While for many years the predominant use for precious metals including gold, silver and platinum has been for purely ornamental reasons such as jewelry and decorative possessions, they have begun to play a major role in our ever changing industrial world. While most are aware that gold is used to make various electronic components, especially those in computers, many are unaware of how much silver play a major role in many manufacturing processes.
Of all the metals silver is the one that is the best overall electrical conductor and is used in many applications because it is an excellent conductor or heat. Silver is considered to be ductile, which means that when heated it can be drawn out in the finest of wires that are perfect for Nano sized wiring applications such those found in the medical field. It can be rolled and then beaten or flattened into a myriad of shapes and when used in applications such as film in the form of silver nitrate is sensitive to both the presence and absence of light.
Silver is use by the plastic industry in the creation of two chemicals, ethylene oxide and formaldehyde that are considered to be essential to making many solid plastic and polyester. While these are primarily oil bases polymers, without silver none of them would be possible. Even the car you drive uses silver with dozens of switch contacts, connectors and relays using silver for it longevity and conductivity over any other metal including brass and copper. One are that many people have long forgotten as a use for silver is in the medical field. Silver has been in use for centuries for purification and in the 1800s became known for its ability to kill bacteria. Today the medical field is rediscovering this as combat medics are using silver compounds to treat a variety of battlefield wounds.
Silver sulfadiazine is still considered to be the most effective treatment for burns and is in use by burn centers around the world. While silver still makes beautiful jewelry and personal items, far more of it is consumed by the industrial world. In fact at current rates the annual production of silver from mining is still being surpassed by the demand and has been this way for over 15 years. This makes investing in silver a very good strategic move as can be evidenced by the purchase or 130 million ounces by Warren Buffet in 1997.