Silver peaked on April 28, 2011, at $48.70. By September 6, it was down to $42. By September 30, it was at $30 That was a decline of 38%.
Gold peaked on September 6, 2011, at $1,895. By September 30, it was at $1,620. That was a decline of 14.5%. Bad, but nothing like 38%.
On Friday, April 12, silver was at $27.40, That was down 44% from its peak. Gold was at $1,535. That was down 19% from its peak.
Silver is volatile. When it falls, it always falls faster and further than gold.
When you buy silver, you buy volatility. If you buy it at the bottom and sell at the top, you will get taxed. There are no long-term capital gains taxes on the precious metals. You pay ordinary income taxes – no tax subsidy. If you buy at the top, you will get creamed in a time such as this.
For non-traders, gold is the better deal over the long haul. You get less volatility. It is for buy-and-hold investors.
I have written about this for years. Here is an article I wrote in 2010.
It links back to a debate I had with Franklin Sanders in 2006 on silver vs. gold.