Silver with chemical symbol Ag, from the Latin Argentum, is soft, transition metal of bright, silvery-white color. None of the other elements can compete with silver in the electrical and thermal conductivity. Silver has high quality in both, metallurgic and mechanic ways, because of excellent malleability and it very well casts. Naturally, this precious metal occurs in precise form, called native silver or as an alloy together with the gold.

Silver is processing very well because of low melting point and great malleability, which is the best of all of the elements except gold. Silver is even to Mohs hardness 2,5 harder than gold.

This is a diamagnetic metal with a high light reflectance that is used for optical data recording. Silver was very popular with alchemists, where the alchemists used as so-called name Dianin metal. Silver is mainly related to the production of jewellery and, together with gold, it is the oldest metal ever to have played a role in all of human history.


History of Silver

The oldest parts of silver were found before 6 thousand years. The mining efforts have begun already 3,000 years BC when the Babylonians have already tried to extract it. The coinage began in the east of the Mediterranean, where it came to the Romans. Here, the silver began to act as a currency and commodity. The Greek historian Strabo wrote about its use, according to which Arab nations exchanged two pieces of gold for one piece of silver.

Its beauty enchanted even the royal family of Han Dynasty in China, where the coinage started in 206 BC. In 708, the silver coins expanded to Japan, and in the 13th century, the silver began to be central and common currency. Silver bars, which were used as the currency were used until 1911, so throughout three dynasties.

In Bohemia, the mining of silver began in 10th century, when the denars were minted, from the 14th century the famous Prague Groschen. In the 16th century, the Bohemia began mintage the ounce Tolars, which inspired well-known American currency dollar. The dollar was found in the 18th century when it was minted as silver or gold coin. The Silver dollars ceased to be used until 1969.

The dollar is not the only currency related to silver. The silver was used as a currency even in the raw state, when the silver was cut (rubalo se), from this verb the name ruble was estimated.

The most significant mining of silver started with the exploration of American when the large silver sites were found already in 1492. The sites were found in across all Latin America and mainly in Peru, Mexico and Bolivia where the biggest silver site was discovered in 1595. Until the 18th century, these three countries produced 85% of all silver in the world.

Silver is unlike gold an industrial metal, which is widely used in all industries. It is not just jewellery, but in the example, the newest nanotechnologies or optic data records in DVD, CD or BluRay are base on this transition metal. The Silver is further used in the manufacture of high capacity batteries, aircraft engines or in medicine where it is used due to its antibacterial properties or in the preparation of dental amalgam.


Investment silver

The vast majority of silver is not recycled and therefore forever lost. Demand for industrial silver is just over 18,000 metric tons and recycles around 3,000 metric tons, which means that 82% of all silver was lost forever. Furthermore, only 8% of the jewellery is recycled.

In the case of normal silver demand, this is 36,400 metric tons, and the recycled silver is only 4,700 metric tons, which means that 87% of all silver is destroyed. The lack of silver has formed for over ten years. Since 2014, the deficit has become even more pervasive and is expected to increase further due to the intense interest in India and China. All of these things mean a possible rise in silver prices.