Precious Metals

Information

Origin:

Its chemical symbol, Ag, comes from a Latin word argentum.

Color:

Nearly white

Atomic Number:

47

Atomic Mass:

107.868

Silver

Pure silver is nearly white, lustrous, soft, very ductile, malleable, and an excellent conductor of heat and electricity. In many of its properties it resembles copper and gold, the elements above and below it in group Ib of the periodic table. It is not a chemically active metal, being considerably below hydrogen in the electromotive series. 

Silver melts at 961 degrees C and boils at 2193 degrees C. At 20 degrees C, it has a density of about 10.49 grams per cubic centimeter. Silver reflects 95 percent of the light that strikes it, making it the most lustrous (shiny) of the metals. Silver conducts heat and electric current better than any other metal does. It is second only to gold in ductility (the ability to be drawn out into fine wires) and malleability (the ability to be hammered into various shapes).

Many beautiful objects, including jewelry, fine tableware, religious decorations, coins, and mirrors, are made of silver. Silver also plays an important role in dentistry, medicine, photography, and electronics.

Topics

Platinum
Palladium
Rhodium
Gold
Silver

Since the mid-seventies, the automotive industry has emerged as the principal consumer of PGMs. Platinum, palladium and rhodium are used as oxidation catalyst in catalytic converters to treat automobile exhaust emissions. In recent years, jewelry demand for platinum has suffered with the record high prices for the metal, while offtake of palladium jewelry has begun to develop.

Offtake of gold for the global jewelry market continues to grow. Additional demand in electronics and from investors has also expanded. Declining primary mine production and producer de-hedging have supported the metal's price.

Despite lower jewelry sales and dwindling demand in the photographic industry, overall consumption of silver has remained stable, principally due to increased speculative investments and improved interest in electronics.