As one of the first metals to be used by man, silver has been sought-after for 5,000 years. Archaeological evidence indicates silver was originally mined about 3,000 BC in Anatolia (modern-day Turkey).
Lustrous in appearance, silver is also malleable and ductile. Being both easy to work and pleasing to the eye, it has long been associated with the manufacture of jewellery, art, cutlery and tableware.
Today, silver is also valued for innumerable applications in industry. Unsurpassed as a conductor of heat and electricity and also highly reflective, its uses are continuing to expand in hi-tech areas such as electronics, solar and biotech - to name a few.
Because silver is durable, stable and comparatively rare, it also possesses qualities that make it ideal for use as money.
It was first coined in Lydia around 600 BC. The phrase “rich as Croesus” is derived from the Lydian king famed for his wealth!
Early silver coins spread to regions inhabited by Greeks, and through trade across the entire Mediterranean region. In testament to its historic role as a monetary metal, silver continues to mean ‘money’ in a variety of languages, including ‘shekel’ (Hebrew), ‘argent’ (French), and ‘plata’ (Spanish).
It’s fair to conclude that many aspect of mankind’s economic, cultural and technological progress would have been vastly different were it not for the indispensable benefits of silver.