During the last three decades, the world has consumed more silver than has been mined. No, really. And while most people are aware that silver is a precious metal that can be used for jewelry and silverware, as well as real money in the form of coins, those applications account for less than half of all silver consumption.
The reason for this is simple: Silver’s unique properties make it the ideal material for a multitude of uses — both industrial and non-industrial.
For example, silver is very malleable and ductile; it can be flattened into fine sheets or drawn out into thin, flexible wires. And that’s very fortunate because, among all metals, silver happens to be the world’s finest conductor of electricity — not to mention highly resistant to oxidation and corrosion.
But wait … it gets better: Although silver is non-toxic, it has anti-bacterial qualities which makes the white metal useful for medicinal purposes and other consumer health products. Also, thanks to the recent invention of something called “nano-silver,” the white metal — with its germ-killing properties — has now expanded into everything from socks and toothbrushes to vacuum cleaners and kitchen appliances.
With that in mind, it shouldn’t be surprising to anyone that silver is second only to oil among the world’s most useful commodities.
As BullionVault notes, “Whether in laundry detergent or inside jet engines, silver has become a material of innovation and is now appearing in a number of unexpected places and products.”
For a more thorough look at some of the most incredible uses for silver, check out the following infographic and see how many of them relate to you:
Photo Credit: public domain; Infographic: BullionVault