Silver Facts

  • Known as “the poor mans gold”, Silver is more affordable and useful in smaller units, as real money, than Gold.
  • Silvers chemical symbol from the periodic table is Ag. Its Atomic number is 47, its atomic weight is 107.8682(2) and its melting point is 961.78 °C (1763.2 °F).
  • 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.
  • Silver is the best conductor of electricity of all elements. In fact, silver defines conductivity – all other metals are compared against it. On a scale of 0 to 100, silver ranks 100, with copper at 97 and gold at 76. Silver is commonly used in electrical circuits and contacts. Silver is also utilized in batteries where dependability is mandatory and weight restrictions apply, such as those for portable surgical tools, hearing aids, pacemakers and space travel.
  • Silver has the highest degree of optical reflectivity of all elements. A silver mirror can reflect about 95% of the visible light spectrum. (most mirrors are silver). Besides vanity uses, mirrors are important components in telescopes, microscopes and solar panels.
  • Silver is more ductile than any element except gold. One ounce of silver can be drawn into 8,000 feet of thin wire.
  • Silver is more malleability than any element except gold. One grain of silver can be made into a sheet one hundred and fifty times thinner than a piece of paper.
  • More than 2/3 of the silver produced worldwide is a by product of lead, copper and zinc mining.
  • The major producers of silver include the United States, Mexico, Canada, Peru, Russia and Australia.
  • About 1/3 of the silver produced worldwide is used in photography.
  • Silver iodide is often used in cloud seeding. A pound of silver iodide is enough to seed many cubic miles of clouds.
  • United States coinage minted prior to 1965 contained 90% silver. A bag holding $1,000 face value of pre-1965 dimes, quarters and half-dollars contains approximately 715 ounces of silver.
  • United States Kennedy half-dollars minted from 1965 to 1969 contained 40% silver. A bag holding $1,000 face value of these Kennedy half-dollars contains approximately 295 ounces of silver.
  • Silver is less than 1/4 of its 1980 cost (nominal prices, not inflation adjusted).  Is there anything else on the planet you can think of that is currently 1/4 of its 1980 price?  Oh, and do they have the following   attributes?
  • Silver is an industrial metal and a monetary metal.  5,000 years of sound history as a measure of value and store of wealth, portable, fungible, divisible and unique.
  • Silver has had more patents issued with its use than all other metals combined.
  • Silver is a very good natural biocide and is now being used in clothing and food storage containers like Tupperware because of that property.
  • Silver is the second most malleable metal next to gold, the most reflective and the best electrical conductor of all metals.
  • Silver is widely used in industrial applications as a conductor, RFID (radio frequency identification chips) for inventory and tracking, nano technology and surgical equipment where the biocide and super conductivity qualities are needed.  Photography was the largest industrial use but is declining due to digital photography.
  • Silver has replaced lead in solder for both Europe and the U.S.
  • Most industrially used silver is used and effectively destroyed because it is not recovered and ends up in landfills….Permanently lost.
  • There is an estimated 20 billion oz. of above ground silver that can be accounted for by coinage, bullion in storage, flatware, jewelry, religious and artistic objects.  There is an estimated 9.2 billion oz. of gold above ground (an estimated 90% of all gold ever mined is still in existence). 2.17 : 1 ratio.
  • There was a 17 consecutive year shortage of silver production until 2007.
  • 1971 when Nixon closed the gold window and abandoned the gold standard, the U.S. had in excess of 2 billion oz. of silver reserves.  The U.S. Treasury now has none and the U.S. Mint has to purchase the silver in the open market to mint their silver eagles.
  • 1066 A.D.—With the Norman conquest, a metallic currency standard is finally re-established in Great Britain with the introduction of a system of pounds, shillings, and pence.  The pound is literally a pound of sterling silver