Disclaimer: The author buys and sells sterling silver pieces but is not an expert in trading commodity silver. The information presented herein is to provide information to those thinking of buying or selling sterling pieces.
The silver market has turned upward in a dramatic way over the past 48 hours. The price per Troy ounce has briefly been above $21 today. A combination of issues seems to be driving this trend (and gold's upward trend as well). The obvious event affecting the market is the current turmoil in Iraq. If this situation does not stabilize to some degree, it could continue to nudge the market upward. The price could get pushed higher if world oil prices are affected significantly by the Iraq situation. Such a move leads to higher gas prices which leads to inflation overall. That model often includes an upward move in silver prices.
The weakness of the U.S. dollar also appears to be affecting the price of precious metals. As the dollar falls, silver rises, at least in this case.
Vladimir Putin may be looking at the Iraq situation as an ideal time to make further incursions into Ukraine. While the U.S. attention is diverted, Ukraine gains less attention. If he did seize this opportunity, it could mean another bump for silver's price.
A cursory look at actual sales of sterling flatware on eBay during the last 24 hours indicates that buyers may be willing to bid higher than the corresponding increase in raw silver price would dictate. In other words, a few days ago, buyers often were bidding right at the scrap value. Yesterday, bids on many items sold at a premium over scrap.
This is a very broad analysis since the specific pattern involved has a great influence on value. So, in our analysis, we tried to pick sales of patterns that were selling at or near scrap value in the past.
What does this mean for the buyer or seller of sterling pieces? You'll have to be the judge of that for yourself. In our case, we'll continue to buy but we might hold off selling for a bit.