To Silver! And ice cream, but that's really neither here nor there.
Silver prices have been climbing for a couple of years now. I can remember buying silver at $13 an ounce (meaning the market price was around $9 - shops always tack on a fee on top of the market price). And now it's up to over $17 an ounce in the market (meaning if I need to order it'll be over $20 an ounce for me).
It's a painful change to swallow so quickly. There are several reasons why the price has gone up so much (as has the price of all metals) - one being stock market uncertainty. The market has been extremely erratic and I like to say it's bipolar...up one second and down the other. One day it's down over 300 points and the next it's up more than 300. This craziness breeds uncertainty and makes people nervous. The folks who invest stuff (yeah, so technical, I know) want certainty and start putting money in the metals market, driving up the prices.
Another reason is the exploding middle class population in countries like China and India. The more people who can afford stuff the more in demand that stuff will become. This includes metals. It's that whole pesky supply and demand thing - the less of something that is more popular drives up the price.
Will the prices go back down? It's hard to say but I'm guessing yes, eventually, but not as low as they had been. The markets generally go up over the long term, and as the stock market goes up the metal market goes down. The supply issue though probably won't go away. As the gold market has gotten crazy expensive more people turn to silver, not to mention the increased populations.
So my addiction will stay expensive no matter what. And look for silver jewelry to continue to go up in price as well.