Historic Spikes in Silver Prices Explained
Let’s take a closer look at key moments in history to better understand when and how the price of silver spiked. Whether it was because of war, corruption, debt or disease, the demand for silver has had its ups and will continue to hold value for years, decades and centuries from now.
1916–1919 – World War I
The depression resulted in the prices of precious metals being significantly reduced by as much as 1/3. After the economic turmoil the Depression brought, World War I saw a spike not only meeting previous prices but exceeding them as needed for the war effort.
March 27, 1980 – Silver Thursday
Three brothers devised a plan to corner the silver market. In early 1979 the price of silver was only $6.08 per ounce and they saw an opportunity to make a lot of money. By the end of the year, the Hunt Brothers held more than 100 million troy ounces of silver, which was one-third of all silver not owned by governments.
In doing so, silver quickly rose in price, and exchanges implemented some new severe rules and restrictions, but it was too late. The price of silver reached its highest ever – $50.35 USD per ounce – on January 18, 1980. To stop the price from climbing even further the markets forbade all silver orders, resulting in a major crash that we call “Silver Thursday.”
Since the Hunt Brothers also invested in futures contracts, which, when they were issued a margin call, faced more than $1 billion in losses.
They were worth $5 billion at the event’s peak, but with the margin call, lower silver prices ($4.90 per troy ounce in 1982) and civil charges, they were forced to declare bankruptcy.
2011 – United States Debt Ceiling Crisis
The United States of America was running out of money to spend, which positively affected silver prices. As the nation began fully understanding the negative effects of the crisis, the price of silver shot from $17 to $30 and beyond. The price of an ounce of silver eventually rose to $49.80 USD!
When the American government implemented measures to delay the crisis, the price of silver dropped to $35, and even below 2010 levels.
2020 – COVID-19 Pandemic
With many businesses shut down or severely limited in what they could offer consumers, investors were unsure if silver would be the “safe haven” they needed. Initially, the price of silver plummeted by almost 30%, but after the shock of the pandemic’s commencement, customers began a buying spree, factories restarted, and investors jumped onboard. The silver spike lasted through the fall of 2020 with a slight drop, but an elevated price through the spring of 2022.
Is Silver On the Path to Spike Again?
Don’t wait until a spike is at its peak to invest in silver. Buy now from our Canadian-owned and operated website www.RoyalBull.ca.