Pure silver belongs to the precious metal category. It its raw natural state, it is soft, shiny and white.
Silver is generally mined from copper deposits and is mostly found in the Americas (U.S., Canada, Mexico and Peru) and in Australia.
'The most important characteristic of sliver is that it conducts heat and electricity more efficiently than any other metal.
In order to utilize it, silver must be mixed with other metals that harden it (such as copper or zinc) and produce various degrees of purity. Unlike gold, whose purity is measured in karats, silver is measured in thousandths:
999 thousandths (99.9% pure silver in the mixture).
925 thousandths (also known as "sterling silver") (92.5% pure silver in the mixture).
835 thousandths (83.5%)
800 thousandths (80%)
In Israel, the verification mark for the various degrees of silver purity is the Pomegranate.
Pure silver has many uses in a variety of fields:
Jewelry and other fine items – sterling silver is usually used for the manufacture of jewelry, high-end housewares, religious ritual objects, etc.
Medals – for sports competitions, for instance.
Coins – for collectors, and in the distant past also used as currency.
The electronics industry – due to its high electric conductivity.
Medicine – due to its antibacterial qualities.