The questions asked even more than ever is what should we be buying? Where should we put our money? Although answers to this are often ever changing and difficult to conclude, I must say there remains an opportunity to purchase silver and for two very good reasons.
The obvious one is that it is a precious metal and one which for centuries has been used as a global currency which in any form has a value for its scrap price and one which in my opinion is perhaps not to its full potential at the moment.
The second point is there is a lot of beautiful silver around and if this can be coupled with a good maker or extra provenance, the scrap price becomes more irrelevant meaning items can be purchased as sound investment because of what they look like and what they weigh.
I see it as sacrilege to melt down any silver whether it be a humble tea service or something more intricate and it is good advice to buy things as ornamental in the hope the market may well (and it could) come back where by people want silver items to furnish their properties. There is much less fine silver around now than ever before and it wouldn’t take much to enhance the decorative value of pieces.
Names are still collected so anything by the master silver smiths of several generations ago such as William Cafe or Paul Storr still hold a premium price and if you have a piece by the great London based Dutch silversmith Paul De Lamerie this premium may rise more.
If more modern items appeal more you could go for pieces by Omar Ramsden or Stuart Devlin as these works hold three main positives: they are made from precious metal, by sought after designers and look fantastic meaning they are sound investments.
Earlier names such as the Bateman family also create interest, and will not command as high a premium as a later piece by Benney or Devlin, so they become a sound investing arena and purchasing table wares from the early 19th century is sensible as they come in relatively good supply and due to the obsession with scrap prices delicate and beautiful pieces can be purchased for very little.
There is quite a gap between the rising gold and silver price and it would be no surprise to see the trends of both precious metals go up and up for the foreseeable future, but for silver to climb more rapidly. Where there is uncertainty precious metals go up and if you hold your nerve and see it as a long term investment of beautiful objects which look good juxtaposed in the modern home, you cannot go wrong. With interest rates low, doubt high and panic off the scale, take a lot of stress out of your lives and buy fine silver, even if the market drops you will still own iconic and beautiful objects!