Silver Information

Below is some general information about the precious metal- silver. Read about the many uses of this non-renewable resource and why it is beneficial and important to recycle silver so it can be reused in necessary industries and products.

What is silver?

Silver is a metallic chemical element seen as the symbol Ag, after the Latin word Argentum. As early as 3000 B.C., silver has been used by man for its functionality and beauty. The precious metal is mined around the globe with Nevada as the leading state in America, recovering about 33% of all silver mined in the US. Silver comes from a combination of mining silver ore, gold ore, copper ore, lead ore, and zinc ore. As a precious metal, silver has historically been important as currency. However, since the rarity and demand of silver has increased it is no longer used in currency, and now mainly has investment and industrial commodity value.

Because silver is a non-renewable resource, silver mining cannot sustain itself forever. For this reason, it is important to recover as much silver as possible from scrap byproducts and consumer goods to put back into markets that rely on silver.


What is silver used in?

Because of its brilliant white color and high optical reflectivity, silver has been a desirable material for decorative uses such as making jewelry, tableware and silverware.

Silver also has the highest thermal and electrical conductivity of all metals, making it very useful in several industrial applications. Listed below are some common uses:

  • Photographic Materials
  • Electrical Contacts
  • Batteries
  • Medical X-Ray Film
  • Mirrors
  • Dental Applications

Why is silver valuable?

Silver is valuable because of its rarity as a precious metal and non-renewable resource coupled with its many uses. The value of silver hasn't always been compared to that of gold. However, considering the countless uses of silver, gold just does not stack up against silver in terms of functionality. There was a point in American history where silver was used in coins instead of nickel, because nickel was in higher demand for making war goods. That is why the melt value of silver coins minted before 1964 have a high silver melt value.

For more information about our silver refining services please visit our contact form or call us at (800) 835-0478.

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