It's a tough time to be a silver bug. At close of day today the white metal was sitting at $17.74 per ounce, and according to iNVEZZ.com it fell as low as $17.30 earlier in the day — that's its worst price since June 2010. Meanwhile, COMEX silver for December delivery was down 0.4 percent this morning, sitting at $17.325. Those startling prices were precipitated by a steep silver price drop on Friday, and thus far it seems as though a number of factors are responsible for the metal's ill fortune. Those include a high US dollar, "the possibility of a sooner-than-expected US rate hike" and the fact that investors are reducing their long positions in silver, iNVEZZ.com states. Elaborating, Bloomberg's Joe Deaux said in a video interview today, "this is all about the Federal Reserve. The moment that we had the Fed projections come out on Wednesday and they suggested that [the Fed] might be raising rates a little bit earlier than the market expected ... we saw [silver] really take a hit." Buying opportunity? There's no sugarcoating the fact that the above numbers look bad. However, Todd Horwitz, author and founder at Average Joe Options, believes silver's drop is good news for investors. In the same Bloomberg interview, he states, "[silver is] in a major, major key spot here. It's got really solid support around this $16, $17 level, and this is where we actually broke out when we went up to $50 an ounce." Like Deaux, he emphasized that the white metal's movement is "tied to the Fed, it is tied to the stronger US dollar. Those are the things that are driving it down." That said, "at some point those things are going to change." And, he said, if they change quickly, "silver's got a chance to go to $20, maybe $25, which could be a very, very big, positive trade." His advice to investors is thus to buy at the current $17.50 level.