Silver is one of the most useful metals on the planet. Silver has the highest electrical conductivity of any element and the highest thermal conductivity. In an era of increasing use of electronic devices from mobile computing to smart gadgets and super computers, this is of major importance.
Silver is often found in the earth in a combination with other minerals such as gold, lead, and zinc. It then needs to be separated from these materials, often through electrolysis or amalgamation. Once it is purified, it can be used in a wide variety of settings.
Silver is one of the metals known since ancient times and been valued as a precious metal. Silver bullion in the form of coins, slips and bars are one of the most common uses of silver.
Silver is used for making expensive tableware: plates, utensils, goblets, vessels, etc. Aside from having a desirable appearance, silver has been used in this context with food and beverage to reduce spoilage.
Jewelry is another popular use of silver. Earrings, bracelets, pendants, rings, and other forms of decoration are highly sought by people around the world. Silver’s shine and color have been desirable deep into history as well, as archaeological digs frequently find silver artifacts as precious and lavish possessions.
Silver’s ability to reflect light make it a desirable material in the production of mirrors, musical instruments, artwork, and other esthetically pleasing objects. Whether silver is used in a pure form or within an alloy, which is more common, it is found in countless objects.
Silver was once commonly used in the processing of photographs, but the move toward digital cameras has changed this application. Whereas the development of film onto photo paper made use of silver compounds, today’s printers operate without these liquids.
What other applications of silver can you think of?