A recent poll shows that around 97% of the public is clueless regarding the precious metals market.
The Wall Street "spot price" for paper gold / silver and other metals recently dropped 25% on the electronic trading boards. But, in Japan for example last Thursday buyers were gladly paying a $400 to $550 "premium" over the spot price.
Cell phones and Precious Metals? YES there is a direct relationship.
All electronics use to use Lead solder until we realized it was poison in land fills for drinking water supplies. A global laws were enacted to replace Lead with Silver. It is no secret that solar panels key required element is also silver. We can reference the new drinking water purifiers, anti-biological ointments, and other uses for silver.
Meanwhile, silver ore quality has been dropping since 2002. Peak silver was reached in about 2004. Since then, the remaining silver on earth has been consumed much faster than it can be replenished.
Cell phone use to have about $0.14 USD of silver. Smart Phones may have around $0.38 USD of silver. That is not much until we look at over 2 Billion a year. The silver is so sparsely spread in the smart phone that it cost way too much to recover. The USGS has announced that Silver will be the first element on Earth to be depleted. But, the silver recovery cost may be changing in the next nine months. Silver in your cell phone, your TV set is being recognized as a "strategic element" for many countries.
The US Mint, Canadian Mint and even the Australian Mint are all out of silver. So is your local and internet coin shops. We won't get into the "rise of the machines" and "spoof trading" that drove "paper silver contracts" much lower while there is a massive shortage of physical silver. Even Apple assembly lines had to be halted due to the shortage. A quick google on Ed Steer Gold & Silver has many links to international articles. Articles that show the spoof of electronic paper trading is more about devalued re-payments of defaults for ETF than it is about the physical metal market prices. Premiums have risen around ten-fold in the last 18 months.
Land fills are now being eyed as "precious metals mines" as older electronics had more silver/gold than the new mines being discovered. Bottom line, if (not when) physical silver trades upwards of $200 to $500 an ounce, your cell phone could be worth a deposit. More important, if cell phones are not turned in to recycle, there could be a shortage of new electronic manufacturing.