The history of silver mining
Why is it still so popular to buy silver? Because silver is a valuable precious metal that is frequently used in coins and bullion bars, mining for this precious metal has been profitable throughout history. There is indication that silver mining began around 5,000 years ago. Anatolia, which is now Turkey, has early mines dating back to 3,000 BC. Early civilisations, such as the Greeks and Romans, were able to thrive thanks to the precious metal. Silver was also highly valued in Egypt, and it is thought that at one point it was more valuable than gold. The ancient Andean indigenous peoples were expert silver miners in South America. When the Spaniards came, they quickly exploited the continent's abundant veins of valuable metals, establishing Spain as a significant world power. Rich veins were later identified in North America and Australia as well.
What is silver used for?
Silver is a highly sought-after metal with a wide range of applications. It is more commonly utilized than gold because of its numerous distinct qualities. Mostly, silver is used as an industrial metal. The following is a list of common applications.
As silver has great electrical conductivity, this makes it ideal for electronics. It is also extremely dependable and long-lasting. Therefore, almost every electrical item or electronic device contains a bit silver, including telephones, circuit boards, switches and keyboards.
- Silverware and jewellery
The fact that silver is is a less expensive alternative to gold and is resistant to oxidation and corrosion makes this precious metal a go-to for jewellery makers. This is also the reason silver has been used for centuries to forge items such as cutlery, tableware and vases. A downside is that silver is still prone to tarnishing and needs to be polished every now and again.
- Antibacterial and purification purposes
In recent history, scientists have identified silver ions as being able to absorb oxygens and therefore able to kill bacteria. It is also non-toxic. This explains why for many hundreds of years people have used silver pots and vessels to store liquids, such as wine and water. Today, it is still used to purify water and used in for medical purposes, such as compresses.
- Silver coins and bullion bars
Of course, silver is also a popular investment precious metal. In its purest form, silver is used to produce silver coins and silver bars.
Casting silver bars
Did you know that silver bars are produced more frequently than gold bullion by both private and government mints due to their relative lower value? However, similar techniques are used to purify both of these precious metals. Smelting is the name for the process used in silver mines to refine the ore into pure metal. In order to shape the silver, the molten metal is either poured into what is known as a cast bar, or minted into a pressed bar. Bars are the shape of choice due to their convenient rectangular shape and stackability. A silver bar is usually stamped with information about its producer, weight and fineness.
What is LBMA silver?
When looking to buy physical silver, you have probably already come across the acronym LBMA. This translates into London Bullion Market Association, an international trade association that represents what is known as the over-the-counter bullion market worldwide. Its mission is to oversee and regulate refining standards, certification and trading practices of the silver and gold that is used to produce coins and bars. The standards upheld by the LBMA are known as the Good Delivery Rules and its members are refiners who meet these standards and have been accepted onto the LBMA’s Good Delivery List. When buying silver bars from an LBMA-approved refiner, such as Umicore, The Royal Mint, Heraeus and Perth Mint, to name but a few, your bars will contain at least 99.9% pure silver and will be marked with the refiner’s hallmark, bar weight and silver fineness.
Order high quality silver online
Order your desired product directly through our web shop. By clicking on a product from our range you will find a detailed description and additional pictures, as well as details regarding the purity, weight and origin of the item. Goudpensioen only sells silver products from reputable refiners and of which we can guarantee the quality. This means you can easily trade your silver product again in the future. Discover all the possibilities to buy silver online here.