Written by our compadres @ FutureMoneyTrends.com
Silver is without at doubt the most important metal in the world, yet most people when they think about the uses for silver, think of jewelry, silverware, and photography. However, this barely scratches the surface for the uses for silver, in fact, we could write an entire book on just the different applications silver is involved in.
Silver has germicidal effects that kill many lower organisms. The colloidal or ionic silver is a silver solution that is an antibacterial product now sold on special band aids. For years, burn wards have soaked bandages in low concentrations of silver solution in order to prevent infection. Silver has been used to preserve and help save the skin of burn victims. Silver also promotes the production of cells, helping to heal wounds faster.
Not what you are thinking, so please don’t start taking apart your old washing machine looking for silver. The silver we are talking about is in the new Samsung washing machines that inject silver ions into the rinse cycle in order to kill 99.9% of bacteria that causes odors. By using about 1 ounce of silver, these Samsung washing machines can sanitize over 3,000 loads, this means no hot water or bleach necessary, just a dash of silver.
Silver based food packaging liners that preserve food quality made by Agion. Using an active ingredient of silver zeolite, which is a delivery system that dispenses silver metal ions in a controlled release over time, the silver is able to disrupt microbe growth by interrupting ribonucleic acid that is needed for an organism to reproduce.
According to David Eaton, secretary of The Institute of Water Ionization Technologies in the UK, silver based water purification systems offer the most reliable and cost effective alternative to chlorine. In fact, both Russian scientists and NASA concluded that the best method for long term water purification was using silver as the purifying agent. Silver kills bacteria in the water and is able to help maintain the purity over a long period of time.
Have you ever wanted to store water? Put a few drips of colloidal silver and kill over 650 known bacteria that can grow in your stored water. On cruise ships and airplanes, they often make sure there is some silver in their water tanks for this very reason.
Silver was even used in the 1980’s in the United Kingdom to help stop the spread of Legionnaire’s disease, a disease named after Legionella pneumophilia, an aquatic organism.
Since silver will not ignite, if you want to avoid a spark turning into an explosion, then you need to use silver. When it comes to hospitals handling pure oxygen at high pressure in liquid form, in order to avoid it becoming dangerous, the equipment used to transport the oxygen is made at least in part with silver.
In 2008, Mitsui Mining and Smelting Co Ltd announced that it had developed a new catalyst for diesel engine cars. This new auto-catalyst replaces the use of platinum with silver, platinum as we write this is about 48 times more expensive than silver, so you can see that this will be a lasting change and new use for silver. At the time of the announcement, a spokesperson for Mitsui stated that “silver will totally replace platinum in this new auto-catalyst that we’ve developed.”
There is about 80 cents worth of silver in the average cell phone. In fact, the metal contents in cell phones is very precious, having all 4 precious metals in them, platinum, palladium, gold, and silver.
Approximately 1 ounce of silver is in each solar panel you see on residential roofs. Without a doubt one of the fastest growing industrial uses for silver is photovoltaic cells in solar panels, in 1999 the amount of silver used in this industry was so small there isn’t even an official reporting of the number. However, 10 years later that number hit 18 million ounces, and last year for 2011, 70 million ounces were used. David Morgan, editor of The Morgan Report who runs the website http://www.Silver-Investor.com feels that solar demand could reach 130 million ounces per year around 2014. In fact, Jessica Cross, CEO of the VM Group believes that “solar panels will probably be one of the leading industrial uses” for silver. Silver is crucial in photovoltaic technology, silver helps collect electrons for the electrical current and transports them out of the module for power use.
Silver is used in the windows of skyscrapers in order to reflect away over 90% of the heat from sunlight. Silver, more than any other metal is the best reflector of light which is one of the reasons it is used in mirrors.
Radio Frequency Identification Technology (RFID) Chips
This industry will one day replace bar codes, already being used at the largest retailer in the world, Wal-Mart. RFID tags have a very thin silver foil that is used as a high-performance receiver. This technology is basically a tag with a mini-antenna that saves data and is able to emit a radio wave in order to send information to a central processor. Basically, retailers and manufactures who want to know more about their products and have a more efficient flow of goods after leaving their possession, can now have these RFID tags placed on their products. For example, U.S. department of State uses RFID chips in all new American passports. Now the passports can be scanned by the authorities, who will see your personal information that should match the same information on paper.
Silver compounds have a toxic effect on some bacteria, algae, fungi, and even some viruses. The use for silver goes back to the very beginning, the father of medicine, Hippocrates wrote that silver had beneficial healing and anti disease properties. Silver was also used to prevent infection during war time before antibiotics were used.
Silver oxide-zinc is used in batteries for digital cameras, watches, and phones. Recently it was announced that all Apple products will be using silver oxide-zinc batteries.
The use of silver in electronics is widespread and is used in almost all electronics you have in your home, from your television to your computer. Circuit breakers, switches, and fuses all use electrical components using silver. The odds are if something has a ‘power on’ button, then it has some silver in it.Silver Bearings
Silver bearings in engines have become essential components in Jet engines. Steel ball bearings that are electroplated with silver become the strongest type of bearing in the industry. As noted before, silver is able to withstand high temperatures which makes it perfect for the bearings in jet engines. According to the silver institute, even in the event of an oil pump failure, silver-plated bearings provide enough lubrication to allow a safe engine shutdown.
Throughout your vehicle you have electronics, from opening your windows to adjusting your seats. Your engine has silver and even your antifreeze has ethylene oxide, a compound made from silver.
The Uses For Silver List
The list for silver uses can go on and on and on. Silver is also used in lasers, satellites, robotics, high-tech weaponry, TV’s, refrigerators, wall switches, photography, glasses, brazing, soldering, cloud seeding, wood preservation, musical instruments, automotive industry, explosives, dental filings, methanol production, nuclear reactors, Xray machines, polyester, deodorant, disinfectants, catheters, and thousands of other applications.
One of the largest uses for silver is in industries like the production of plastics, where silver is used as a catalyst. Approximately 150 million ounces of silver was used last year in order to produce ethylene oxide and formaldehyde, both used to make plastics. Formaldehyde is the chemical that is the building block for plastic, so in order to produce plastic, you need silver.
Where ever you are right now, take a look around you and think about how much silver products are in front of you. For me, I’m writing on an Apple Computer, my cell phone is on my desk, and a blue plastic cup is right next to my hand that has a silver wedding band on my ring finger. When I look around the room, I notice that I have a light switch, electrical outlets, and a television. In my desk, I have plastic pens, ink, and a small flashlight. Looking out my office window, I can see my car, in it a rear view mirror, side mirrors, rear window defroster, and of course under the hood is even more silver. All these products have silver in them, or needed silver in order to be created.
Now here is the fun part for silver investors, look at a map of the earth at night. Notice the intense light that comes from the U.S., Europe, and Japan. We want you to picture what the amount of silver it takes to produce this amount of light, think about all the other electronics these first world regions have surrounding those lights. As we just described, think about all the silver in bedrooms, vehicles, and on each person. Now look at China and India, with combined populations of 2.5 billion people. This doesn’t include the South American or other Asian countries, just these two specific countries. They are going to need skyscrapers, houses, condos, apartments, vehicles, cell phones, water sanitation facilities, and hundreds of thousands of electronics… including plenty of iPhones and iPads. Bullish for Apple, yes, bullish for silver, even more.
Silver has so many uses and so many customers, it is very easy to see that if the buyers of silver ever thought there was going to be a shortage, the price could have a historic run. We are not talking about individuals, we are talking about the Apples of the world, who in the future may come into the silver market in order to protect their own businesses from delays caused by a silver shortage.
Most of these new uses for silver are from the 20th century. Prior to this, silver had a very limited role for industrial uses, silver was mainly used for money, jewelery, and in the 19th century photography. Of the 46 billion ounces of silver ever mined in history, only about 1 billion remains above ground. A very large amount of the above ground available supply of silver was consumed in the past 60 years. FutureMoneyTrends.com believes what we saw in the 20th century is nothing compared to what we will see in the 21st century, with electronics and 7 billion people all desiring to live the lifestyle of the west, the above ground available supply should get completely consumed over the next 10 years.
Silver Vs. Other Metals
As you can see, the arguments made for silver can’t be made for any other metal. That is why when people suggest to us to diversify into physical platinum or palladium, we always suggest back to them to buy more physical silver. If you want to own a precious or industrial metal, silver is King. If you think the economy is going to collapse and we will all be living in a mad max world, then you definitely want to own some silver to barter with, silver after all is the most used monetary metal in world history. If you think the economy is going to boom and the 1990’s is just around the corner, then you want to own silver. Industrial demand will soar as the rest of the world becomes industrialized. The Chinese want cars, cell phones, and other electronics just like the west, which means the largest population in the world needs a lot more silver. The entire world will need a lot more silver, so the question is, can new mining keep up with demand?
We don’t think so, though we are bullish on ALL metals, the fact is nothing will beat silver over the next 10 years.