficits:Like gold, silver production in India is low. Therefore, silver prices are by far affected by the global rates. Also, the government introduces additional taxes when faced with a high trade deficit. Excise duty is one such additional tax charged on silver imports. All this leads to an increase in the silver rates.
Gold Price:As mentioned, prices of gold and silver have a close correlation. An increase in gold prices shoots silver prices too. This tendency is because investors prefer to invest in silver when gold prices are too high. Now, this leads to an increased demand for silver which in turn leads to the price rise.
Price of Oil:Mining is dependent on the price of oil. A rise in oil prices, in turn, triggers a rise in silver rates. Hence, when oil prices rise, cost of mining silver also rise leading to increasing silver rates.
Demand in the Industry:Silver is an important metal which is an input for various industrial processes. Therefore an increase in industrial demand for silver causes a rise in silver price.
Currency Values:The performance of currency also plays an important role in pricing of silver. Silver price in India is inversely correlated to the value of USD. That is to say, a decrease in the value of USD causes a rise in the prices of silver and vice versa.
Import Duty:As mentioned earlier, most of the silver in Indian market is obtained as imports. Hence, increase in import duty by the government leads to a rise in the silver price. Thus, changes in the import duty will affect silver prices.
Increase or Decrease in Inflation:Inflation and deflation also affect the silver prices. An increase in inflation encourages investors to minimize their risks by investing in metals like silver which leads to increase in silver prices.
You may invest in silver in the following forms:
Physical silver: Physical silver may be anything like bullions (bars and ingots), jewelry and ornaments, silverware, utensils and coins.
Silver contracts:Silver Contracts can be purchased from the National Commodities Exchanges like NCDEX and MCX. The latter is recognized as a global silver trading market and is popular globally.
Silver can be traded in the Commodity Exchange Market. There are three dedicated commodities exchange wherein silver can be traded:
National Multi Commodity Exchange (NMCE)
National Commodity & Derivatives Exchange (NCDEX)
Multi Commodity Exchange (MCX)
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