The Earth’s crust is made up of very small particles: elements (or: atoms). More than eighty different elements have now been found in the earth’s crust. One of these is silver, which consists of the chemical element argentium (Ag). In nature it occurs both in pure form and in combination with other elements.
Silver is a fairly soft, white shiny metal. It is rare and therefore expensive. In the past, silver was used to make coins and cutlery. Many jewelry are made of silver and nowadays silver is also widely used in the photographic industry and in electronics.
The vast majority of silver is extracted as a by-product in the extraction of copper, lead and zinc. Major silver mines can be found in Mexico, Peru, United States, and Canada, among others.