It Is Two Silver Armband Decoration With Glass Gems And Diamonds Isolated On White Background

‘Silver Is The New Gold’ as Egyptians Try to Protect Savings

The comments below are an edited and abridged synopsis of an article by Sarah El Safty and Farah Saafan

Egyptian women traditionally receive a gold jewellery set, or shabka, on their engagement. But surging prices and a weakening currency have driven up demand for the precious metal, and silver is becoming an alternative.

‘Silver Is The New Gold’ as Egyptians Try to Protect Savings - BullionBuzz - BMG
It is two silver armband decoration with glass gems and diamonds isolated on white background

The trend is a measure of an economic crisis in which inflation has been running at more than 30% and the central bank has allowed the currency to weaken 50% against the dollar, with more devaluation expected.

“Silver is the new gold,” said a salesman at a Cairo silver store.

In the year to January 30, a gram of 21 carat gold rose more than 120% to 3,875 Egyptian pounds ($126), data from the Federation of Egyptian Chambers of Commerce showed.

Demand for gold coins and bars surged nearly 58% from 2022 to 2023, according to the World Gold Council’s annual report.

Those who can have sought safety in foreign currency or property.

But the black-market rate to buy US dollars jumped as high as 71 Egyptian pounds last month, against an official rate of 30.85, before dipping below 60 pounds in recent days amid hopes of more IMF financing and Emirati investment.

And in a country where some 60% of the 105 million population is estimated to be below or close to the poverty line, few can afford to invest in high-end property where sales have been booming.

The price of a gram of silver more than doubled in a year but at about 47 Egyptian pounds, it remains far cheaper than gold.