In what remains an interesting phenomenon, investors are standing by physically-backed silver exchange traded funds even as gold, a metal to which silver is highly correlated, falters and the U.S. dollar strengthens.

Over the past month, the SPDR Gold Shares (NYSEArca: GLD), the world’s largest gold ETF, is off 5.5%. That gold weakness has the iShares Silver Trust (NYSEArca: SLV) and the ETFS Physical Silver Shares (NYSEArca: SIVR) down about 5% as well. That brings the one-year loss for the silver ETFs to over 20%, meaning the white metal is in a bear market. [A Slide for Silver ETFs]

Even with those glum performances, investors continue to support silver ETFs. SLV’s shares outstanding currently surpass those of GLD by the most since 2006, reports Luzi Ann Javier for Bloomberg.

“Retail buyers are sticking with silver even as prices fell 4.4 percent this year, the most of any precious metal. Gold’s 2 percent gain wasn’t enough to halt declines in selling,” according to Bloomberg. That despite the fact departures from GLD have been on the rise. [Gold Bugs Depart ETFs]

While investors have pulled $446.3 million from GLD over the past month, nearly $283 million in new money has flowed into SLV. New money being put to work in silver ETFs could be the result of an expected uptick in demand for the white metal.

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