When it comes to precious metals, people often prefer gold to Silver. However, that doesn’t mean Silver is inferior or worth significantly less; it is mostly a matter of priority. The white, lustrous metal is commonly used to create decorative ornaments because it’s soft and shiny. It is also a good conductor of electricity. Here are more facts you probably didn’t know about this precious gem.

1. Silver is the Most Reflective Metal on Earth

Silver reflects 95% of light, making it the most reflective metal on Earth. This explains why it often appears shiny.

2. Alan Turing Buried 150 Pounds of Silver, and He Never Found It

Alan Turing, known to many as the father of modern-day computing, converted all his assets into 150 pounds of Silver. He then buried his newly found possession deep in a forest near Bletchley Park. In a surprising turn of events, Alan Turing couldn’t identify where he had buried the Silver after the landmarks had changed. To date, it remains unknown whether the Silver is still in the ground somewhere or someone stumbled across it.

3. Mexico is the Leading Producer of Silver

At the time of writing this article, Mexico is the leading producer of Silver. In 2023, the country produced 6,400 metric tons of the precious metal. Other major Silver producers include Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, and Peru.

4. Silver Can Kill Bacteria

Silver contains antimicrobial substances that, according to scientists, can kill bacteria, fungi, and some types of viruses.

5. Argentina is Named After Silver

Many countries have been named after precious metals, and Argentina is one of them. The South American country derives its name from the Latin word argentum, which means Silver. The name is a perfect fit, considering the amount of Silver that Argentina produces.

6. Too Much Silver Can Turn A Person’s Skin and Nails Blue

Colloidal Silver is quickly becoming an alternative medicine for treating fungal, viral, and bacterial infections. However, experts say that too much exposure to the metal can lead to a condition known as Argyria, which turns the patient’s skin and nails blue. Caution when taking silver supplements is, therefore, advised.

7. Baking Soda and Vinegar is the Best DIY Polish for Silver

People have often believed that toothpaste is the best DIY polish for Silver, but it’s not! Instead, its abrasive properties can damage jewelry made of the precious metal. Baking soda and vinegar are the most suitable alternatives.

8. Silver Has Been Around for Thousands of Years

Archeologists can date Silver back to 4,000 -5,000 years ago. The precious metal has existed for centuries and was used as currency in Egypt and other empires. Mining of Silver also started a long time ago.

9. In the Earlier Olympics, Number One Winners were Given Silver Medal

Currently, the Olympic Games winners are crowned with gold. However, this hasn’t always been the case. If anything, winners were given silver medals during the earlier Olympic competitions, ranging from 1896 to 1904.

10. The Hunt Brothers Once Owned a Third of the World’s Supply of Silver

After their father’s death, Nelson and Herbert Hunt attempted to corner the silver market by owning a third of the world’s supply of Silver. Apparently, the brothers had foreseen the decline of the U.S. dollar, so they were looking to invest in something more tangible. Unfortunately for them, the United States government read their moves and halted silver-buying contracts. This led to a decrease in the price of Silver.

11. About 935.7 Tons of Silver was Recovered Under the World Trade Center After 9/11

After the 9/11 attacks, a lot of strange things happened. One was the discovery of 935.7 tons of Silver and 11.8 tons of gold worth millions of dollars under the World Trade Center. It is thought that the gems were stored in bank vaults located in the building when it was attacked.

12. Pirates Wore Silver So That It Would Cater for Their Funerals

According to history, pirates did not wear silver and gold earrings just for status. Instead, they wore them so that when their bodies were washed ashore, the silver earrings would be enough to cater for their funerals. In other cases, the pirates wore Silver because of superstitions. They believed that the precious metal would prevent them from sinking.

13. During the 18th Century, People Would Carry Their Own Silver Spoons

Today, “born with a silver spoon” means having a high social position and being rich from birth. However, in the 18th century, people took it quite literally: they owned and carried their silver spoons around as a sign of class and wealth. Especially among the middle class, people carried their silver spoons the way we carry car keys and wallets today.

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Last Update: April 1, 2024