Since early civilizations, Silver has been used as a store of value and a medium of exchange wanted for its beauty and imperviousness to the elements by many cultures throughout the world.
Even before it was used as money, silver was valued. In 2500 BC, silver was first introduced in Egypt and was considered more valuable than Gold! In 475 BC, China was the first to monetize silver as a currency, a currency that was kept official until the 1930s. Today, silver is not only valued in coinage, but also for use in many industrial, household, and medical products.
Under the colonization of the Americas after 1492, great amounts of silver began to flow from the New World to the old, with the silver mines established in Bolivia and Mexico giving rise to large silver coins. Within decades after Columbus' discovery, silver coins were minted in the Americas and shipped to Spain.
Given the reduced or even non-existent link between the value of currency and the value of precious metals since the Great Depression, silver has gradually ceased to be used in the manufacturing of ordinary circulating coins. For this reason, coins are now made of silver for two main reasons:
- Special commemorative coins minted for sale to coin collectors.
- Bullion and Proof Silver coins, which are primarily sold to investors because although they are legal tender, they are not expected to circulate.
Fueled by global demand and the shrinking U.S. dollar, silver prices have witnessed an upward surge, driving investors to flock to the white metal. See our historical trends charts to track the continued success of silver in today's economy.