Silver is widely regarded as a precious metal even though it is not as rare as gold. Although its use for coin making was greater pre 1960 this metal is still used to some degree in making coins we use today. Around half of the silver produced in the US is used in photographic film and is also used in the production of jewellery and many electrical devices.
Silver prices are pretty dependant on the US economy as well as other global economies, with stronger economies tending to increase its price and weaker economies resulting in a reduction in price. Inflation as well as supply and demand can also affect the price of this precious metal.