A tumble in silver prices to four-year lows has triggered a global scramble by consumers to purchase silver coins and bars as the metal has reached its cheapest level relative to gold in more than five years.
Retailers and distributors in Asia and the United States said they were struggling to get supplies of items such as Canadian Maple Leaf silver coins.
Demand for silver has been strong over the past few months, but retailers say buying interest has soared in recent days as the metal has slid towards its lowest since 2010. Silver fell to 4-1/2 year lows at $15.17 an ounce on Wednesday, down 21 percent this year so far.
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