Buy Silver

By: john smith

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Saturday, 2-Jul-2011 00:55 Email | Share | | Bookmark
Precious Metal in Your PC

While it is considered rare, silver is the most available of the precious metals. Archaeological evidence indicates that man has been using silver for at least 5,000 years. For much of that time, it was used to make jewelry, ornaments, mirrors, and coins. The early discovery that water, milk and wine stayed fresh longer in containers made of silver, made such vessels desirable for long journeys. The anti-bacterial properties of silver were only the first of its medicinal qualities to be put to use for the benefit of mankind. In the last 200 years, the industrial use of silver has risen dramatically. Approximately 44% of all silver produced today is consumed by industry, and the largest and most rapidly growing segment of that consumption is electronics.

Silver is the most conductive metal. This fact has been established since the beginning of electronics. In 1832, when the first message was transmitted by telegraph, it was a silver contact that conducted the current. Today, the range of uses for silver in the electronics industry has made it an indispensable element. From the microwave to the television set, from the cell phone to the personal computer, every switch in today’s household uses silver contacts.

The use of silver in personal computers continues to increase every year. From the reliability of the silver batteries that power them, to the pressure sensitive “membrane” switches in the keyboard, silver is becoming increasingly vital to the computer manufacturer. The push to make everything smaller, lighter, and more portable requires computer designers to fit a lot of high-powered circuitry into very small spaces. Silver serves this purpose in two ways. It is used to make conductive inks that can be used to silk screen circuit boards. This saves space over the use of bulky wiring. Additionally, silver possesses a high degree of thermal conductivity, which channels away the heat produced by the electronics. Because it doesn’t corrode, silver solder is often used on circuit boards.

Ten years ago, jewelry and tableware were the main consumers of all of the silver being produced, using twice as much as the electronics industry. Today, electronics applications, with computers being chief among them, consume far more. Since 1999, the use of silver in electronics has increased by 120%, and it is expected to rise another 36% over the next five years. Silver, the miracle metal, has become a vital and indispensable component of modern life.

You can buy silver online.

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Silver Coins in History

Although silver was used in trade in the earliest civilizations of Sumer and Egypt, the history of actual silver coins in the western world begins in Ancient Greece when Philip II of Macedon (359-336 BC) introduced them in his city states. His son Alexander the Great (336-323 BC) continued to encourage the use of silver as currency in his vast empire, where military and public works projects were largely funded with silver money.

The Greeks created their coins by filling an iron mold with silver and striking it with a molded hammer. The molds depicted Greek rulers and religious figures such as Athena.

Roman rulers continued the tradition of silver currency molded with portraits and important events. Coins in Rome were used in daily transactions and, as in Greece, to fund military operations. Silver coins also had a political purpose, and often spread propaganda through depictions of emperors and their accomplishments.

Constantine the Great established a coinage system in the Byzantine Empire that was largely based on coins of pure gold. Silver coins were rare and were withdrawn from circulation in the year 400. The "siliqua" coin was about 2.4 grams of silver and the "miliarense" contained around 4 grams of silver. Silver was reintroduced to the empire by the emperor Heraclius. His "hexagram" weighed about 6.4 grams and, like Greek and Roman coins, depicted portraits of emperors on one or both sides. Once again, the previous system of gold and copper currency was instituted around 680 and silver coins were withdrawn from circulation.

Silver coins made their comeback in 720, when Leon III introduced the "miliaresion" modeled after the previous silver coins. Only weighing 2 grams, the miliaresion was thinner but wider than the hexagram. The emperor's name and a cross appear on the coin. Although the new silver coin was being minted, it was not widely circulated until the reign of Theophilus (829-842).

The history of silver coins in the Byzantine Empire continue with a coin featuring the bust of Jesus in the tenth century, the Virgin Mary and infant Christ in 989 and a billion coin introduced in 1091 that was only 6-10% silver.

You can buy silver bullion online.

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An Introduction to Silver

Silver is truly a precious metal. First, its price has risen about 500% in just five years. But surprisingly, almost half of the world’s silver supply is used in various industrial applications. Silver deserves a closer look.

Silver Chemistry
No element has a higher electrical conductivity, a higher degree of optical reflectivity or higher thermal conductivity than silver, and silver is second only to gold in being malleable and ductile.

Silver has an atomic number of 47. It is in the d-block of the periodic table, which makes it a transition metal. Because of their metallic bonding properties, all transition metals conduct electricity and they are generally very dense with high melting and boiling points.

Silver Usage
Because of it superior properties, silver is used mainly in high end industrial applications where reliability and performance under extreme conditions is required. For instance, silver batteries are used to power the instrumentation deep in an oil well where temperatures are very high.

For many decades, the single largest application of silver has been in photography, but that has lessened rapidly as people are increasingly satisfied with digital photographs and albums. In radiology, photographic film is used to record the internal condition and structural integrity of manufactured materials such as steel casings.
For a partial listing, silver is also used
- In contacts for electric switches and circuit breakers. Automobiles can have dozens of these silver contacts, which operate many accessories and engine components.
- In certain batteries,
- In alloys used for soldering and brazing,
- In paints for printed circuits,
- In amalgam for filling tooth cavities,
- In solar energy panels,
- In making mirrors, and
- In medicine, as a strong anti-bacterial agent. Silver is used for sterile cleaning of medical facilities and to cleanse external wounds as well. Silver is also used for X-ray applications.

The Silver Supply
The total world supply of silver in 2010 was 1057 million ounces (Moz). The two main sources of silver are from mining and from recycling. In 2010, 736 Moz were produced from mining. Only about 1/3 of that amount came from silver mines. The rest of the silver was produced while refining other minerals such as copper, gold, and zinc. The top silver producing countries are Peru, Mexico, and China. The United States is the 7th highest producing nation.

In addition to mining, 215 Moz of silver was recovered from jewelry and industrial applications. Hedging by silver producers and governments sales of silver accounted for the remaining 106 Moz.

The Silver Demand
In 2010, 46% of the world’s supply of silver was used in its various industrial applications. Jewelry accounted for another 16% of the silver used. These percentages have held steady in recent years. The percentages used in two other uses for silver, photography at 7% and silverware at 5% have been steadily dropping. In fact, photography had used nearly 25% of the world’s silver supply in 2001.

Investment Demand
The production of coins and medals consumed another 10% of the world’s silver in 2010 – nearly a 50% rise over 2009 – and silver bullion accounted for another 5%. These numbers indicate that the retail purchase of silver is on the rise. Many people now consider silver as an investment, as a diversification option, or as a protection against possible inflation. Additionally, the holdings in silver exchange traded funds (ETF) have exploded in recent years from 265 Moz in 2008 and 398 Moz in 2009 to 582 Moz in 2010.

All this buying of silver has helped its price rise markedly higher in recent years. The average price of silver rose rapidly from $7.31 in 2006 to $20.19 per ounce during 2010. The price rose even more dramatically in early 2011 and has been above $32 per ounce every day from February 21 through May and into June 2011.

You can buy silver online.


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