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Today’s top 10 silver producers span the world


History of Silver

Today, silver has thousands of modern industrial uses and is considered a store of wealth.  However, the story of this legendary precious metal begins with its use by ancient civilizations..The mining of silver began some 5000 years ago. Silver was first mined in about 3000 B.C. in Anatolia (Turkey)..

The 500-year period from 1000 and 1500 A.D. was one of significant growth thanks to an increased number of mines as well as improvements in production and technology..

The Spanish conquest of the Americas in the 16th century dramatically transformed silver production. From 1500 to 1800, a mere three countries controlled an 85 percent share of the world’s silver market: Peru, Mexico and Bolivia.

Later, several other countries began to contribute more substantially, notably the United States with the discovery of the Comstock Lode in Nevada. Silver production continued to expand worldwide, growing from 40 to 80 million troy ounces annually by the 1870s.

Similarly, new discoveries in Australia, Central America and Europe greatly augmented total world silver production. The twenty years between 1900 and 1920 resulted in a 50 % increase in global production, and brought the total to about 190 million troy ounces annually. These increases were spurred by discoveries in Canada, the United States, Africa, Mexico, Chile, Japan, and other countries.

In the last century, new technologies have also contributed to a massive rise in overall silver production. Major breakthroughs included steam-assisted drilling, mining, mine dewatering, and improved haulage. Furthermore, advances in mining techniques enhanced the ability to separate silver from other ores and made it possible to handle larger volumes of ore that contained silver.

Such methods were critical to the increased volume of production, as many of the high-grade ores throughout the world had been largely depleted by the end of the 19th century.

Today, more than 5000 years after ancient cultures first began to mine this precious metal, yearly global mine production averages 20868 tonnes.

Silver Price

Silver is traded around the clock and around the world, including the major global commodity markets of London, Zurich, New York, Chicago and Hong Kong. The London market began trading silver in the 17th century and, to this day, it remains the center of the physical silver trade for most of the world. However, the COMEX division of the New York Mercantile Exchange is the most significant paper contracts trading market for silver. Silver’s spot price – the current price of silver that reflects market variables and expectations – is determined by the COMEX.

Overall, the price of silver is determined by the available supply versus fabrication demand. In recent years, fabrication demand has greatly outpaced mine production forcing market participants to use existing stocks to meet demand. As these available sources continue to decline, silver’s fundamental value continues to strengthen. However, because silver is a tangible asset, and is recognized as a store of value, its price can also be affected by factors like inflation (real or perceived), changing values of paper currencies, and fluctuations in deficits and interest rates.

Silver Storage and Cleaning

Silver combines with sulfur, and chlorine and, less readily, with nitrate ions and oxygen, mostly resulting in gray to black patinas.

The first two important chemical reactions are of the silver itself with it’s environment, and the third, brittleness, is the result of the copper which is almost always present in silver alloys.

•Silver Sulfide (gray to black): This is the commonly known silver tarnish. It occurs rapidly and consistently to nearly all silver artifacts. To avoid tarnishing in silver
•Silver should be clean with ease since it is a soft metal and can get scratched easily.
•Keep Your Silver In A Place Without high Moisture And Out Of heavy Heat.
•Should not store silver in laminated form,newspaper, and inside velvet boxes (generally using for packing) as it is acidic and harms silver
•Silver jewellery should be cleaned for oil stains after wearing. Also, clean it with warm water
•Laquer coating on silver avoids tarnish
•Use items regularly
•Silver Chloride (horn silver): Horn silver is present on many ancient silver coins. It is relatively soft, and can be difficult to remove due to its tendency to smear and obscure features of the coin. Horn Silver is the combination of part of the silver in the coin or artifact with chlorine to form silver chloride. It has a somewhat purple-ish to silvery-yellow in appearance, and projects slightly from the surface of the artifact or coin, affecting it’s appearance.
•Embrittlement is the condition commonly know to collectors as crystallization and is primarily the result of inter-crystalline corrosion at the microscopic level due to the selective precipitation of copper from the silver alloy at the crystal boundaries. Silver can only contain about 1% copper at room temperature. This amount increases as the silver is heated, thus the use of heat to combine silver and copper in alloy, and the degradation of this alloy at room temperature. Most silver alloys are what is called super saturated, meaning they contain more copper than is stable at room temperature. When the silver is cooled rapidly from high temperature the copper is trapped in solution and then precipitates out over time

To clean silver a home made remedy is take colgate powder and add a little water. With a toothbrush rub the article in one direction to avoid scratched and a somewhat improve shine. If the articles are still not clean, take it to a silversmith who will buff polish it and make it shining again (though the oxidised and dull polish would also be converted to shining polish)

Why Buy Silver?

Silver is an investment. Silver provides true money, a real store of value, with the potential for significant benefits later on years as its current cycle carries on.
The acquisition of silver is much more attainable for global populations compared to gold.
Unlike gold, silver has hundreds of industrial and medical applications and its usage is on the rise.
Since last two decades, utilization has improved considerably to include a range of electronic and eBooks, medical equipment due to its anti-microbial qualities, and even outfits.
People think of investing to earn profit later. Average people cannot afford gold so investing in silver wedding gifts is the best option.

Applications of Silver

Silver is used in a wide range of operations as mentioned below:

  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Electrical
  • Chemical Catalyst
  • Reflectants
  • Industrial
  • Printed Circuitry
  • Superconductors
  • Electroplating
  • Brazing & Soldering
  • Coins
  • Photography
  • Silverware & Jewelry
  • Mirrors & Coatings
  • Water Purification
Gold vs Silver

The silver industry has a smaller footprint sized, and it doesn’t take as much money into silver as a financial commitment to move the industry up. Silver has outperformed gold considerably over the last few years.

Silver is also a very important industrial metal with over 3,000 industrial uses.

The government has never captured silver, although they have seized gold. If that makes you worried, you would experience more secure with silver rather than gold.

There is now more gold above ground than silver because of the silver industrial usage.

Throughout the ancient times more silver has been used for cash than gold. Traditionally, silver money became the common denominator for cash in more locations and more times than silver.