In March 2008, silver hit a peak before falling nearly 60%. In 2009, the metal and its related exchange traded fund (ETF) appear to have been focusing on polishing up.Lara Crigger for Hard Assets Investor reports that the metal has earned back 24% in the first quarter alone this year.

Silver is more of a quiet metal, compared to gold, which gets the bulk of the media attention. But silver is useful as a store of value, and is used as an industrial and monetary asset. Here is are some of silver’s diverse uses:

  • A main ingredient for several industrial applications; demand in industry has risen every year since 2001
  • It is the best electrical and thermal conductor, the metal is perfect for high-performance electronics or high-voltage circuits
  • The metal is even a natural biocide, which is handy in sterilization and treating wounds
  • Silver’s high reflectivity makes it a must for fine-precision optics, and photosensitive silver compounds are the engine behind photographic film

Demand is also expected to take off as the metal is a main component in many green technologies, as well. Things like photovoltic cells in solar energy, water purification plants, and silver-zinc batteries are dependent upon silver. It can be described as a “clean-green” metal.

  • iShares COMEX Silver Trust (SLV): up 20.7% year-to-date

For full disclosure, some of Tom Lydon’s clients own shares of SLV.

The opinions and forecasts expressed herein are solely those of Tom Lydon, and may not actually come to pass. Information on this site should not be used or construed as an offer to sell, a solicitation of an offer to buy, or a recommendation for any product.