Silver

#1 Silver Buyer Las Vegas & Henderson

Nevada Coin Mart prides itself on being the LARGEST buyer of silver  in Las Vegas, Henderson, and the greater Las Vegas area. If you want to make money off your preloved silver, we are the place to go for a fast and fair market assessment and instant cash on-the-spot.

History

Word Origin

Silver is a historically significant metal valued for many purposes (i.e., jewelry, currency, and whatnot) it has served in society. Although being second to gold, silver is the most malleable and ductile, thus making for an ideal choice for artisans to make items forged of silver.

Etymologically speaking, silver is derived from its Latin etymon argentum, which means off-white. At the dawn of humanity, silver was associated with the moon because of their greyish-white color contrasted with color and correlated to the sun. In ancient Egypt, silver was considered to be a near perfect metal and was given the symbol of a half circle.

Production

Mining for silver was first documented around 3,000 BC in Anatolia, present-day Turkey. Then, almost before 1,200 BC, silver mined in much of the region shifted to Greece’s while Europe and West Asia also had silver mines. However, it was unfortunate of slaves to have been coerced to work in the mines because lead in silver ores caused poisoning.

A silver mine’s size played a crucial role in empowering city-states back then, and of course, the larger, the better. Around 500 BC, Greece could fund Athen’s first navy because of a large silver mine near Athens. Then, two wars, namely, the 1st and 2nd Punic wars, determined which city-state got to control silver mines, which would help it impose its political will on others’.  After the 1st Punic Wars in the 250s BC, Spanish mines were taken over by the Carthaginians, who used the income from silver mines to settle debts to Romans, who, during the 2nd Punic War, had their hands on the mines and used the income to fund more conquests.

The production of silver expanded as silver became increasingly more important for trade. To be exported to Asian spice routes, metal forged of silver was hammered into thin sheets called plattum argentum shortened to plata, the modern Spanish word for silver.

Early Uses

Before urbanization and technological advancements became a thing, silver just like gold was used in many societies, mostly as a material from which jewelry or cutlery pieces or currency was forged.

In Ayurvedic medicine, concoctions of precisely combined pure metals were believed to cure illnesses caused by an energy imbalance, so silver was used as a liver and spleen detoxifier. Then, in the late 1930s, because of its antibacterial properties, silver had been used in medicine before antibiotics were invented.

Ultimately, before the periodic table was compiled, silver had been one of the seven sacred metals in alchemy. Moreover, silver was closely linked to the sixth chakra in the chakra system.

Properties and Modern Applications of Silver

Listed and explained below are the properties of silver and their modern applications:

  • In electronics, because of its unparalleled thermal and electric conductivity, silver remains unchallenged even by less expensive materials. 
  • In energy, silver in its paste form is used to make solar panels.
  • In brazing and soldering, silver is used to ensure that joints connecting metal pipes are tight.
  • In chemical production, silver can be used as a catalyst to create ethylene oxide (i.e., used in making molded plastics and included as a major ingredient in antifreeze) and formaldehyde (i.e., used in making solid plastics and resins and providing a protective coating).
  • In currency and social status, since the ancient times, silver along with gold has been traditionally used as the material in making coins although more prevalently than gold because of the former’s being more abundant and less expensive than the latter.
  • In photography, photographic films contain silver halide crystals, and these crystals change to record a latent image when light hits such films. Thus, the image can be developed into a photograph.
  • In jewelry and silverware, silver (i.e., sterling silver) is traditionally preferred for its affordability in addition to its malleability.

Silver Grades

Objects forged from precious metals are subject to certain measurements to determine the purity of these metals in such objects as well as the amount of alloys present. Like gold and platinum measured, respectively, in terms of karat and hallmarks, silver is based on a millesimal fineness scale (i.e., a thousand-part scale or 1000% fineness) although hallmarks are fine too.

Because silver is soft and highly malleable, it is often alloyed with other metals such as copper in order to make it hard. Moreover, silver has three commercial types:

  • Fine Silver is 99% pure, so it is quite rare because it is soft.
  • Coin Silver is 90% pure while the remaining 10% is usually copper although this silver’s fineness may also range from 750 to 900.
  • Silver powder has several forms, namely:
    • amorphous powder
    • dendritic crystals
    • atomized power
    • silver-clad powder
    • silver flake
    • nickel-coated silver power

In addition to these types, some of the common ones are as follows:

  • Argentum Sterling Silver has 960 fineness.
  • Britannia Silver has 958 fineness.
  • French 1st Standard has 950 fineness.
  • 91 Zolotnik Russian Silver has 948 fineness.
  • 88 Zolotnik Russian Silver has 916 fineness.
  • 81 Zolotnik Russian Silver has 875 fineness.
  • Scandinavian Silver has 830 fineness.
  • Germanic Silver has fineness ranging from 800 to 835.

Price Quote of Silver

As in most precious metals such as silver, a troy ounce has been being specifically used in weighing and pricing such metals ever since the age of Roman Empire when currencies were valued in weight. This process was adopted in the British Empire where one pound sterling was worth one troy pound of silver while the US adopted such a process in 1828.

A troy ounce is about slightly heavier than an imperial ounce by 10%: an imperial ounce is equal to 28.35 grams while a troy ounce, 31.1 grams. Then, shown below are troy ounces converted into other measurements:

  • Grams = 0.032151 troy ounces
  • Kg = 32.150747 troy ounces
  • Tonnes = 32,150,7466 troy ounces
  • Tael (a weight measurement in China) = 1.203370 troy ounces
  • Tola (a weight measurement in South Asia) = 0.374878 troy ounce

Ultimately, listed below are the spot prices (i.e., shown in the US dollar because it is considered a reserve currency) of silver according to the metric system used:

  • Per 1 kilogram, silver costs 582.29 USD.
  • Per 1 ounce, silver costs 18.13 USD.
  • Per 1 gram, silver costs 0.58 USD.

References