Silver: poor man's gold turning to fool's gold?
Silver bulls may be hoping that the metal's healthy first-quarter price rise is the first step back towards record highs. Not so fast.
Its advocates say silver, which occupies a middle ground between industrial metals like copper and investment vehicles like gold, can benefit both from the fledgling economic recovery that is lifting copper and from the investment that is driving gold.
But record-high mine supply and questions over demand have left a long shadow over silver's underlying fundamentals, while huge price volatility last year, when the metal crashed 35 percent in a matter of days on two occasions, has undermined its appeal to investors as a cheaper alternative to gold.