Gold has long been the standard when it to comes to the valuation of precious metals, but silver has been and will be instrumental in past and future industrial growth.
With the proliferation, popularity, and growing ease of innovations like solar power, gold may not be the frontrunner anymore. Silver, a metal with many names, is poised to become a major player in three core industries.
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Silver 925, Sterling Silver–Which one are Industries Using?
Three industries poised for major growth in 2018 are solar power, autonomous cars, and healthcare. Well, healthcare doesn’t really need to grow since people will always need medical attention. Yet, how silver figures into the mix will surprise you.
Always seen as secondary in value to gold, silver is now favorable due to its versatility and availability. Due to the metal’s nature, 99% silver can be very soft. As a result of this, many silver items are alloyed with other metals. This is why some refer to it as 925 silver or silver 925.
Sterling Silver, more commonly called 925 silver, relates to its 92.5% silver content. One of its many uses includes bacteria-killing properties thanks to antimicrobial ions. This makes the metal extremely useful in medical devices such as catheters and bandages.
In fact, silver’s antibacterial features make perfect sense in things like Gorilla Glass, too, since smartphones are notorious for harboring bacteria. Corning developed the antimicrobial version in 2014 making use of the aforementioned disease killing silver ions.
Why Waymo and Other Autonomous Cars Need Waymo Silver
Did you know that the auto industry uses more than 36 million ounces of silver every year? It makes sense when you consider just how much silver is packed into an average vehicle. With new features such as rear-object detection and rear cameras, the amount of silver used will only grow.
How could 925 silver improve the world of self-driving cars? Some argue that future autonomous cars will resemble the “Bean” from Chicago. The increased number of sensors means more silver. As we move away from petrochemical engines to more sustainable energy types, the use of silver in solar panels will also increase.
As Solar Power Accessibility Increases, So Does the Need for Silver
The cost of solar panels used to make them prohibitive in mass use. Now, the average cost does vary by state, but it is down 9% from last year’s figures. But many predict the continued reduction in cost.
This means that production will increase, thus requiring more silver (naturally). So, what happens if silver becomes a scarcer resource? It isn’t just these three major industries getting in on the silver game.
Companies such as Folia Water use silver in their reasonably priced water filters.