Silver is a soft white or 'silvery' metal with the highest level of electric conductivity of any metal. That means it conducts electricity very well. However it does tarnish in the presence of ozone, hydrogen sulfide, or air with sulfur in it.
Silver has the chemical symbol of AG (from the Latin argentum) and has been used for thousands of years in a variety of ways and uses including, electrical, photographic, coinage and jewelry. It’s use in photography is the largest with 40 percent of all silver used as silver nitrates and silver halides in film development.
Other uses include, printed circuit boards, electrical contacts, mirrors, chemical reactions to produce other chemicals (such as the production of formaldehyde from methanol), dental, as colloidal silver for its anti-bacterial properties and many other uses.
Silver has, and still is, used in medicine and even Hippocrates wrote that silver had healing properties.
Of more interest to us however is it's use as a precious metal in bullion coins, bars and in jewelry. In the United Kingdom sterling silver, actually 92.5 percent silver, is the norm and even the English pound was originally the value of one troy pound of sterling silver.
Silver has been used to produce money since around 700 BC by the Lydians, in the form of electrum. Electrum was a combination of silver and gold. Later, silver was refined and coined in its pure form. The words for "silver" and "money" are the same in at least 14 languages.
Silver is, ounce for ounce, around 1/45th the value of gold at the time of writing but this is changing as both silver and gold rise in value with silver proportionately rising faster than gold!
Some of the best ways of accumulating silver are as bars or coins. Pure silver bars and coins are very easy to obtain, store and sell again. How much you can buy depends on your budget of course. Johnson Matthey 400 ounce silver bullion bars are good if you have the funds but one and ten bars and ounce silver coins are also a good investment.
Whatever your preference, buying and storing silver is a great way to keep the value of your assets up and at the same time give you a ready supply of silver to cash out if needed.