Silver is an exceptionally useful element. It has many unique properties that make it an invaluable resource, and yet we are consuming the world’s supply of silver at a shocking rate. Pure silver is the best conductor of heat and electricity of all known metals. Silver is also the best reflector of visible light known. Its natural beauty is legendary. The range of applications for silver is exceptionally broad. As a precious metal, it has been a source of human adornment since the beginning of time. As the principal component of fine tableware (appropriately called silverware), it has served an important utility for centuries. As a light-sensitive element, it has revolutionized preservation of memories in the form of photographic images. And more recently, we are re-discovering its unique anti-bacterial qualities in a myriad of medical applications. Silver’s corrosion resistance, malleability, ductility, reflectivity and conductivity are opening up new uses for silver all the time.
Silver reflects. The film coating on the backs of mirrors is silver. Silver mirrors are used in TVs, microscopes, spacecraft, solar panels, and your own bathroom! Even double-pane thermal windows have transparent silver coating.
Silver conducts heat. The ceramic lines in your car’s rear window contain silver to keep the window clear of frost and ice.
Silver conducts electricity. Silver is the metal of choice for contacts in switches because it does not corrode. Every time you turn on your TV, car engine, dishwasher or microwave, etc, silver contacts complete the electrical circuit. Whenever you adjust your car’s power seats or type away at your keyboard, silver is there. It is usually only a very tiny amount of silver, and most of this is lost forever in landfills because it is not economical at this time to recycle such tiny amounts of silver. Silver, being non-corrosive and the best electrical conductor of all, is the choice for electrical wire in spacecraft and other mission critical applications.
Silver is anti-bacterial. Silver chemically affects the cell membranes of bacteria, breaking them down. Bacteria cannot develop resistance to silver, like they can with antibiotic medicines. Silver solutions are used as a disinfectant in burn treatments. Silver gauze is packed in wounds of patients during transport to medical facilities. Silver nitrate drops are used to clean the eyes of newborn babies. Hikers and campers use portable silver-based water purification systems for disinfecting water. “Colloidal silver”, a liquid suspension of microscopic silver particles, has been used as an alternative medicine.
Silver “rings”. Silver has a pure acoustic resonance and is preferred by musicians for making high quality silver bells and musical instruments. This unique tone is useful in helping determine the authenticity of a silver coin or bar, using the ‘ring test’.
Silver captures images. Silver salts are the basic image-capture and image-forming materials in photography, including medical and dental X-rays, Hollywood movies, and your family snapshots.
Silver is pretty. Silver has always been a favorite medium for fine jewelry and silver tableware, artwork and cherished heirlooms and gifts for millennia.
Silver is money. Silver has been used as money since the dawn of civilization. There are few metals in the periodic table that have all the properties of money. Platinum and palladium were not discovered until recently in human history, so while they have the properties of money, they have not been used as money historically. Gold and silver, however, have always been money. Silver has traditionally been the most circulated of coins, as gold was only accessibly to the extremely wealthy and to royalty. Silver has been the money of the common man and successful merchants throughout history.
All these reasons have kept silver in high demand by people since the beginning of time. But the world is running out of silver. And of course you can’t simply make more silver out of thin air, like the Federal Reserve does with the dollars. Alchemists have tried for centuries. Actually, we can turn other elements into silver with a process called atomic transmutation, using particle accelerators, but the price of silver is going to have to go to the moon and way beyond before that will ever be economically feasible. So with the increasing uses of silver, and the dwindling supply, it does not take a lot of brain power to figure out that silver is a good investment. And unlike paper assets like stocks and bonds, silver is something you can hold in your hands, show off and talk about with friends and family, and it sparks something deep inside the human psyche when we hold a heavy bar of silver or gold. We can’t deny it, we as humans just know that silver and gold are money.
It is well known that government authorities worldwide are attempting to pump up their nations’ depression-racked economies by printing vast sums of paper money. Some nations, including the United States, are running multi-trillion dollar deficits and will go deeper and deeper into debt in the years to come. If we reach the point were the money-printing by the Fed and the fiscal excess of the government fails to keep our economic shell game going, the financial markets may lose even greater confidence in our dollar. In this scenario, the federal government might potentially lose what limited influence it still holds over the future of our economy. How can one protect their portfolio and family from the potential ravages of hyperinflation? Owning physical silver is a natural hedge against an inflating currency.
All over the world, governments are facing mounting deficits due to their bailout packages and shortfalls in tax revenues from the worst recession since World War II. This means a gigantic government borrowing program is in progress. Now, what normally comes with increased government borrowing? Higher inflation is the answer. This allows the government to devalue the debt burden of its high bond issuance over time. The Federal Reserve has shown no signs of slowing the money printing. This means gold and silver prices will continue to soar for the foreseeable future.