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How Is Silver Made?

From a rare and precious metal to the most varied applicability

Although Silver is the most commonly used metal in bullion and jewellery, its use has reached many other industries, including dentistry, healthcare, telecommunication, electronics, houseware, energy, automotive, and many others.

Like Gold, Silver is an estimated precious metal, and despite its widespread use, it is still a rare and valuable commodity; just like its yellow counterpart, Silver is formed within the earth from sulphur compounds.


Silver History and Its Extraction

Silver was first discovered in nugget form (called native Silver) about 4000 B.C.; However, the manufacturing of Silver started around the sixteenth century in Mexico, using a patio process. That method involves mixing Silver ore, salt, copper sulphide and water. What happens after is that the resultant Silver chloride is picked up by adding mercury.

By the way, do you know what “Silver ore” means? It is natural mineral formations that contain Ag in compounds and quantities that commercial use is technically feasible and economically profitable. Silver is commonly extracted from ore by smelting or chemical leaching. According to the Encyclopedia Britannica and The Royal Society of Chemistry, a typical ore might contain 0.085 percent of Silver, 0.5 percent lead, 0.5 percent copper, and 0.3 percent antimony. The most important ore mineral of Silver is argentite (Ag2S, Silver sulphide).

With time, the Von Patera method became the most commonly used way to extract Silver. It is when Silver ore is heated with rock salt, producing Silver chloride, which is then leached out with sodium hyposulfite.


The Fastest-Growing Uses Of Silver

Silver handling is very flexible and can be turned into a flake, coin, bar, paste, or sheet; in addition, Silver is susceptible to light. That sensitivity has led to its use within the photovoltaic, or solar energy industry, where it is mixed with other elements to be used as a conductive ink called photovoltaic. Photovoltaic cells are used in solar panels to capture sunlight by transforming it to carry electrical currents to provide electricity. Even the Nuclear sector uses Silver to create energy.

Silver Antibacterial and Medicinal Applications

Silver is non-toxic and has antimicrobial properties; it is, therefore, also used in water filters containing carbon as Silver inhibits potential bacterial growth.

Similarly, Silver’s antimicrobial properties help fight against germs and have been used as an antibiotic. According to the Silver Institute, doctors have used Silver nitrate drops to prevent eye infections. Furthermore, it has also become more common to use Silver in bandages and ointments to stop the growth of bacteria, as well as in healthcare facilities that are faced with antibiotic-resistant “superbugs” through Silver-embedded equipment and surgical tools, needles, stethoscopes, and in extreme cases, furniture and linens.


A Rare but Accessible Precious Metal

Although Silver is less costly than Gold, it is still a precious, valuable metal. Its widespread use within various industries demonstrates its endless capabilities and the broad demand for this precious metal. For this reason, more and more investors are increasingly interested in diversifying their bullion portfolio, adding more Silver bars or coins. For example, to this day, the Canadian Silver Maple Leaf coin is the most popular Silver coin to add to your portfolio.

Thus it may be the time to make your move. Navigate through our complete available inventory, or check the newest products in stock, and you will find the perfect option for you to choose. Our team of specialists at Express Gold Refining will be pleased to speak with you and answer all your questions regarding investment in precious metals.

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