Conspiracy theorists recalled what happened with Warren Buffett's unfortunate contraction of silver in the 1990s, which caused the price to rise by 80% before falling. For gold, it was the highest weekly percentage gain since before Labor Day and the second-best week for silver during that same period. It doesn't take much movement in the relatively small gold and silver markets to generate strong momentum, either up or down. Many observers turned to investment banks such as JP Morgan, suspected of manipulating the silver market, which at the time was known for short selling silver despite the fact that prices continued to rise.
Fast price movements are common in metal markets, and astute investors remain focused on the factors driving the long-term trend, not on short-term price action. Peter Schiff, in a recent column, states that since silver, despite its many industrial uses, is still a monetary metal, it tends to follow a relatively constant pace with gold over time. Over the past year, gold and silver each rose by about 25% (from low to high); over the past five years, gold rose 45% and silver gained 40%. First, all net sales seemed to take place in the futures markets, where hedge funds and other popular money traders were selling gold and silver on paper, not in physical markets.
This is a warning to investors that, at any time, the ratio could be corrected, whether silver prices rise or fall in gold prices. On June 12, the gold-silver ratio peaked in 26 years, exceeding the 90-ounce mark, meaning that it took more than 90 ounces of silver to buy an ounce of gold.