Tuesday, January 15, 2013

About Silver Materials

Silver is a metallic chemical element with the chemical symbol Ag (Latin: argentum) and atomic number 47. A soft, white, lustrous transition metal, it has the highest electrical conductivity of any element and the highest thermal conductivity of any metal. The metal occurs naturally in its pure, free form , as an alloy with gold and other metals, and in minerals such as argentite and chlorargyrite. Most silver is produced as a byproduct of copper, gold, lead, and zinc refining.

Silver has long been valued as a precious metal, and is used as an investment, to make ornaments, jewelry, high-value tableware, utensils , and currency coins. Today, silver metal is also used in electrical contacts and conductors, in mirrors and in catalysis of chemical reactions. Its compounds are used in photographic film, and dilute silver nitrate solutions and other silver compounds are used as disinfectants and microbiocides (oligodynamic effect). While many medical antimicrobial uses of silver have been supplanted by antibiotics, further research into clinical potential continues.
Silver, like other precious metals, may be used as an investment. For more than four thousand years, silver has been regarded as a form of money and store of value. However, since the end of the silver standard, silver has lost its role as a popular legal tender in many developed countries such as the United States. In 2009, the main demand for silver was for industrial applications (40%), jewellery, bullion coins and exchange-traded products.

Millions of Canadian Silver Maple Leaf coins and American Silver Eagle are purchased as investments each year. The silver maple leaf is legal tender, at $5 per ounce, and there are many other silver coins with higher legal tender values. There are some Canadian silver $20 dollar coins.


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