Silver as an investment
Silver may be used as an investment like other precious metals. It has been regarded as a form of money and store of value for more than 4,000 years, although it lost its role as legal tender in developed countries when the use of the silver standard came to a final end in 1935. Some countries mint bullion and collector coins, however, such as the American Silver Eagle with nominal face values. In 2009, the main demand for silver was for industrial applications (40%), jewellery, bullion coins, and exchange-traded products. In 2011, the global silver reserves amounted to 530,000 tonnes.
Collectors of silver and other precious metals who collect for the purpose of investment (either as their sole motivation or as one of several) are commonly nicknamed stackers, with their collections dubbed as stacks. The motivations for stacking silver varies between collectors.
Millions of Canadian Silver Maple Leaf coins and American Silver Eagle coins are purchased as investments each year. The Silver Maple Leaf is legal tender at its face value of CA$5, the American Silver Eagle has a face value of US$1, the Britannia has a face value of between £0.20p and £10, and there are many other silver coins with higher legal tender values, such as CA$20 silver coins of Canada. However, while these bullion coins are considered legal tender, they are rarely accepted by shops and not typically found in circulation, as opposed to pre-debasement 'junk' or 'constitutional' silver coins, which still occur in circulation on occasion.