The silver price for July fell $2.63 to $35.29 an ounce on the Comex at the New York Mercantile Exchange. A midday rally, which saw the price rise to $36.43 an ounce, faded quickly a few hours before the closing bell.
The front-month silver contract also experienced its worst week since 1980. Silver for May delivery fell 27 percent during the week and also posted its worst week since '80. In addition the most-active July contract also fell 29 percent by Friday's close.
The price of silver had been enjoying the commodities wave, but after this week it's 2011 gains were narrowed to 14 percent. Curiously, data from traders reports indicated that many hedge funds had already bailed on silver trade prior to this week's startling fall.
Silver's worst day of the week was Thursday when it slid about 8 percent. Gold also slid during the week but enjoyed a slight bounce on Friday. There will soon be new margin requirments for silver, so many retail investors may have been forced to sell.
Silver and gold miners also fell this week. Coeur Mines, Hecla Mines, and New Gold all were also down close to 5 percent for the week. Silver's crash "is relentless," says Jeffrey Sherman, commodities portfolio manager at DoubleLine Capital.
Some traders speculate that the drop in the price of silver may actually present a buying opportunity soon if the general rising multi-year trend in gold, silver, and rare earth minerals is any indication.
Although the price of silver appears to be a bubble that has popped, it still remains a valuable commodity. For example, silver remains an excellent conductor of electricity. That's why it just may be that last week's huge downturn in price actually presents a rare buying opportunity.