Silver is a precious metal with the chemical symbol Ag and atomic number 47 (Argentum in Latin).
Silver ornaments and decorations have been found in royal tombs dating back as far as 4,000 BCE. It is probable that both gold and silver were used as money by 800 BCE in all countries between the Indus and the Nile.
Silver has the following essential properties:
- Rarity: While silver is not as rare as some other precious metals, it is still relatively scarce in the Earth’s crust. It is typically found in small quantities in ores such as argentite and galena.
- Durability: Silver is highly resistant to corrosion and tarnishing, which makes it an ideal material for jewelry and other decorative items.
- Malleability: Silver is a very malleable metal, which means it can be easily shaped and formed into various objects. This property makes it ideal for making intricate and delicate patterns for both jewelry and decorative items.
- Conductivity: Silver is an excellent conductor of heat and electricity, which makes it useful in a wide range of industrial applications, including electronics, mirrors, and batteries.
- Beauty: Silver is prized for its natural beauty, which is enhanced by its luster and shine.
Silver is found in many countries around the world, but some of the largest producers include Mexico, Peru, China, Australia, and Russia. In recent years, the highest price for silver was in February 2021 when it reached over $30 per troy ounce due to increased demand from investors and a shortage in supply. In the 1980’s the price of silver reached rates over 100$/t oz due manipulation of the Hunt Brothers known as Silver Tuesday.
Silver is used in a variety of applications, including:
- Jewelry: Silver is commonly used in the creation of jewelry such as rings, bracelets, and necklaces.
- Silverware: Silver is also used in the production of silverware, such as forks, spoons, knives, trays, cups, candlesticks and religious articles.
- Industrial applications: Silver’s high conductivity makes it useful in many industrial applications, including electronics, solar panels, brazing alloys, dental products and batteries.
- Investment: Silver is a popular investment asset, often purchased in the form of coins or bars. (such as the American Eagle bullion coin from the US mint).
Overall, silver’s rarity, durability, malleability, conductivity, and beauty make it a valuable and versatile precious metal.
Karat, gram, pennyweight, ounce, troy ounce, pound, kilogram