The laws of supply and demand drive the price of silver, which varies with its market availability, according to Investopedia. The silver market hit its historic peak at $50 per ounce in 1980 as a result of the Hunt family's attempt to corner the world's silver market.
As of 2015, recent trends in silver production indicate a flattening that could portend a decline and increasing prices in the years to come. The older methods of production pull silver from existing veins but are likely to close as production wanes; another trend that makes price increases more likely, as stated by Investopedia.
Producing silver generally involves extracting it from an ore that also contains zinc, gold and copper. Copper's popularity within the new housing industry for plumbing operations means that developers are likely to pursue the ore further. Silver is also still sought after among film photographers, even though digital prints are becoming more and more common. Silver paste is a common material in solar panels because of its conductivity, and the escalating demand for solar panels makes the use of silver paste a more popular trend as well. This conductivity also makes silver important for electronics for use in switches and circuits, reports Investopedia.