In the first half of 2012 spot gold has outperformed silver. Although gold has risen less than one percent, silver has lost ground to the tune of about two percent. Spring of 2011 saw a meteoric rise in silver prices to around fifty dollars per ounce. This was followed by a drop of approximately ten percent by year end.
Silver prices have continued to drop this year. Many savvy investors see decreasing precious metals prices as a signal to buy. However, buying is apparently not the prevailing sentiment, as global sales of nationally minted coins have experienced double-digit drops. Sales of the popular silver American Eagle coin have fallen by eighteen percent in the first quarter of 2012. The Austrian Mint has experienced a twenty-seven percent loss in silver coin sales, according to a spokeswoman for the company.
2011 was a banner year for sales of silver coins and medals, as they experienced a new annual high of 10.139 million ounces.