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What are some historical prices of silver?

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Quick Answer

During the 1950s, silver rose from a low of 75 cents per ounce to a high just over 90 cents, according to The Silver Institute. The modern-day peak for silver occurred in 2011 when silver posted an average annual price of $35.12 per ounce.

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Full Answer

In 1840, the annual average price for an ounce of silver was $1.29 per ounce, according to Wikipedia. While the price didn't do much during the first half of the 20th century, it had risen to $16.39 by 1980. This was likely due to U.S. President Richard Nixon's actions to end the convertibility of dollars to gold in 1971, a reversal of the Bretton Woods monetary system established in 1944.

The price of silver has fluctuated wildly throughout history. Like gold, it derives some of its value as a hedge against inflation, deflation and currency devaluation. Silver also functions as an industrial metal, used in the manufacturing of electrical appliances and photovoltaics, as well as in medicine, where it's valued for its anti-bacterial qualities. The price fluctuates based on supply and demand dynamics. At its 31-year high of $49.21 per ounce on April 29, 2011, demand was being driven by economic concerns over inflation and uncertainty regarding Eurozone bailouts.

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