National Jeweler Network

Market Developments

Silver jewelry demand rose 10 percent in 2013

By Michelle Graff

May 14, 2014

New York--The 2014 World Silver Survey shows that demand for silver jewelry continued to be strong last year while the metal’s average per-ounce price hit its third highest level on record. 

According to the survey, released Tuesday by The Silver Institute, global demand for silver jewelry climbed from 181.4 million ounces in 2012 to 198.8 million ounces in 2013, a 10 percent increase. The survey noted an “improved economic outlook in the industrialized world,” which lifted consumer confidence and, consequently, retail sales.  

Total physical demand for silver hit an all-time high in 2013, reaching 1.08 billion ounces, up from 954.4 million in 2013. 

While retail investment in bars and coins is cited as the primary driver for demand growth, rising 76 percent year-over-year, the survey noted that a “sturdy recovery” in jewelry and silverware fabrication also contributed. 

The per-ounce price of silver averaged $23.79 over the course of the year, which is its third highest nominal average price on record. 

On the supply side, the world’s total supply of silver slipped from 1.01 billion ounces to 978.1 million ounces year-over-year. 

Silver mine production grew by 3 percent, from 792.3 to 819.6 million ounces while scrap as a form of supply fell by 24 percent, hitting its lowest level since 2001, and net government sales dipped slightly. 

The GFMS team at Thomson Reuters independently researched and compiled the 2014 edition of the World Silver Survey. A total of 22 companies and organizations from North America, South America, Europe and Asia involved in most aspects of the silver industry sponsored it.

The Silver Institute, an international industry association comprised of silver producers, refiners, manufacturers and dealers founded in 1971, has published the World Silver Survey since 1990.