Silver was used as currency even in ancient times. In fact, silver has been used as money more often than gold. In 1600 B.C., first with the Minoan’s and later in the Mycenaean civilizations in 1200 B.C., silver deposits were mined in what is now known as Armenia. The Laurium mines, near Athens, produced close to 1 million troy ounces a year. Spanish mines provided a huge portion of the Roman Empire’s needs then other silver mines began production in Mexico, Bolivia and Peru when the silver trade flourished in Asia Minor and North Africa after the 8th century B.C., leading to a rapid increase in annual world production.
Silver is used in so many ways and in so many products from dental fillings to computer keyboards and circuits, photographic film, mirrors and so many other products as well. Some of silver’s unique properties are its strength, malleability, electrical and thermal conductivity. Silver also has sensitivity to as well as high reflectance of light and the ability to endure extreme temperature ranges.
Silver is known to kill bacteria. It can affect and break down cell membranes, promote production of new cells and increase the healing rate in wounds and bone. It can even regenerate new skin where skin has been lost. Silver also has natural antibacterial qualities used in bandages and other wound-care products.
The list for silver uses is nearly endless. Included in this never ending list are silver-coated quartz tiles used in NASA space shuttle missions. The new silver-lithium-aluminum alloy is the strongest wrought aluminum alloy known. Silver oxide-zinc batteries are used in watches, cameras and other small electronic devices as well as larger batteries for tools and commercial portable TV cameras. Silver is also used in polyester fabrics, hydraulic fluids, engine antifreezes and most flexible plastics such as Mylar.
Geologists estimate that 17 ounces of silver exist for every ounce of gold which helps to explain why an ounce of gold has sold for 15-20 times more than the price of silver. In 1900 there were about 12 billion ounces of silver in the world. Today that figure has fallen to about 300 million ounces of above-ground, refined silver.
With all the applications of silver use in the world today and plenty of potentially new uses on the horizon, such as the new “low E squared” silver on glass which reflects nearly 95% of the hot sun’s rays, there are plenty of good reasons to add silver to your portfolio. Silver is a highly liquid asset and as a semi-numismatic coin (meaning there is a limited supply), silver coins have appreciated 1400% since 1960. There’s also privacy with investing in silver coins because silver coin purchases are not reportable and are also considered collectible meaning that they are more likely to remain legally tradable in the event of another confiscation.
Silver demand has been surging, while available supplies have been shrinking over the last decade. Wealthy investors such like Bill Gates and Warren Buffet have diversified into silver. The possibilities that silver prices could soar, are staggering!