With demand for silver still very high due to high priced gold (even with the recent decline in gold prices), silver demand remains strong. However, the price forecast for silver in 2014 is expected to be lower than in 2013. This drop is expected to further increase interest in silver.
One of several reasons for the price drop is the improving global economy and increased strength in the U.S. dollar. This is taking investors away from gold and silver and pushing them to other investments. Yet, in 2013, lower silver prices contributed to an increase in demand for the metal especially for jewelry. As a result, demand for silver jewelry is expected to increase in 2014, along with silverware demand which is also expected to grow, especially in overseas markets.
Silver jewelry is particularly strong in India, due to government regulations on gold and lower silver prices. And while all this is good news for silver jewelry, flatware, and gifts, alot more of these silver items are being manufactured in India which has a high corrosive envronment. As a result, with this increased demand coming out of India, comes an increase in silver tarnish.
Hence, the need for continued use of anti tarnish materials and methods remains strong. Even with "tarnish resistant" silver alloys and anti tarnish coatings, tarnish still remains prevalent. The key point here for these special alloys is "resistant". Resistance to tarnish does not necessarily mean these alloys are "tarnish proof", they are not! Anti tarnish coatings are also known (as mentioned in our last blog) to discolor (the coatings may actually oxidize). For these reasons, proper handling and anti tarnish packaging is still the most effective means of tarnish prevention: anti tarnish paper and anti tarnish bags and pouches are widely available but be sure to look for ones that do not leave deposits or coatings, are non abrasive, non-toxic, environmentally friendly, recycable, and hypo allergenic.