Silver could give gold a run for its money, price ratio shows

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Gold is enjoying a great start to 2016, but investors shouldnt forget about that other major precious metal: silver.

Nicknamed the devils metal, silver is often viewed as a beta play on gold, in that once the latter metal starts moving higher, the former can produce even greater returns on a proportional level. Whereas gold has been compared to a large aircraft like a B-17 bomber, silver is sleek and nimble like an F-16 fighter jet.

Price rose 14% last time around: After fluctuating between 69 to 79 over the course of 2015, the gold-silver ratio now stands at 78:1. That is, it takes 78 ounces of silver to buy one ounce of gold. In the past two decades, the ratio has only been above that level on about five occasions, and never for more than a three months, Bloomberg reported.

And the ratio hasnt been this high since August, when it stood near 80:1. What happened then? Silver rallied 14% in the following two months. Gold added about 5% in the period, Bloomberg noted.

Coin and bar options abound: If youre looking for a bullion product that tracks the price of silver while also boasting an attractive design, look no further than the silver American Eagle bullion coin produced by the U.S. Mint. A new all-time sales record was set last December when the Mint sold 47 million of the 1-oz. coins over the course of 2015. In fact, silver Eagles have experienced their five best sales years in the recent past, when records were set in 2014, 2013, 2011, and 2010.

The new 2016 silver American Eagle will go on sale in the coming days. Other major mints also produce flagship silver coins, such as the silver Maple Leaf from Canada. Blanchard and Company also regularly offers privately minted silver rounds, circulated Morgan dollars, circulated Peace dollars, 10-oz. silver bars, and 100-oz. silver bars.

And for the silver investor who has everything, consider a sealed green Monster Box of 500 silver American Eagles.