Well, it's heavy gauge 925 ( 92.5 per cent silver, 7.5 per cent copper alloy ) Sterling Silver, hence the higher price I guess.
Obviously the jeweler has their retail mark up. A bought a 70 cm sterling silver curb chain recently ( at the same place I;m gonna buy this from )
but it's a smaller diameter than the one in the picture. The girl I know there gave me a 25 per cent discount.
I also buy Seiko watches from another jeweler in the same shopping complex, I get 15 to 20 per cent discount.
As for being trendy, yep, in the West I agree not so trendy now, but they are still very popular with ex-pats in places like Pattaya
and Cebu in Philippines. Gold chains are more popular in Pattaya than silver however ( heaps of gold shops in Pattaya as the more wealthy Thai bar girls often buy gold
as an investment, smart women, hehe! )
Personally I would not wear expensive jewelry anywhere in Phillipines. Pattaya in Thailand is generally very safe however.
I agree, silver bullion is the way to go. I have thought about buying silver bullion from the Perth Mint here in Australia. I had a look at their website recently.
I'm gonna buy a 55 cm gold chain to go with my silver chains, I have not decided which one to get yet.