US consumers choose silver jewellery over gold— report

Close to three quarters of US retailers surveyed by the Silver Institute said they sold more silver jewellery last year than they did in 2012, the latest report from the industry lobby shows.

Sales volumes, however, didn’t increase by much —a mere 17%— with about a third of the 2,700 shops interviewed saying they saw the same or lesser amount of sales over the holiday season.

Together with gold, the precious metal was one of the worst performing commodities last year, as prices plunged a whopping 35%. Despite this drop, the survey shows that silver jewellery netted significantly better margins than gold or diamond pieces.

Silver inventory also showed the best turnover, more than doubling diamond jewellery’s sales rates in 2013. This was triggered in part by India’s renewed appetite for silver.

The nation, the world’s largest silver consumer, tripled its imports last year to almost 5,500 metric tons, 180% more than the previous year.

According to Business Standard, the only earlier occasion when India imported more than 5,000 tonnes of silver in a year was six years ago.