NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Legendary commodities expert Jim Rogers prefers silver because the white metal has been less bullish than the yellow metal lately, and represent a better bargaining opportunity.

While gold has been trading at all-time high, silver remains 60-70% below its all-time high and is a better investment. Silver reached an all-time high of $50.35 for spot deliver on New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX) in 1980.

The yellow metal will perform better than the white metal early this quarter, again as a safe haven asset. However, being a smaller market, silver tends to outperform gold on a percentage basis, especially during the later stages of precious metal rally.

Silver prices could reach new highs of $21 per ounce this year.

From a fundamental perspective, demand for silver has been on an uptrend due to emerging industrial applications in medical, solar energy and water purification.

"The solar panel market is particularly strong at the moment, and there's been an uplift for both silver and molybdenum demand for panels," Mark Pervan, head of commodity research at Australia & New Zealand Banking Group Ltd. in Melbourne, told Bloomberg.

During the second quarter, safe haven buying on the European debt crisis and fears of a China slowdown buoyed gold which gained 11.6%, while silver was up 6.5%. In comparison, palladium and platinum declined around 7.9% and 6.7%, respectively.

In the second quarter iShares Silver Trust ( SLV) gained 6.2% in comparison to 11.6% for SPDR Gold Trust's ( GLD).

Silver Wheaton ( SLW), top silver stock pick for over four months, Compania de Minas Buenaventura ( BVN), and Pan American Silver ( PAAS) topped silver stocks with gains of 28.2%, 24.1% and 9.2%, respectively during the second quarter.

Meanwhile, major gold producers Barrick Gold ( ABX), Goldcorp ( GG), and Newmont Mining ( NEM) were up 14.4%, 19.9%, and 21.2%, respectively over the same period.
Karvy Global Services (www.karvyglobal.com), a subsidiary of the Karvy group (www.karvy.com), provides specialized research in asset classes including stocks, mutual funds and insurance to leading Wall Street firms.