Silver has been in demand for as long as humans have known about the metal. Its beauty, industrial uses, and overall properties have made it a valuable and sought-after commodity.
The most well-known use for silver is for jewelry. Its shine and appearance make it widely desired for jewelry and art, though it is often mixed with other metals to create an alloy. Most silver jewelry is actually a mix of 92.5% silver and 7.5% copper.
The same properties that make silver great for jewelry also make it great for coins. Silver has been used historically as currency, including as the famous Spanish “Pieces of Eight.” Silver is still used to create coins—such as the American Silver Eagle—but no longer is used for circulating currency.
Another historical and still-common use for silver is the creation of dinnerware—thus the name “silverware.” When used as silverware, it is commonly an alloy known as Britannia silver. This alloy is a mix of about 96% silver and 4% copper.
Use of silver that was once very common but has decreased in recent years is in film photography. Silver on film allowed for an image to be created when struck with light. However, with the sudden rise of digital photography, the use of silver in the film has fallen from its high in 1998. During that year, 30% of all silver used in the world went toward photography.
Silver is sometimes used as a conductor. It is an even better conductor than gold and at a lower price is sometimes used for this purpose. However, it is still more expensive than copper, so this isn’t a widespread use.
Silver in Dentistry
One widespread use of silver is in dentistry. Silver can be mixed at room temperature to create an alloy that is then used to fill cavities. The alloy sets within minutes, making it ideal for a location like a mouth where an alloy that takes hours to set is impractical.
If you’re looking to add silver to your collection, either as a beginning collector or simply someone looking to expand your collection, contact the United States Gold Bureau today and speak with one of our representatives.