by Michelle Smith, Silver Investing News:
Industrial demand accounts for nearly half of total silver demand, but demand for silver as an investment has been the main driver of record silver prices in past years. In 2013, investors have continued to view the white metal as a cost-effective means of wealth preservation. The US Mint has reported record-high silver coin sales for the first half of this year despite the 28-percent drop in value seen in the paper markets.
“Sales of silver coins by the U.S. Mint are heading for the best start to a year since at least 1986 as prices slumped,” reported Bloomberg earlier this week. So far this year, silver coin sales from the US Mint have totaled 24.03 million ounces. This impressive number has the Mint’s acting director, Richard Peterson, suggesting that 2013 may be a record-breaking year for US Mint silver coin sales. In 2011, the Mint hit a record 22.3 million ounces in the first half of the year and went on to sell a year-end total of 40.02 million silver ounces. Globally, total demand for silver coins and medals reached an all-time high of 118.2 million ounces in 2011.
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