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This Day In Market History: Silver Surges, Hits All-Time High In 1980

This Day In Market History: Silver Surges, Hits All-Time High In 1980

Each day, Benzinga takes a look back at a notable market-related moment that happened on this date.

What Happened? On this day in 1980, silver prices hit their inflation-adjusted all-time high.

Where Was The Market? The S&P 500 traded at 112.10 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average traded at 872.78.

What Else Was Going On In The World? In 1980, the Mount St. Helens volcano erupted in Washington state, killing 57 people. The popular Rubik’s cube puzzle debuted at a toy fair in London. A gallon of gasoline cost $1.19.

Silver Prices Peak: On Jan. 21, 1980, U.S. silver prices reached $52.50 per ounce. Adjusted for inflation, that price represents roughly $165 in 2021 dollars, the highest silver price in history.

In fact, the price of silver had gotten so out of control in the early 1980s that the commodity exchange market took extraordinary measures to remedy the situation, banning all silver orders other than liquidation orders.

As a result, the price of silver plummeted back down to $34. Silver prices continued to trend lower in the following weeks, falling back down to $10 by late March.

Silver prices went on another huge run in the early 2000s, rising from around $4 in 2001 to as high as $49.82 in 2011.

Silver prices have been on the rise in the past year, climbing back up to around $26 on inflation concerns. The iShares Silver Trust (NYSE: SLV) is up 41.7% in the past year, nearly tripling the 15.7% return of the SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (NYSE: SPY) in that time.


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