Investing in Gold and Silver - How, Why, and What

Of all the precious metals, gold is the most popular as an investment. Investors generally buy gold as a way of diversifying risk, especially through the use of futures contracts and derivatives. The gold market is subject to speculation and volatility as are other markets. Compared to other precious metals used for investment, gold has the most effective safe haven and hedging properties across a number of countries.

Silver may be used as an investment like other precious metals. It has been regarded as a form of money and store of value for more than 4,000 years, although it has lost its role as a legal tender in all developed countries since the end of the silver standard. Some countries mint bullion and collector coins, however, such as the American Silver Eagle with nominal face values. In 2009, the main demand for silver was for industrial applications (40%), jewellery, bullion coins, and exchange-traded products. In 2011, the global silver reserves amounted to 530,000 tonnes.