How Silver Uses Affect the Silver Price 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.
VALUE OF SILVER METAL
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. 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 SILVER METAL
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.
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.
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.
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.