Basic Facts:

Chemical Symbol: Ag
Atomic Number: 47

Latin: Argentum
Spanish: Plata
German: Silber

US Silver Dollar, per Coinage Act of 1792: 371.25 grains fine silver, 420 total grains

Main Producers: Peru, Mexico, Australia, China, United States, Canada, Russia, Poland, Kazakhstan, Bolivia, Sweden.

Uses: Jewelry, ornamentation, utensils, coinage, electrical contacts, conductors, mirrors, chemical catalysis, photographic film, microbiocides, dental amalgam, hearing aid batteries, computer keyboards, flutes & other instruments, anti-fungal applications, solder, food coloring, and more.

Is Silver a Good Investment?

I personally think silver is a good thing to buy and hold indefinitely and have been buying since it was around $12 an ounce in 2007-2008, but no matter what anyone tells you, silver (and gold for that matter) is NOT an "investment" in the true meaning of the word.   Anything that is a physical item which just sits there and doesn't pay returns is not an investment; it is either money itself (which should be saved, see:, or it is a commodity you are speculating will increase in price or value (price and value are different concepts).  Price speculation and investment are different concepts.  Some people have the notion that speculation is inherently risky and greedy, while investment is wholesome and akin to simple savings.  This is not really true, though speculation and investment require different mindsets and strategies.  You need to forget these societal biases in order to realize that silver "investment" is actually speculation (or savings, if you consider it to be real money as I and the US Constitution do) - the silver produces no interest or dividend - you are simply speculating that the price will rise. 

For a good explanation of speculation vs investment, please read the work of the late Howard Katz:

The Art of Speculation:

What's Next for Gold:

The Art of Speculation (2):