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Where Does Silver Come From

Silver is a soft, white metallic element that is used to create jewelry, coins and tableware. It has the highest electrical and thermal conductivity of any metal. Its chemical symbol is Ag. Silver occurs naturally as an alloy with gold and other metals. It is considered a precious metal and has been used for many years to create valuable objects. It is also used to help conduct electricity in electrical items, in mirrors to create a reflective surface and as a disinfectant and antimicrobial in the medical field.

Where Does Silver Come From
Silver is mined from under the earth surface just as gold is. While most metals come from an ore (gold comes from gold ore, copper from copper ore) silver is usually mined from gold ore or from copper, lead or zinc ore. Small amounts of silver are mined from silver ore but this equates to only about 25% in total. When found silver is often in wiry spindles or in thin sheets. Silver is often mined as a by-product of other metal mining as it is a natural alloy with other metals such as gold, copper, lead and zinc. Silver is mined in 60 countries around the world with Mexico, Peru, Australia and the United States producing the most silver each year. 18,000 metric tons of silver is mined around the world each year. Approximately 27,000 tones of silver per year are made into different valuable objects. Commercial-grade fine silver is said to be 99.9% pure meaning that only small trace amounts of other metals are found as part of the silver.

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