4 Fascinating Industrial Uses for Silver

by Lear Capital EditorialOctober 17, 2016

We in the precious metals industry spend a lot of time touting the virtues of gold, but there is another metal that should make every bullion enthusiast stand at attention right now: silver.

Silver is historically undervalued right now at around $17 an ounce even as the US Mint continually runs out of silver eagles

When the price is this low (in fact, at least 35% UNDER mining cost) it should be the case that demand is low, but it is not! Demand for silver is high and set to go higher - whichever way the economy goes.

That is exactly why silver has our attention and should have yours, too! We think the silver market price is unsustainably repressed and is about to slingshot skyward at any moment.

Why? One reason is the plethora of industrial uses for silver.

People will sometimes say that gold isn’t much good as an investment because it has little or no intrinsic usefulness. You can’t eat it. It can’t keep you warm at night. It has few industrial uses, so what is the point? We disagree, but in any case, those arguments do not apply to silver. This precious metal is more than just a pretty face - it is an industrial workhorse as well.

Silver the Workhorse

Here are 4 of the most fascinating uses for silver you may have never thought about.

1. Photovoltaic technology is taking off – and devouring silver.

Solar energy, until recently, has been expensive to harness and too weak and undependable to replace combustible energy sources. That is changing with advances in photovoltaic cells, which convert sunlight into electricity at the atomic level. Solar panels contain photovoltaic cells or photons of light which transform electrons into direct current carriers. Silver is incredibly conductive, so it is printed onto the cells to carry the current. Its reflective properties are also put to use in the solar panels to harness sunlight. With these advances, solar energy is rapidly becoming a serious contender in the energy market. And, as this technology continues to develop, the industry’s need for silver will skyrocket.

2. Silver does a body good

Silver has many medical applications. Silver is anti-bacterial, therefore it is very useful where sterilization is crucial or infection is a risk. Endotracheal tubes, surgical equipment, catheters, hearing aids, wound dressings and antibacterial creams all use silver. Silver can even help kill “super bugs” like anti-biotic resistant MRSA. Its anti-bacterial properties are even useful in water filtration and purification.

3. Ordinary electronics demand extraordinary amounts of silver!

Silver is highly conductive and is used in computers, keyboards, televisions, batteries, cell phones, calculators, cameras, watches, clocks, and microwave ovens. Silver is used to coat CDs and DVDs. It is used in wire soldering and even connecting plumbing pipes. These are just a few examples. If the economy takes off, all of these everyday items will be in high demand – as will the silver used to manufacture them.

4. Mirror, mirror on the wall, what is the most promising precious metal of them all?

Silver is! Did you know that the vast majority of standard mirrors are manufactured using silver? A micro-thin layer of a silver nitrate is sprayed on treated glass to create the reflective surface. Think about all the mirrors you encounter every day, then, imagine the economy growing. Building and remodeling could pick up and then every new bathroom mirror, every new showroom, every new store mirror, and every decorative wall mirror everywhere uses a tiny bit of silver. It all adds up. Look in the mirror! That is silver demand looking right back at you.

The uses of silver are virtually endless. And we haven’t even discussed things like jewelry and silverware that showcase its shimmering beauty. It is truly an amazing metal that surrounds you every day in the most surprising places. And at today’s bargain basement prices, this glimmering white metal is even more alluring.

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