Silver has been around for more than 7000 years and has adorned the homes and bodies of kings, queens, and emperors. At one stage, in Ancient Egypt, it was more expensive than gold.
Silver is not just beautiful, it also has a number of features that make it a useful industrial element. It is a noble metal which means that it resists corrosion and oxidization. It has the highest electrical and thermal conductivity of any element and it is more reflective than any other metal.
This is why the metal is used in electrical applications and solar panels. Pure silver is an indispensable component of modern electronics. The metal has unique antibiotic elements and is used in water filtration and medical applications. Because of its photosensitivity, it also plays an important role in the development of photographic and X-ray film. Silver has antibacterial properties and is often used to coat hospital surfaces. It has a high melting point and so it is used to electroplate bearings for motors.
Silver is highly malleable so it is easy to flatten into sheets and it is ductile so it is possible to draw it into a fine, flexible wire. It has been used for thousands of years in the minting of coins as currency along with gold. Because the metal is rare and valuable, it is a good store of value.