Discovery of Silver
Silver occurs freely in nature, and was relatively easy for humans to find due to its uncommon sheer shiny coloration. It is unclear when humans first discovered the element, but archaeologists have found silver objects from as far back as 3400 B.C. in Egypt. Some believe the Egyptians were the first to extract silver from its ores. Other early examples of silver usage include written accounts from 900 B.C. India, and the giant silver mines in the Americas during the European colonization of the continent. Even the word silver is extremely old, which can trace its origins all the way back to the 12th century in England.
Silver bars locked in a safe
Uses of Silver
While silver is extremely well known for its usage in jewelry, coins, and dining utensils, it has many other interesting qualities and uses for our everyday lives. For instance, did you know silver is extremely useful in electrical applications? It’s true! Silver is a superb conductor and it can help pass electrical currents through electronic devices. Another relatively unknown use of silver is in photography. Tradition film photography needs silver halide crystals for light sensitivity, and when the film is revealed to light, these crystals form an image that can be developed into a picture. A final use of silver is shown in the picture above. Silver is a precious metal, meaning it is very valuable. Silver bars are exchanged around the globe, and are considered a good investment for people to make.
Silver in Nature
Silver is not in abundance in the earths crust, but it does occur freely in nature. Silver can both be found in seawater and underground, but both are extremely rare. Silver is mined in many places, and often occurs naturally with lead. The countries that produce the most silver are mainly found in the Americas, aside from Poland, and Australia, which also produce there fair share. Currently, there are 76 mines in the U.S that search for silver, and the main silver producing states are Nevada, Arizona, and Idaho.
VIdeo explaining the process of melting silver
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Whitby, M., Dr. (2011, May 5). Melting Silver [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0SgYhzd5ehY