Silver Price History: Charts and Complete Overview
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Silver Price History: Charts and Complete Overview

Steven Cochran
Published March 24, 2020
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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.

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.

Silver Bars

Silver Bars

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

the silver price started 2017 at $17, traded as low as $14, traded as high as $18, and ended 2019 at $17

Monthly silver prices from 2017 through 2019 in US dollars

The three-year chart shows that silver prices are trading near their highs for the period ($18 per ounce).

the silver price started 2015 at $17, traded as low as $14, traded as high as $20, and ended 2019 at $17

Monthly silver prices from 2015 through 2019 in US dollars

Silver priced in USD has yet to surpass the $20 per troy ounce level over the past five years. Prices also haven't broken below $14 per ounce.

the silver price started 2010 at $18, traded as low as $14, traded as high as $42, and ended 2019 at $17

Monthly silver prices from 2010 through 2019 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.

the average silver price in USD began 1999 at its low of $5, traded as high as $35, and ended 2019 at $17

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 in USD rose from 2001 to 2011 before leveling off in the following decade

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.

Historical Silver Prices in Euros

the average silver price in euros began 1999 at €5, traded as high as €28, and ended 2019 at €15

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 in euros rose from 2003 to 2011 before leveling off in the following decade

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

the average silver price in British pounds began 1999 at £4, traded as high as £20, and ended 2019 at £10

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

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

the average silver price in Japanese yen began 1999 at ¥500, traded as high as ¥4,000, and ended 2019 at ¥2,000

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 in Japanese yen rose steadily from 1999 to 2011 before returning to 50% of their peak

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

the average silver price in Chinese yuan began 1999 below 50 yuan, traded as high as 300 yuan, and ended 2019 at 130 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 in Chinese yuan rose from 2001 to 2011 before leveling off over the next 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

the average silver price in Indian rupees traded at a low of ₹400 in 2003, climbed to a high of ₹1,600, and ended 2019 at ₹750

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 in Indian rupees rose from 2000 to 2011 before leveling off over the next decade

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

The History of Silver: Timeline and Infographic

What Is Silver Bullion? Everything You Need to Know

Silver Eagle Values - Complete Pricing Guide

Buy Silver

Posted In: blog
Steven Cochran

Steven Cochran

Precious Metals Market Analyst | BS University of South Florida (2002)

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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