Uses of silver
The most-used industrial metal
Silver has enjoyed extensive usage throughout history, with silver bullion coins and jewellery being the most notable practical utilisations of this useful metal. Silver coins have been issued for millennia, from the Romans to the present day, where US Silver Eagles and British Silver Sovereigns still attract the attentions of modern investors.
In today’s world silver is often seen as an industrial metal, having a range of uses in medicine, high-tech and electronic functions. However, investment and monetary demand for silver bullion remain a major component of physical silver demand.
The future of silver demand looks strong, with ever more high-tech uses being discovered and diminishing physical stockpiles. It is this trend that has led some commentators to judge silver akin to a ‘rare earth metal’. There are more patents outstanding against silver in the USA than for any other metal. Within silver’s industrial demand, in many of its applications it is irreplaceable. It is for this reason that many silver investment analysts find silver’s industrial demand to be largely price inelastic.