Silver Uses Affect the
Silver Price Per Ounce Today
When considering the value of an ounce of Silver, you must consider how important Silver has been throughout time and how versatile Silver is, leading to how we value Silver on the Silver price chart today. No one knows who first discovered Silver, but we do know Silver objects were created in Greece before 4000 B.C., a little later in Anatolia, modern day Turkey, and also around 3000 B.C. in Kish, a Sumerian city. Artifacts from these periods have been found, according to Chemicool.com. Try to imagine what is the current price of Silver used in ancient times!
One of the first five metals humans discovered to be useful, Silver was refined from galena and other lead-containing ores, showing humans were good at developing uses for natural resources even in early civilization. Since then, the value of an ounce of Silver has increased and more discovered uses have driven up the price of Silver coins and other Silver investments. With the demand for Silver at a little over 1 billion ounces in 2014, according to the Silver Institute, Silver's uses continue to expand. Silver sees a number of uses, including industrial applications, like photovoltaics, the process of converting solar energy into direct current energy, jewelry creation, medicinal uses and of course minting Silver products like Canadian Maple Leaf coins and Silver bars.
Industrial uses that push demand for Silver and thus help increase the current price of Silver per ounce range from electronics to electrical to energy. Silver is versatile because it is malleable enough to make into sheets and strong enough to be stretched into wire. Silver can also be ground into powder, alloyed with other metals and made into paste, flakes or salts. Though not as good as Gold in resisting oxidation and corrosion, Silver still holds up and has historically been less rare than Gold, resulting in the large spread in Silver and Gold prices.
From bedroom lights to defrosters in cars to solar photovoltaic cells, Silver has a huge role in the electrical and electronics industries. Silver is used in electrical switch contacts in lights, microwaves and electronics in cars. When Silver is turned into paste, it has many uses, including a growing demand in solar energy photovoltaic cells. These are just a few of the industrial Silver uses that drive up demand. When determining what is the price of Silver today, these uses for Silver and more are considered, along with supply levels.
From Coins to Medical Uses: Silver has a role
After industrial uses, Silver is most used in minting medals and coins, like the Silver American Eagles, Austrian Silver Philharmonics and Canadian Howling Wolves. Because like Gold, Silver doesn't corrode, these Precious Metals have been staples of currencies in cultures around the world. As the prices of Silver and Gold have increased, the use of the two in U.S. currency waned. Today, old U.S. Silver coins minted before 1965 are worth more than their face value when in circulation. As a result, you can buy what is called junk Silver, which is this Silver currency that has no numismatic or collector Silver value. The value of junk Silver is often seen as a good way to invest in Precious Metals. When determining what is the price of Silver today, other uses also help increase demand – and price.
When looking at Silver prices history, investors consider medicinal uses as an important factor driving up the Silver oz price. Before penicillin, Silver was used for thousands of years to head off microbial infections, according to an article published in Surgical Infections. In days past, Silver foil was found around wounds, colloidal Silver was used topically to fight diseases and Silver has even been used in eye drops and dental hygiene, according to Geology.com. These properties make Silver a popular alternative with modern antibiotic-resistant superbugs in everything from medical equipment to ointments, according to Geology.com. With these medical uses, demand increases, affecting the price per ounce of Silver.
Jewelry is one of the most visible uses of Silver – at one time or another, most people have worn or bought Silver jewelry, increasing demand for raw Silver and pushing prices of Silver higher. Because Silver is soft, it must be alloyed with a base metal like copper to make sterling Silver, which is 92.5% Silver and 7.5% copper. Because the oz of Silver price is lower than Gold prices, Silver is often the choice for jewelry. Silver is also used for Silverware, dishes and plates. Paul Revere is perhaps one of the best known Silversmiths – just imagine the Silver price per ounce today of his work displayed in Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts!
Silver's properties also make it ideal for photography, from family photos to films to X-rays. Of course, as personal photography has gone digital, the demand for Silver has lessened, but Silver is still used for X-rays and other non-personal uses. The use in photography has an effect on the Silver oz price. As you consider all these uses of Silver, you can see the Precious Metal is an important part of our history and future. However, only you can decide to invest based on Silver historical prices and the live Silver price for favorites like American Silver Eagles, Canadian Silver Maple Leafs and China Silver Panda Coins.