After slipping nearly 40% this year by June, silver prices today have rebounded, and now trade near $23 an ounce. Silver ended the week up 14%.
This puts the precious metal at a level not seen since May.
There are several reasons for this move up in silver prices – reasons that will carry silver prices to $40 an ounce – and then $60 an ounce – by 2014.
With a lot of "crash talk" making the rounds – like the Hindenburg Omen – now's a good time to be taking gains in the white metal.
Here are four reasons today's silver price is the start of more double-digit weekly gains in 2013…
Silver Prices Today: Four Reasons for the Climb
Silver Price Catalyst #1: Short Covering
Many speculative hedge funds had gone short silver, expecting more downside to the sharp selloff that occurred in the precious metals space. The hedge fund community had the lowest amount of net-long positions in silver in about 10 years.
Some of those bets have now been covered, with the funds buying back silver futures contracts. But there may be more short covering to go.
Walter de Wet, head of commodities research at Standard Bank, told the Financial Times that U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission data showed the speculative market "has been building a large short position which is yet to unwind."
As silver moves higher, shorts will rush to cover, and give prices an even bigger boost.
Silver Price Catalyst #2: Physical Demand for Coins
Another factor at work here is similar to what's been happening in the gold market: strong physical demand for silver.
That can be seen in the coin market.
The latest numbers from the U.S. Mint show that there were 31 million ounces of silver coins sold so far this year. In 2012, there were only 33.7 million ounces of silver coins sold all year.
Other mints around the world are showing a similar pattern.
Take the Royal Canadian Mint, for example.
It said this week that demand for both gold and silver products remained "very strong." The Mint added that people seemed to be buying the coins on every dip in precious metals prices.
Sales of silver coins were particularly strong.
Chris Carkner, managing director of sales for bullion, refinery and exchange-traded products at the Royal Canadian Mint, told Kitco "Year-to-date, after the second quarter, we've had record volume for silver Maple Leafs, the greatest we've had in the over 25 years that we've produced them."
Silver Price Catalyst #3: This Country's Exploding Investor Interest
North American investors aren't alone in their attraction for physical silver.
So is another region of the globe we've touched on before, one that's key to the future of silver prices…