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Silver Making a Comeback
Economy, Business And Markets

Silver Making a Comeback

It appears that the long lackluster days for the silver market is ending and the precious metal is once again finding its place in Iranian household, where it once had a crowning place and not regarded as the ‘poor man’s gold’.  Not long ago, silverware, comb handles made of silver and even silver bathing tools were not uncommon for daily use among Iranians. But with the advent of modern kitchen utensils and lifestyle changes, silver handicrafts became luxurious items to be placed on the shelves of a few who could afford them.
Now the white metal is undergoing another boom with the younger generation developing a renewed taste for silver goodies, according to an analysis by Financial Tribune’s sister website Eghtesad News.
Newlyweds are showing rare interest for buying silver candlesticks and mirrors to be an adornment to their wedding rituals – apparently following in their grandparents’ footsteps. Other silver artifacts gaining in popularity are picture frames, spoons, forks and tea glass holders.
“Right now the silver market has its own enthusiasts and in some cases we are seeing requests for silverware climbing”, says Amir Hossein Noghrechi, a silver shop owner in Tehran said in an interview.
Noghrechi traces the boom in part to the decline in the value of    silver in global markets which has led to prices remaining more or less stable.
 Pricing
Noghrechi adds that innovations in crafting silverware and employing less silver, compared to crystal in artifacts, have also contributed to their sagging prices. “Most of the purchases are for candlesticks and mirrors which depending on the amount of silver used in them rage from a $218 to $9,000 “, he says.    
He notes that the price for the white metal can fluctuate based on three factors: global price of silver -- which usually moves in tandem with gold, the weight of the silver and  wages that craftsmen receive for their work.
He regrets that a fact driving up the price of silver in Iran higher than the rest of the world is the smuggling of the precious metal into the country. “The greater portion of our silver is being smuggled into the country and the reason for that is that the process for domestic silver extraction is very precise which renders the domestic silver less pure than the foreign silver”, he says. “Every gram of silver is now sold for 56 cents in the Tehran market and to encourage more purchases weights of the products have been reduced”.
Saying that industrial production of silver artifacts cannot match the aesthetic beauty of the ones made by hand, Noghrechi expressed concern about the Chinese products penetrating the markets for silver handicrafts and Persian marquetry.    

 

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