It is calculated that humans excavated more than 800,000 tons of silver. According to Kitco, in the past twenty years prices for silver went from around $5 per ounce to over $20; reaching the all-time high of $40 earlier in 2014. If current trends of silver consumption for jewelry and industrial needs continue investment in silver will become very profitable.
Historical Silver Demand
Silver along with gold has been used by people throughout history. In Babylon for example, silver was considered a holy metal that symbolized the moon. In the Middle Ages, silver was also very popular with alchemists who were trying to understand the meaning of life through silver. Healers used silver to cure many ailments including exorcism. In Ancient Egypt, silver coins were used to help cure wounds. In many cultures, silver is considered a symbol of purity and many jewelry masterpieces have been created to celebrate it – from cigar cases, mirrors, necklaces, bracelets and rings. Silver was in such a great abundance in South America, that Argentina is named after it – Argentum is silver in Latin.
In 1816, Nicephore Niepce made history by using paper coated with silver chloride to record first photographs on paper. Since then the demand for photographic silver flake has been steadily growing until the popularization of digital photography and sharing of images through the internet.
Expected Areas of Grows for Silver
The first thing that comes to mind when we hear the word “Silver” is jewelry. But, silver is all around us. Silver is used in medicine to help burns heal and fight certain strains of bacterial infections. Silver flatware not only looks beautiful but has antibacterial properties as well.
Solder wire and brazing created with silver create corrosion-free, superior joints. Silver is used in creation of computer keywords, elevator buttons, and microwave control panels, iPad, iPhone, Android and other devices. Silver chloride can be found in batteries, and coatings for solar panels. Thin layer of silver on the glass, created mirrors and later helped create microscopes and telescopes. Every day, scientists continue to find new applications for silver. However, supplies of silver on Earth is limited and as demand continues its growth, popularity of silver parties where friends bring together their unwanted silver and get cash at the end of party will grow as well. As natural silver supply dwindles, services of precious metal refiners will become integral in keeping up with the demand. Scrap silver can be recycled and bring as much as 90% of its recovery value.
Where Silver can be "hiding"
As I’ve mentioned above, silver is ‘hiding’ in plain view all around us. Check out your local estate and garage sales, flea markets and eBay auctions. Another great way to get your exercise and make some money is to use a metal detector as you scroll through the park or on the beach. You can often find a valuable jewelry or coins. Here are some suggestions where to start your search for silver:
|Where Silver can be hiding||What you'll likely find|
|Your Jewelry box, beach, parking lots, bathrooms, coat rooms||Old sterling silver jewelry
|Garage sales, flea market, eBay, antique stores||Sterling silver flatware
Silver coins and bars
|Dentist office and dental labs||Silver scrap
Silver dental crowns
Silver caps and inlays
gold dust and sweeps
Dental laboratory miscasts & scraps
|Your garage, dental labs, manufacturing shops, jewelers||Silver flake from photo film recovery
Photographic silver flake
Once you had your party, it is time to convert your silver scrap into cash. Before sending your silver to the refinery you need to do your homework. Here are some points to remember:
- Make sure the refiner is reputable. One way to do that is through BBB rating.
- Weigh your scrap silver and note the price on the expected delivery day of your package. This will help you determine the total you’ll be getting.
- Do not ship any precious metals in a regular envelop with a stamp. You don’t want to be caught by the post office machine and scattered through the post office.
- Make sure to insure and track your shipment.
- Do not write the contents of package on the outside of it. Do not write “silver”, “gold”, “platinum”, etc.
- Expect to receive between 85%-92% of recovery value for your silver scrap. The amount would depend on the type of silver you have.
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