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Historically over the centuries, the Gold:Silver ratio was 15:1. Gold was worth 15 times what silver was worth. Fifteen ounces of silver would buy one ounce of gold. The ratio broke out of this pattern in the late 1800s and was recently over 65.
Silver is seen as the more speculative of the two metals, and a rising appetite for silver has been interpreted as a greater appetite for risk. When markets fail, silver usually falls faster than gold, driving the ratio higher.
Monday morning in Asia, the ratio dropped below 40, with Gold at $1436 and Silver climbing over $36.25.
Check this link for the latest chart.