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How Much Silver is in the World? 

How Much Silver Has Been Mined? 

About 1,740,000 metric tons of silver have been mined to date. This number may be abstract, given that silver is often bought and sold by the troy ounce. About 60 billion troy ounces of silver have been discovered.   

Silver is dense, but it is not as dense as gold. If all the silver mined were stacked into a single cube, it would measure about 180 feet on each side. That cube could not be produced, though, as much of the silver produced has been lost to the ages. 

How Much Silver Has Been Lost? 

According to the Silver Institute, up to 90% of all silver that has been produced has been lost to either corrosion or non-recoverable industrial uses. While some silver can be recycled, only about 18% of the silver produced is recycled on an annual basis.   

Since many items that require silver require it in small amounts, it is not cost effective to extract the silver from these items for recycling. 

How Much Silver is Left in the Earth? 

While estimates around the remaining amount of silver in the earth vary, there may be around 560,000 metric tons of silver left to mine. Since silver is often mined as a secondary element, it is possible that more silver deposits will be found. The precious white metal is often found alloyed with gold and much silver produced comes as a by-product of gold, lead, copper, and zinc refining.  

Who Produces the Most Silver? 

Four nations produce more than half of the silver that is mined today. Mexico, China, Peru, and Chile are the largest producers of silver today. There may be more silver in the water, though. 

How Much Silver is in the Ocean? 

When there is no silver left to mine, it is possible that we will look to the oceans for additional silver. 

While it is not economically feasible to extract silver from the ocean today, it is estimated that there are .07-0.5 parts per billion of silver in the seawater itself. That equates to about 9-16 million metric tons of silver in the ocean. 

Technological advances could make extracting that silver possible in the future.  

It may be much needed by then, as well. Humanity has valued silver since its discovery around 4000-3000 B.C., when it was used for commerce in the form of ingots. Silver has been an important element to humanity, from the first silver jewelry worn by ancient humans to the early 1800s, when surgeons began using silver sutures to reduce post-op inflammation. 

What Industries Use Silver? 

Today, silver is used by a growing number of commercial industries and its uses are likely to continue growing.  

We use silver to produce solar panels, water filters, fashion jewelry, ornaments, and cutlery (silverware). Its uses extend to electrical applications, such as the cathodes for batteries, membrane switches in televisions, electrical contacts and conductors, photography, and X-ray film. Silver is also necessary for hearing aids and calculators.  

Silver is vital for space exploration, as silver and films produced with it are utilized for insulation and thermal control aboard space stations.  

There are many medical uses for silver, including some medicines used to treat cancer, as well as bandages, catheters, and disinfectants.  

Quick Guides to Investing

Step 1:

Why Buy Physical Gold and Silver?

If you are concerned about the volatility of the stock market, you’re not alone. The extreme highs and lows of the stock market often lead investors towards safe-haven assets, like bullion. Historically, the Precious Metals market has an inverse relationship with the stock market, meaning that when stocks are up, bullion is down and vice versa.

Step 2:

How Much Gold and Silver Should You Have?

This question is one of the most important for investors to answer. After all, experts suggest limits on how much of any types of investments should go into a portfolio. After deciding to purchase and own Precious Metals and considering how much money to allocate, one can then think about how much and what to buy at any point in time.

Step 3:

Which Precious Metals Should I Buy?

With the frequent changes in the market and countless Precious Metal products available, choosing investments can be difficult. Some want Gold or Silver coins, rounds or bars while others want products that are valuable because of their design, mintage or other collectible qualities. Also, collectors may shop for unique sets and individual pieces for their collections.

Step 4:

When to Buy Gold & Silver

After considering why, how much, and what Precious Metals products to buy, an investor’s next step is when to buy them. This decision requires an understanding of market trends and the impact of economic factors on precious metal prices.

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