It's a mystery. Volatility is the name of the game recently. Silver dropped 30% this week, roughly from $50 to $35. Of course, I last changed/set my prices last November when silver was around $25. That means that even with the major drop, I'm still in a position to need to raise prices when I print my June catalog. And my inventory re-orders lately have cost me -- in production-cost alone -- almost what I'm selling them for.
When I go to decide on my prices for the June catalog, what silver price do I choose to base prices on? The $35 that it is today? The $50 it was a few days ago, since this drop was likely an automated sell-off? Some average? Regardless, I'm definitely going to wait as long as possible to finalize the prices before printing, so I can at least get the most accurate data possible.
The good news is that we've been doing some really beautiful things in fine pewter. The polish we're able to get is really nice. We have a dozen new designs coming out this summer, and all but one is in pewter. I can sell a pewter item for less than half the cost of producing a silver item -- that's a substantial price difference. This means a lot of beautiful yet affordable options.
Data geeks: If you're into charts and graphs, here's a nice site that shows the run-up in silver price over various timeframes:
Live Silver Price Charts
Here's a good source for historical prices:
Historical Silver Data