Thomas Kaplan thanked Warren Buffett in person for buying nearly 3,500 tons of silver, he told Business Insider. "You did me a great favor," the billionaire recalled telling the famed investor, as the 1997 purchase relegitimized silver as an investment and enabled his silver company to go public. "Glad to hear it," Buffett replied. Kaplan said Buffett's silver bet was "one of a string of just ridiculous strokes of luck," including an introduction to George Soros and billion-dollar discoveries by his silver and energy businesses. Read more about Buffett's unusual silver purchase and how it transformed Kaplan's career.