Of all the precious metals, few are more sought after by jewelry enthusiasts than silver and gold, and if money was not a finite commodity, people would buy both. This, of course, is not the case, and for this reason one must examine the properties of both metals to determine which has a better value.
Gold is used used as a monetary standard, held by central banks, whereas silver, though a separate monetary standard, is not as prominent. Thus tends build a higher demand for gold, hence pushing its price even higher.
If you plan on one day selling your jewelry, however, gold would be the most logical choice, as the gold market is far less volatile than the silver market. Generally gold is easier to sell than silver, so if you’re looking for stability in your investment, gold is your choice. If you’re looking for great spreads and the opportunity for greater gains, silver is your choice.
Gold is also more strongly reactive to trends in the electronics industry since it is a commodity widely used in the manufactured motherboards and other equipment. Expert jewelers who see gold as an investment usually follow trends in the electronics industry to get a general sentiment of demand.
Interestingly, there is in fact seven times more gold currently on the market than silver, with 4.58 billion ounces being exchanged in various forms worldwide, compared to only 250 to 650 million ounces of silver. There are very few silver mines in the world, and most silver is found incidentally during unrelated mining expeditions.
Should money not be an object and you’re looking for something eye catching, you ought to buy silver jewelry, given that it is 2% (it doesn’t sound like much but it makes a great difference) more reflective than gold (and indeed more reflective most metals) and will stand out far more than its counterpart. In terms of longevity, they are equals on moh’s hardness scale, each sitting comfortably at 2.5, so one is just as likely as the other to get scratched when dropped or otherwise manhandled.
These are somewhat below average numbers compared to other metals, and so the utmost care ought to be taken when wearing jewelry comprised of either metal. Though the longevity is the same, silver has a higher tensile strength than gold and therefore is more durable and less likely to shatter in the event of some form of collision.
Though stronger, silver unfortunately tarnishes worse than gold due to its inherent level of chemical reactivity, and though it may last longer it will need to be cleaned more often. This is not to say that it will decay or rust into nothingness, as silver coins from over 2,000 years ago have been found intact. If you want to keep your silver shining, it is best to buy, along with it, a silver polishing kit so that it keeps its trademark reflective properties.
As a golden rule, silver tends to be a more volatile investment, though it poses higher risk, it also poses a higher opportunity for appreciation. Gold tends to be more stable and less volatile, for the conservative investor or those who like to avert investment risk as much as possible, gold is the best option.
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