100-Year Silver Price History: Charts and Complete Overview
Below are charts of annual silver price data and price trends for the last 20 years in various currencies, including the US dollar, the euro, the British pound, the Japanese yen, the Chinese yuan, and the Indian rupee. We have also added a 100-year silver price chart for additional context.
You can also check out our history of silver infographic and timeline for a complete history of this precious metal over the past 5,000 years.
Historical Silver Prices in Major Currencies
Past market performance is no guarantee of future results, but historical silver prices can be useful in identifying past trends. While silver now trades 24 hours a day, regional prices can be affected by currency exchange rates, economic policy, and local demand and supply. This is why we offer 20-year silver price charts in most major currencies, as well as 3-year, 5-year, and 10-year charts in dollars.
Historical Silver Prices in US Dollars
Monthly silver prices from 2017 through 2020 in US dollars
The three-year chart shows how silver prices came off 2018 lows to follow gold much higher during the 2020 COVID epidemic..
Monthly silver prices from 2015 through 2020 in US dollars
Silver priced in USD has yet to surpass the $30 per troy ounce level over the past five years. Prices also haven't broken below $14 per ounce.
Monthly silver prices from 2010 through 2020 in US dollars
The 10 year silver price chart reveals the magnitude of silver's rally to all-time highs above $40 per troy ounce in 2011.
Annual silver prices for the last 20 years in USD
Stretching the time frame out 20 years shows how relatively inexpensive the metal was prior to the financial crisis.
Annual silver sales trends for the last 20 years in US dollars
Movement above and below the 0% line on the trends chart represents periods of higher volatility for silver priced in U.S. dollars.
Average annual silver prices for the past 100 years in US dollars
The silver price steadily rose throughout the 20th century and into early 21st century, briefly spiking in 1979/1980 and 2011.
Historical Silver Prices in Euros
Annual silver prices for the past 20 years in euros
Over 20 years, the silver price in euros has been somewhat more steady than in USD.
Annual silver sales trends for the past 20 years in euros
The price trends chart shows the changes in silver prices in euros, compared to the previous year.
Historical Silver Prices in British Pounds
Annual silver prices for the past 20 years in British pounds
The chart of silver priced in pounds sterling is a bit flatter given the high exchange rate of the GBP.
Annual silver sales trends for the past 20 years in British pounds
The Y/Y silver price trends in the British Pound shows the same huge jump in prices in 2011 as that seen in other currencies.
Historical Silver Prices in Japanese Yen
Annual silver prices for the past 20 years in Japanese yen
More so than the EUR and GBP, the silver price in yen saw a more gradual decline from all-time highs.
Annual silver sales trends for the past 20 years in Japanese yen
The yen was the only major currency where silver prices year over year did not fall below the baseline in 2009. The following price trend in 2011 was a bit broader as well.
Historical Silver Prices in Chinese Yuan
Annual silver prices for the past 20 years in Chinese yuan
The steeper fall in silver priced in yuan is due in part to the currency's greater strength over the past decade.
Annual silver sales trends for the past 20 years in Chinese yuan
The silver price trends in yuan mirror those of the dollar. This is because the Chinese government attempts to keep a "soft" peg to the dollar.
Historical Silver Prices in Indian Rupees
Annual silver prices for the past 20 years in Indian rupees
The rupee is an important currency for pricing silver, given the huge demand for precious metals in India.
Annual silver sales trends for the past 20 years in Indian rupees
The rupee silver charts shows the same narrow spike in silver prices as the British pound.
Frequently Asked Questions About the Silver Price
Q: What is the highest price of silver in history?
The all-time high silver price in U.S. dollars was about $48 per troy ounce, which occurred in late April and early May of 2011.
However, on an inflation-adjusted basis, the peak silver price of about $30/oz in 1980 would be equal to over $100 per oz in today's dollars. This is the true all-time high value for silver.
Q: Why did silver prices spike in 1980?
Although the price of silver was on the rise throughout the 1970s, the spike in 1980 was due to a pair of wealthy speculators, the Hunt brothers. For a brief time, they nearly cornered the global silver market.
For a more detailed explanation, check out our podcast episode on how the Hunt brothers nearly cornered the silver market.
Q: When was silver at its lowest price?
Looking back over the past 100 years, the lowest price for silver (on an inflation-adjusted basis) occurred in January of 1931 during the Great Depression. The price of silver fell to just 29 cents per ounce.
However, this is tricky question to answer given that silver has been valuable for thousands of years—long before it was ever priced in U.S. dollars, British pounds, or any other existing currency.
Q: Will silver rise if the dollar collapses?
Not necessarily. Unless people begin to use silver as money again (and laws are changed to reflect this), you will always have to price silver in some currency.
The upside is that historically silver has shown a tendency to maintain its value relative to other assets, regardless of inflation or currency devaluation.
Q: What was the price of silver a year ago?
Last year, the silver price averaged just above $16 per ounce. Silver opened the year at about $15.65/oz, traded as low as $14.30/oz, traded as high as $19.55/oz, and closed the year just below $18/oz.
Q: Should I buy silver coins or bars?
This is a choice where both items come with their own pros and cons. Read more about silver coins vs. silver bars to learn the different advantages of these two forms of silver bullion.
Q: Who owns the most silver in the world?
This is difficult to know based on the disclosed positions of major investors. JP Morgan's metal trading division often has a massive position in silver, but that doesn't pinpoint ownership to a single person. Warren Buffett once bought a massive sum of silver back in the 1990s: In 1997, he purchased over 100 million oz of silver—but Buffett has since liquidated his bullion stockpile.
Q: What is the best silver to buy?
Yet another tough question, because there is no single definitive answer. It all depends on your personal goals for investing in silver. Our definitive silver buying guide explains your options when buying silver in greater detail.
Related content links below:
Live Silver Spot Price Today: view live charts of real time spot silver prices today
All Precious Metals Current Prices: interactive charts including a gold price chart with real time prices, updated every minute
A published writer, Steven's coverage of precious metals goes beyond the daily news to explain how ancillary factors affect the market.
Steven specializes in market analysis with an emphasis on stocks, corporate bonds, and government debt.
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