Silver is surging
February 1, 2021: Silver futures surged as much as 13% Monday, touching five-month highs following a 6% rally last week.
Meanwhile, retail sites warned customers over the weekend they could not meet skyrocketing demand for silver bars and coins.
According to CNN, this provides another example of the power of a group that has captivated Wall Street and Main Street: WallStreetBets. The Reddit forum sent GameStop (GME), AMC (AMC) and other heavily shorted stocks skyrocketing last week, roiling markets and crushing some hedge funds that had bet against those stocks. Robinhood, the free-trading app, came under fire after restricting trades in GameStop and other stocks.
People on WallStreetBets set their sights on silver and the iShares Silver Trust ETF (SLV) last week, with some suggesting it could be a way to hurt big banks they believe are artificially suppressing prices.
Is it time to sell your silver?
With so much news developing about silver prices, consumers may be wondering if now is a good time to sell their silver. Additionally, you may have questions about how to make sure you’re getting the most for your silver jewelry, silver coins, or other silver household items.
Consider this before selling your silver
For all of the news about the #silversqueeze driving silver values to historic highs, there are an equal number of experts who are dubious and believe that it all may be a hedge-fund coordinated attack to combat their losses over Game Stop.
Keep in mind that all of this wild activity is happening on the silver futures market and while it’s a complex topic, there is a big difference between the trading price of silver on the markets and the amount that you could get if you sold your grandmothers silver demitasse set.
Unlike gold, the trading price of silver swings between its perceived role as a commodity and its role as an industrial metal. For this reason, price fluctuations in the silver market are historically more volatile than gold.
How can an average consumer make sense of it all?
Here are three questions to ask yourself before buying or selling your silver jewelry, coins, or other items in this market:
Why are you selling?
If your financial needs are short-term, then it may feel risky to sell your silver outright. That’s where a pawnshop can be very helpful. The pawnbroker can lend you the money you need today on your silver, giving you the cash in your pocket. When you pay off your loan amount, you’ll get the silver items back and be better able to make a decision based on where the market is at that time. You can sell your silver only once but you can pawn the same item again and again whenever you need to.
Where should you sell it?
If you are selling silver, it is important to deal with a reputable expert like a pawnbroker who deals in precious metals every day. That’s true regardless of market conditions, but booms like we’re currently experiencing with silver, there are increasing instances of fakes and scams. Bringing your items to a local pawnshop can help protect you from opportunists who are hoping to take advantage of people by popping up illegal metals buying events or selling it outright at gas stations and other questionable locations.
Speaking of fakes, most pawnbrokers have sophisticated equipment that can identify fakes. Be very wary of buying silver or gold from strangers, as the number of fakes already circulating is very high.
Like other items, superfakes can even fool many long time dealers who do not have specialized sorts of testing machines found in most pawnshops.
Will it be worth more or less in the future?
Speculating in silver or any other previous metal like gold or platinum comes with risks and rewards that should be considered using the advice of a financial professional. Pawnbrokers are not financial advisors. Rather, they are collateral lenders who can help you understand the fair resell value of your coins, jewelry, bullion, and other valuables.
Each pawnshop is different, some may specialize in metals and some may not, so it is important to ask questions so that you feel comfortable.
Learn more from local experts
With the spotlight on silver and so many unprecedented things happening in the market, now may be a great time to wait it out if you’re unfamiliar with how silver trading works. Most pawnshops will be watching the market closely and will help you make sense of it all.
Because most pawnshops are family-owned small businesses that have been a part of your community for decades, they’ll be able to answer your questions and help you navigate the surge in a way that meets your short-term financial needs while building a long-term relationship with your local pawnshop.