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Silver was first mined in 3000 BC Anatolia Turkey and has been used ever since for ornaments, utensils and trade. It was up until the introduction of the ‘New World’ in 1492 that silver mines in Mexico, Bolivia and Peru were opened, causing a rapid rise in the world production of silver. This rise soon led to new and improved techniques of extracting silver from the ore which developed both the value and measure of ore that could be broken.
As silver is an expensive metal which is often used for coins, its mining history has been very profitable. Like similar metals such as gold and platinum, newly opened deposits of silver ore generated silver rushes of miners seeking wealth. In recent periods, large deposits were discovered and mined in America, prompting the progression and expansion of Mexico, Bolivia, Chile, Peru, Canada and the United States.
Silver is a very ductile metal with a metallic sheen and its value is considered to be second to gold’s, costing around £0.482 per gram as of July 2016. Silver is often used simply as an expensive metal, with currency and attractive objects. Silver salts have likewise been used since the Middle Ages to produce a yellow and orange colour stained glass. Silver has also been used to make objects symbolic of a high social and political ranking. Large silver bars are commonly bought by investors or individuals who are looking to expand their portfolios. The 5kg bars of silver are particularly popular to investors as they provide a great value for money.
Silver is equally as precious as gold and as a result they share many of the same traits. Silver has a store of value, an inflation hedge and protection against economic and monetary system watersheds. The total annual supply for silver is roughly 970 million ounces. Over the past 20 years there has been an average gain of 2% with November being the best of months to buy as it produces an average gain of 5%. The demand for silver on photovoltaic cells has increased from one million ounces in 2000 to 50 million ounces in 2013, as solar power usage develops the demand for silver will increase greatly.
‘Silver has the potential to provide big profits in the coming years…’--Financial Times
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