Silver Investing in Tough Times?

August 5, 2009 by Administrator 


Over at The Faster Times, journalist Andrew Myers investigates whether or not silver tableware, bowls, pitchers, teapots, trays, and jewelry are a safe spot for investors to stash their cash during turbulent financial times. Myers says that if we look at silver as a precious commodity, there’s longstanding precedence pointing to: Yes.

According to British-born, Manhattan-based dealer Alistair Crawford, “Coins, i.e. money, were made from silver for centuries. If one had an excess of money, coins were melted down and fashioned into holloware as a visible display of wealth.” In pre-paper currency economies, silver thus became the medium for practical yet decorative profligacy, says Myers.

To learn more, Myers interviews San Francisco-based silver dealer Michael James, founder and managing director of The Silver Fund, who says, “The most-in-demand 20th-century silver are ‘signature’ pieces by esteemed designers that include Georg Jensen, the Danish maker who is known as ‘the Father of Scandinavian silver,’ and the major French talent, Jean E. Puiforcat,” adding that since he began selling Jensen silver 15 years ago, “the most important works have easily increased in value 15% a year—at least.”

James, who started the original Silver Fund in 1996 in London before relocating to San Francisco (first, in a shop near Union Square, and since last year in Jackson Square), notes that Americans are the majority of his clients, and were among the earliest to amass major silver collections: “William Randolph Hearst is said to have bought out the entire Jensen stand at its first U.S. show, the 1915 Pan Pacific Exposition in San Francisco.”

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