investing in silver 2012
It was a bullish third quarter for silver prices as the white metal rose 25%.
Of late, silver has been outperforming gold, trading with greater volatility and producing healthy returns for silver exchange-traded funds (ETFs).
While investors who typically favor gold investments have started eyeing up silver, they're joined by another classic gold lover: India.
India sees silver as an undervalued investment with strong upside potential. This bullish view comes from a country that accounts for 12.6% of total world-wide silver demand, according to the precious-metals consulting firm GFMS.
With a weak Indian rupee, gold prices (in rupees) have reached an all-time high in 2012, while silver prices have not surpassed their April 2011 record. Rupee-denominated silver has been quoted around 20% lower than its record, according to FX Street.
In September, silver futures contract volume traded on India's largest commodity exchange, the Multi Commodity Exchange, rose 30% as compared to July's numbers.
Meanwhile, gold futures volume declined 10% in the same time frame.
Silver dealers in India said most return-focused investors have chosen to hold on to their purchases in anticipation of rising prices over the next three to six months.
Indian investors also have slowed silver buying because the two-week period that ends Oct. 15 is considered inauspicious, but are expected to resume their purchases as soon as the period ends, according to The Wall Street Journal.
Indian silver demand will pick up after that as the country prepares for the Hindu festival of lights, known as Diwali, on Nov. 13.
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Investing in Silver: States Support Move to Metals as Dollar Weakens
Investing in silver and gold has become more attractive since the U.S. dollar just doesn't have the clout it once did.
Fears over where the dollar is headed - especially with continued money printing from the central bank - has pushed safety-seekers into investing in silver and gold. Demand has also pushed gold and silver prices to new highs.
The idea of using gold and silver as an alternative currency has spread as the metals have grown more valuable.
In fact, worries that the U.S. dollar is on the cusp of a collapse have lawmakers from more than a dozen states (up from just three in the past few years) seeking approval from their state governments to either issue their own alternative currency or use gold and silver as a currency for settlement of state-related transactions.
Rep. Glen Bradley, R-NC, who introduced a currency bill in 2011, told CNN Money, "In the event of hyperinflation, depression, or other economic calamity related to the breakdown of the Federal Reserve System... the State's governmental finances and private economy will be thrown into chaos."