Silver exchange traded funds were the best performing exchange traded funds in August, bolstered by bargain hunting speculators and escalating geopolitical tensions surrounding Syria.

Silver ETFs are off to a fast start in September with a nearly 4% rally on Tuesday. [How ETFs are Helping Silver Outperform Gold]

Speculators jumped into previously downtrodden silver ETFs as data pointing to an improving U.S. economy, along with potentially greater industrial demand for silver, and Middle East tensions pushed many into safe-haven assets, writes Eric Dutram for Zacks.

Over the past month, silver ETFs have attracted over $100 million in inflows.

The silver rally may still have some legs if global manufacturing activity picks up and if broad industrial demand increases. Jewelry and ETFs account for a substantial portion of global silver demand every year, but by some estimates, industrial use is 50% of annual silver demand. [Silver ETFs Getting Help From Speculators]