In Jim Cook's Archive


(Condensed from the Silver Institute)

We want you to own silver, the miraculous metal. If you read carefully about the thousands of uses for this indispensable metal, perhaps you will see the wisdom in buying it. Look at the seemingly infinite uses of this strategic metal. Both rechargeable and disposable batteries are manufactured with silver alloys. Billions of silver oxide-zinc batteries are supplied to world markets yearly, including miniature sized batteries for watches, cameras, and small electronic devices and larger batteries for tools and TV cameras.

Steel bearings electroplated with high purity silver have great fatigue strength and load carrying capacity for use in hi-tech and heavy-duty applications. Silver coated bearings provide superior performance and safety for jet engines.

Silver solder facilitates the joining of materials and produces smooth, leak-tight and corrosion-resistant joints. Silver brazing alloys are used in air-conditioning, refrigeration, power distribution, automobiles and aerospace. Silver’s unique combination of properties are of the first importance for plumbers, appliance manufacturers, electronics and a host of manufacturing industries.

Chemical reactions can be significantly increased by adding elements that do not enter into the reaction, and silver is one of those elements. Approximately 700 tons of silver are in continuous use in the world’s chemical industry for the production of plastics. Silver is essential for producing a class of plastics which includes adhesives, laminating resins for construction, plywood, particle board, finishes for paper and electronic equipment, textiles, surface coatings that resist heat and scratches, dinnerware, buttons, casings for appliances, handles and knobs, packaging materials, automotive parts, thermal and electrical insulating materials, toys, and the list goes on.

Silver, the miracle metal, is necessary for producing soft plastics used in polyester textiles for all types of clothing and specialty fabrics. It’s used for molded items such as insulating handles for stoves, key tops for computers, electrical control knobs, appliance components, and Mylar tape which make up 100% of all audio, VCR, and other types of recording tapes. It’s also used to produce antifreeze coolant for automobiles and cleaning solvents.

Silver is a recognized powerful oxidizer. Metallurgists have long known the unique affinity of silver with oxygen. Molten silver will hold ten times its volume in oxygen. The oxidizing power of silver has worldwide application in numerous industries.

Silver is used in bullion, commemorative and proof coins around the world. It has wide usage in silverware, jewelry and the decorative arts.

Silver is the best electrical conductor of all metals and is used in conductors, switches, contacts and fuses. Ordinary household wall switches, and virtually all switch contacts, use silver because it does not corrode, or cause overheating and fires. The use of silver for motor control switches is universal.

In the home, all electrical appliances, timers, thermostats and sump pumps use silver contacts. A typical washing machine requires 16 silver contacts to control its electric motor, pump, and gear clutch. A fully-equipped automobile may have over 40 silver-tipped switches to start the engine, activate power steering, brakes, windows, mirrors, locks, and other electrical accessories.

Silver relays are used in washing machines, dryers, automobile accessories, vacuum cleaners, electric drills, elevators, escalators, machine tools, and so on up to railway locomotives, marine diesel engines and oil-well drilling motors whose performance is required to be flawless. For circuit breakers, silver combines the highest heat conductivity and the highest electrical conductivity of all metals, with almost unlimited performance.

Silver is also widely used in electronics, including silk-screened circuit paths, membrane switches, electrically heated automobile windows, and conductive adhesives. Every time a home owner turns on a microwave oven, dishwasher, clothes washer, or television set, the action activates a switch with silver contacts that completes the required electrical circuit. The majority of the keyboards of desk-top and lap-top computers use silver membrane switches. These are found behind the buttons of control panels for cable television, telephones, microwave ovens, learning toys and the keyboards of typewriters and computers. Due to their reliability and wide use, the silver-contact membrane switch market in the U.S. is a multi-billion dollar industry.

The silver we urge you to own is truly indispensable to a modern society. A new electronic application for “smart tags” promises to use significant quantities of silver. From grocery items to pre-paid toll gizmos, Radio Frequency Identification or RFID devices are coming on in a big way. Not only are these tiny ‘smart tags’ fast replacing bar codes at the checkout counter, but they’re being used to prevent shoplifting, trigger warehouse inventory counts and will soon make an appearance imbedded in credit cards and passports. Although the amount of silver used in each smart tag is miniscule, tens of millions of throwaway tags are expected to be produced in coming years and the applications appear virtually endless. Silver makes a perfect antenna because it is highly conductive and malleable.

Another important use of silver is for printed circuit boards (PCBs) that use silver for connecting paths of electronic circuitry and are essential to the electronics that control the operation of aircraft, automobile engines, electrical appliances, security systems, telecommunication networks, mobile telephones and television receivers.

The use of silvered windshields in General Motor’s all purpose vehicles reflects away some 70% of the solar energy that would otherwise enter the car, reducing the load on air conditioners in summer. Every automobile produced in America has a silver-ceramic line fired into the rear window. The heat generated by these conductive paths clears the rear window of frost and ice.

The ease of electroplating silver accounts for its widespread use in coating. Silver plating is used in a wide variety of applications from Christmas tree ornaments to cutlery and hollowware. Silver possesses working qualities similar to gold but enjoys greater reflectivity and can achieve the most brilliant polish of any metal.

This unique optical reflectivity, and its property of being virtually 100% reflective after polishing, allows it to be used in mirrors and in coatings for glass, cellophane or metals. Everyone is accustomed to silvered mirrors. What is new is invisible silver, a transparent coating of silver on double pane thermal windows. This coating not only rejects the hot summer sun, but also reflects inward internal house heat. A new double layer of silver on glass is sweeping the window market, as it reflects away almost 95% of the hot rays of the sun, creating a new level of household energy savings. Over 250 million square feet of silver-coated glass is used for domestic windows in the U.S. yearly, and much more for silver coated polyester sheet for retrofitting windows.

Silver has a variety of uses in pharmaceuticals. In fact, silver sulfadiazine is the most powerful compound for burn treatment. It is used world-wide. In another application catheters impregnated with silver sulfadiazine eliminate bacteria. In a world concerned with the spreading of virus and disease, silver is increasingly being tapped for its bactericidal properties and used in treatments for conditions ranging from severe burns to Legionnaires Disease.

One out of every seven pairs of prescription eyeglasses sold in the U.S. incorporates silver. Silver halide crystals, melted into glass can change the light transmission from 96% to 22% in less than 60 seconds and block at least 97% of the sun’s ultraviolet rays.

The photographic process is based on the presence of silver halide crystals suspended on an unexposed film. Silver-based photography has superior definition and low cost. It’s the biggest user of silver. The use of silver worldwide in X-rays consumes millions of ounces more.

Silver paste is used in 90% of all solar cells. Sunlight striking silicon cells generates electrons, which the silver conductors collect to become a useful electric current. In the collection of solar energy, silver is the best reflector of thermal energy (after gold).

Silver is employed as a bactericide and algaecide in an ever increasing number of water purification systems. Silver ions have been used to purify drinking water and swimming pool water for generations. New research into silver compounds is providing physicians with powerful, clinically effective treatments against which bacteria cannot develop resistance. Silver ions in house frames help resist mold and mildew, something that has plagued the building industry for decades.

Every year brings new, widespread applications for silver. Meanwhile, there is less and less silver. Call us now and begin to accumulate your personal store of this indispensable metal.

Start typing and press Enter to search