Why these ASX silver shares are surging today

Silver is getting the gold medal today for investor interest. Here's why it's is in the news and which ASX silver shares are benefitting.

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Last week, GameStop Corp (NYSE: GME) shares were in the news. But as we kick off a new week, some investors are focusing on another investment that's currently kicking up a storm. Yes, silver shares are the talk of the ASX town today.

Why? Well, as we reported earlier today, the now-famous Reddit group WallStreetBets has been bouncing around the idea that a short-squeeze could send the price of the precious metal to more than US$1,000 an ounce. According to Bloomberg, silver is up 6.64% today to US$28.70 an ounce. That's up around 13% since 27 January, when it was priced at around US$25.40 an ounce.

Silver as an investment

Why silver though? Everyone knows that silver is a valuable precious metal. But gold is normally the 'investment metal' that jumps to mind, not silver. So why do people invest in silver in the first place?

Well, silver has a number of characteristics that make it similar to gold. Like gold, silver has a long history of being used as money (our coins used to have silver in them, after all). Many countries in the past have also used a 'silver standard' for monetary policy, such as the United States used to have the gold standard.

Further, silver is also believed by many to have 'inflation-proof' properties in the same way gold is perceived to have. It also has a limited supply and intrinsic value in the same way gold does. Unlike gold, however, silver also has a range of industrial applications as well, such as in rechargeable batteries and solar panels.

So which ASX silver shares are surging today?

ASX silver shares rocket

One of the most popular silver plays on the ASX today is Silver Mines Limited (ASX: SVL). The Silver Mines share price is up an incredible 30.6% today (at the time of writing) to 32 cents a share. Silver Mines describes itself as "a leading silver exploration company" which fully owns the "largest undeveloped silver project in Australia, and one of the largest globally". Its primary sites are the Barabolar and Bowdens Silver Projects in central New South Wales.

Another ASX silver share that's on the rise today is South32 Ltd (ASX: S32), which owns the Cannington Mine located near Mt Isa in Queensland. Cannington is one of the largest silver mines in the world. The South32 share price is up more than 3% today, a more muted response that probably reflects South32's diversified operations.

Also lighting up the ASX boards today is Adriatic Metals PLC (ASX: ADT) and Thomson Resources Ltd (ASX: TMZ). The Adriatic share price is up more than 11% at the time of writing, whereas Thomson shares are up a whopping 38.5%.

The rising silver price is further reflected in the ETFS Physical Silver ETF (ASX: ETPMAG) unit price, which is up around 8% at the time of writing. This ASX exchange-traded fund (ETF) covers the raw price of silver. Units of this ETF represent ownership of physical silver bullion that is stored in a bank vault.

Motley Fool contributor Sebastian Bowen owns shares of ETFS Physical Silver ETF. The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.

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