Silver is a precious metal that has had a number of different uses over the years, including jewelry, coins, silverware, electronics and photography.
Where is Silver found?
While silver is found on every continent of the world, the majority of silver being mined today is found in Peru and Mexico, where the metal has been mined since 1546.
Silver is found in its pure form in nature. It also can be found alloyed with gold and other metals or in the presence of minerals, such as argentite and chlorargyrite. Most of the silver being mined today is a by-product of the production and refining process of other metals, such as copper, gold, lead, and zinc.
Enjoy these amazing silver facts.
· The term ‘sterling silver’ in reference to the grade .925 silver emerged in England in the 13th century.
· In ancient Egypt and Medieval Europe, silver was often more valuable than gold.
· Words for silver and money are the same in at least fourteen languages.
· Silver iodide has been used in attempts to seed clouds to produce rain.
· Most mirrors are backed with aluminum. For a superior quality finish, silver is used because of its high quality reflectivity.
· Because of its ability to take the highest polish, silver has a greater reflectivity than even gold!
· Mirrors are coated with silver because it reflects nearly all light.
· Of all the metals in existence, silver is the best conductor of electricity. Silver is what makes photography possible. Silver halide crystals are present in unexposed film.
· Silver is used in long life batteries. Billions of silver oxide-zinc batteries are in use every day powering everything from quartz watches to digital cameras.
· Silver possesses its working qualities similar to gold but can achieve the most brilliant polish of any metal. To make it durable for jewelry, however, pure silver (.999 fineness) is often alloyed with small quantities of copper. In many countries, Sterling Silver (92.5% silver, 7.5% copper) is the standard for Jewelry and has been since the 14th century.
· The copper toughens the silver and makes it possible to use silver 925 for decorative and fashionable jewelry.
· Throughout the ages, silver jewelry has been associated with magical powers; believed to promote healing, bring good luck and for warding off evil spirits to the wearer. While these beliefs are not part of mainstream thinking today, some people still hold them true.
· Silver has always been held in high esteem and displayed as a status symbol since it was mined approx. 4,000 BC in Asia Minor.
· By the 18th century, things began to change in Europe and a new fashion fad surfaced: silver buckles appeared on shoes where laces had always been. Although today we generally consider shoe buckles to be functional items, back in the 1700’s, they were a form of jewelry.
· Silver jewelry was a significant indicator of status until the very end of the 18th century, because it was limited to a privileged few. It was the Industrial Revolution, through mass manufacturing, which finally made jewelry available to the general population.
· Silver’s melting point is 1761 degrees F or 960 degrees C
· Silver is being put into paper used in medical professions because of its antibiotic-like characteristics.
· Silver is a dental alloy and used to be used in cavity fillings. Now dentists have clear fillings that do not contain silver.
· Silver can be eaten, although it is not advised.
· Silver was mentioned in the book of genesis (bible)
· The name silver came from the Old English word seolfor.
· The crystal structure of silver is cubic.
· Silver is harder than gold, but softer than copper.
· Man learned to separate silver from lead as early as 3,000 B.C. Silver has been mined and prized for its beauty and durability for at least 6,000 years.
· Silver has superior bactericidal qualities. Small concentrations of silver or silver salts kill bacteria by chemically affecting the cell membranes, causing them to break down. Bacteria do not develop resistance to silver, as they do to many antibiotics.
· Silver is the best conductor of heat of all elements. Its uses in solar panels and automobile rear window defoggers take advantage of this quality.