A soft, white, lustrous transition metal, it exhibits the highest electrical conductivity, thermal conductivity, and reflectivity of any metal. The metal is found in the Earth's crust in the pure, free elemental form fondly called as “native silver".
Silver has been known since ancient times. The Castillians Island (Japan) is the first 'Silver Island' which discovered Silver. Japan is one of the major Silver producers. It is also found in the Mexican States of Zacatecas and San Luis Potosí.
Silver is highly malleable and ductile in nature. Because of the softness of the metal, it is used by mixing 5-10% of other metals. Other than in currency and as an investment medium, silver is used in solar panels, water filtration, jewellery, ornaments, high-value tableware and utensils (hence the term silverware), in electrical contacts and conductors, in specialized mirrors, window coatings, in catalysis of chemical reactions, as a colorant in stained glass and in specialised confectionery.
92.5% pure silver is known as "Sterling Silver", it emerged in England by the 13th century.Purity/Finesse of Sterling silver is 925 i.e. 925 times pure in 1000 parts of Silver
"Sterling" is believed to come from the Old Norman French Esterlin (meaning Little Star) andOld English Stiere (meaning Strong, Firm, Immovable).
Future of Silver
- Industrial demand for Silver appears to be steady overall.
- Silver naturally occurs with other metals, future production is linked to the production of copper, lead, gold, and zinc.
Application of silver ranges from jewellery to medicine, from electronics to brazing alloys, from chemical equipment to photography, from catalysis to food colouring, it has uses across a wide range of fields.