Blog 5 Fun Facts about Silver
Silver has many unique properties that make it interesting.

5 Fun Facts about Silver

In the world of precious metals, gold tends to steal the spotlight. But silver has its own unique traits that make it an interesting and valuable metal. Just like gold, silver has a rich history and has been a valued commodity since ancient times. Read on for some interesting facts about silver!

Most Reflective Metal

Silver reflects about 95% of visible light, making it the most reflective metal. Silver’s reflective properties make it highly valuable for use in mirrors, telescopes, and solar panels.

Antimicrobial Powers

Silver has natural bacteria-fighting properties. Throughout history, people have used vessels made of silver for storing water and other liquids to prevent bacterial growth. Today, silver nanoparticles are used in a variety of medical applications, such as wound dressings and catheters, to prevent infections!

Silver Is Money

An example of a silver tetradrachm from Ancient Greece.
An example of a tetradrachm from Ancient Greece. Source: CNG Coins/Wikimedia Commons

Silver was the first precious metal used as currency, so it’s not surprising that the word is synonymous with money in languages around the world. More than 4,000 years ago, silver ingots were traded in Ancient Greece. During the peak of the Greek Athenian empire, the city’s ‘Tetradrachm’ silver coin achieved “international standard” status among Mediterranean states, which was a pretty big deal at the time!

The words “silver” and “money” are almost interchangeable in at least 14 different languages. For example, in French, the word argent means both “money” and “silver.”

Major Mining Locations

Mexico consistently leads the world in mined silver output most years, as it did in 2023. The United States Geological Survey (USGS) ranked Mexico as the world’s largest silver producer in 2023, with 6,400 metric tons produced – 24.8% of the world’s total. China and Peru follow, with over 3,000 metric tons each.

Home to Fresnillo, the world’s largest silver company, Mexico has a long history of silver production. Silver mining in Mexico dates back about 500 years to the Spanish conquest of the Americas, when worldwide silver production took off like never before. Between 1500 and 1800, a staggering 85% of globally mined silver came from Bolivia, Peru, and Mexico.

One of the fun facts about silver: Sterling silver is the silver color and alloy most people are most familiar with.

Sterling Silver

Sterling silver is the most common type of silver found in jewelry and the aptly-named silverware. Sterling silver is an alloy containing 92.5% silver and 7.5% of another metal, usually copper. Fine silver (99.9% pure) is soft, so the sterling silver alloy increases strength. This is why you should always be careful not to drop bullion coins made of fine silver – if dropped onto a hard surface, the coin could dent!

Due to its boosted durability, sterling silver is used to make products like jewelry, silverware, plates, platters, coffee sets, and silver-plated items. Sterling silver is stamped to denote that it’s genuine. The stamps that are used are usually “925,” “92.5,” “ss,” or “.925.”

Although fine silver is more pure (and therefore more expensive), purchasing sterling silver products is wise because they look just as good and are more durable.

Investing in Silver

Along with gold, silver can be a good investment if you’re looking to diversify your portfolio. Precious metals like gold and silver can act as a hedge against inflation.

However, unlike gold, silver has a higher demand for industrial uses. On one hand, this is a good thing. Rising consumer prices often accompany economic growth and an increased demand for products that use silver. But at the same time, the industrial aspect adds to silver’s volatility by tying it to more boom-and-bust economic cycles.


Portfolio advantages aside, collecting silver bullion coins can be a fun hobby, and coin collections are great assets to pass down to future generations. Did you know that you can buy bullion directly from Garfield, or even exchange your precious metal scrap for bullion? Check out our bullion options and start adding to your collection today!

If you’re looking to sell unwanted silver or gold, download a label and get started today.

Established in 1892, Garfield will get you the most for your gold, silver, platinum, and palladium, and we offer the industry’s best customer service. Call us today at 800-523-0968 to find out why Garfield is a premier precious metals refinery!