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Warren Buffett bought 3,500 tons of silver in 1997, helped make Thomas Kaplan a billionaire

  • Warren Buffett's purchase of almost 3,500 tons of silver in 1997 helped turn Thomas Kaplan into a billionaire.
  • After the silver bubble burst in early 1980, the precious metal plunged in price from $50 an ounce to below $10, and it was widely dismissed as a bad investment.
  • "What really put and end to it was when Warren Buffett bought [those] ounces of silver," Kaplan, the chairman of NovaGold Resources, told shareholders this month.
  • "It became public that he had done this the week when I was taking my silver company public," Kaplan said. "That changed everything."
  • Kaplan told Business Insider he personally thanked Buffett at a dinner years later.
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