Silver is a popular precious metal for investing purposes, yet a growing number of analysts have determined that silver is currently under appreciated. One of the reasons for investing in silver is that it helps to diversify the portfolio and protect against shifting prices in not just other precious metals, but also stocks and investments that may be part of a given investor's portfolio.

While silver prices currently sit at around $27 an ounce, what these analysts are telling reporters is that the metal is vastly undervalued and is set to rise once the markets get wind of this. Simply adjusting for inflation would place silver's value at 5 times what it is now, putting it at around $135 an ounce.

Clearly, this is a secret that many are not yet taking advantage of, but this is not the only one. The value of this metal was originally set at 1/16th the value of gold due to the estimated amount of gold reserves versus silver reserves on the planet. In other words, there is 16 times more silver than gold on Earth which can be mined.

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However, while gold prices are primarily affected by those who choose to hold it as an investment, silver prices are affected by the fact that this metal is used in a huge range of industries all over the world. As a result, those investing in silver hold a precious metal that has instant utilitarian value that gold simply does not have. When one pairs this with the fact that scientists estimated that only 10% of Earth's silver remains to be mined, the picture of the opportunity here for investors becomes crystal clear.

Consider the fact that colloidal silver is a component of more than 200 products on the market right now and has been shown to have enormous health benefits. This is not the only health related product made with this precious metal. Silver has long been known to be anti-microbial and a powerful way to clean wounds.

For example, hospitals use wound cleaners containing the metal. Silver is also used to make food safe as well as to inhibit the growth of odor causing bacteria in the flooring industry. Electronics and digital devices make use of this, as do manufacturers who create weapons for the world's military forces. RFID tags, wood treatments and even solar panels all make use of this metal. The solar panel industry, being an intrinsic part of today's Green Revolution is expected to grow by at least 20 times its current value and that will require a great deal more silver.

The value of this metal is very clear and its demand is certainly going to be increasing in the coming years. The current low prices may not last long, so investors that are looking for a truly diverse precious metals portfolio are being advised to stock up on silver while it is cheap. This can be done by choosing silver bullion, silver bars or even silver coins - all of which make for exceptional investment choices already held by many investors around the world.

It is good to see that while gold is often the legitimate apple of investors' eyes, it is not the only precious metal one can choose to invest in today.