What is Silver Used For? What are the Industrial Uses of Silver?

What is Silver Used For? What are the Industrial Uses of Silver?

Silver - (n) a chemical element with symbol Ag and atomic number 47. In its pure .999 fine form, it is a solid white, highly reflective, heavy, dense, comparatively soft, malleable, ductile metal which can tarnish with long exposure to open air. A valued precious metal that is used for coinage, jewelry, and thousands of various modern day industrial and electronic applications.

We humans have been mining silver for over 5,000 years.

Although physical silver is virtually indestructible on a molecular level, the vast majority of all the silver we humans have ever mined is no longer easily accessible nor with us today.

Unlike gold, silver has not often been too costly to either lose or aggregately waste trace supplies of it in cumulative large un-recycled amounts. In other words, often we humans have thrown silver away in non recycled trace amounts in once used industrial or electronic applications.

Today there are still some 4 billion ounces of silver bullion held by investors above ground.

As well, there are multi-billions of silver ounces are spread thinly around the world in various forms of jewelry, silverware, in industrial or electronic application like within your computer, your cell phone, etc.

For examples, a personal computer desktop generally contains about 1 gram of thinly placed silver coatings. Cellular phones typically uses just 0.37 grams of silver (a bit less than 20¢ USD at $14 USD oz silver).

Many electronics recycling companies now mine for precious metals like silver in old hardware and electronics before being lost to landfills. Although one wonders with less than 20¢ per cell phone or 50¢ of silver laced per computer, how much of this silver will actually be retrieved as opposed to thrown out remains a real question.

Perhaps the most amazing thing about silver is how multivariate and wide it’s modern day uses are. Silver is second only to crude oil in the amounts of items and things it is used in for our modern ways of life.

Some modern and Industrial uses of Silver include:

  • Silver in Batteries

  • Silver Bullion (silver coins, silver bars, silver rounds)

  • Silver in Fuel Cells

  • Silver use in Electronic and Circuit Boards

  • Silver in mobile Cellular Phones

  • Silver in Solar Panels

  • Silver Solders

  • Silver in Automobile Switches

  • Silver in Car Glass Coatings

  • Silver in virtually all Mirrors

  • Silver Nanoparticles in Medicine

  • Silver Engine Bearings (cars, airplanes, helicopters)

  • Silver Electroplating

  • Silver Antibacterial Clothing

  • Smart silver textiles and clothing

  • Smartphone useable Gloves Silver laced finger tips

  • Hospital Surface silver ion sprays

  • Silver backed DVDs and CDs

  • Silver Pharmaceutical Creams

  • Silver in various Medical Equipments

  • Silver RFID technologies

  • Silver Superconductors

  • Silver Wound Dressing applications

  • Silver in Photography

  • Silver producing Antifreeze

  • Silver laced Deodorant

  • Silver used in Stained Glass making

  • Silver Musical Instruments

  • Silver Tinting Sunglasses (e.g. Transition glasses)

  • 3d Printing Silver Applications

  • Silver use in Weather Modification

  • Silver fillings and Dentistry use

  • Silver Cavity prevention

  • Silver in Surgical Mask protection

  • Silver in Medical Surgical Implants

  • Silver use in X-Rays

  • Silver used in Chemical Production

  • Silver in Air Condition Vents

  • Silver Pool Purification

  • Silver Water Purification

  • Silver Window applications (double or single pane)

Why are there so many Silver uses?

Silver has an extremely high reflection for light, more so than any other metal.

Silver is the most electrically conductive metal of all.

Silver is the best both thermal and electrical transmitter of all metals.

Silver is also germicidal by nature and thus used in various antibacterial applications and likely one reason as to why it got its start in silverware (the old European aristocracy likely got sick less often eating with it).

Silver is easily malleable and ductile, only slightly harder than gold. This makes silver very flexible and able to be used in various ways, all the way down to the tiny micro and nano particulate level.

The precious element of silver is only produced in star supernova.

Although silver may be found in small trace amounts in both sea water and human beings, silver is a very rare and precious metal here on Earth.

Without it, we would have a much more difficult time with our modern ways of life.

Humans almost intrinsically know silver has enduring value.

Perhaps this is why we have dug up about 50 billion ounces of physical silver all time. That is just over 1.6 million metric tons, or in other words, a lot of physical silver.

Global Silver Production in 1000 Tonnes

But again, we have lost the vast majority of the silver displayed in that chart over human history.

The following American football field illustration shows the yearly amount of physical silver ore we humans dig from the Earth’s crust each and every year on average (cube of some 90 feet on average).

Annual Global Silver Production as a Solid Silver Cube


Compare that annual silver mine output cube on the left versus the tinier illustrated silver cube on the right which the 1980 Hunt Brothers held to supposedly corner the silver market back then. Contrary to ongoing false claims, the three brothers only held a small fraction of the silver supply back then.

The following video gives you a brief insight into physical silver’s origin, how we humans currently mine and refine it. As well how silver is being used today by both industry and investors worldwide.

Learn more and further information about silver investment fundamentals below.

Silver Investing Fundamentals Guide