The 7 Unexpected (and Surprising) Uses of Silver

Posted on March 26, 2015 @ 3:10 PM EST

When you get cash for silver, where does the precious metal go?Coins, accessories, jewelry, and figurines are what come to mind when we think of silver. And when we think of technology and advancement, a whole different set of words come to mind: plastic, steel, technological chips, and more. However, Canadians need to shake up this thinking when it comes to silver. Silver’s more than just a pretty metal (although it is certainly lovely to lay eyes upon). It’s also a valuable resource for technological advancement, medical tools, and more. Canadians who are looking to get cash for silver can look beyond their jewellery boxes, silverware drawers, and bedside tables. But when you trade in your goods with silver inside them for cash, it’s a win/win situation where everyone benefits. Why is this? We’re running perilously low on the precious metal – and the price of silver is reflecting that. So when you trade in your unwanted goods, you’re helping along the advancement of some of this next generation technology. Here are some of the most unexpected places you can find silver, and why this metal is simply the best at certain kinds of jobs.

Electronic Wonder: How Silver Helps Technology Operate

Technology and silver make a great partnershipIf you look at the numbers, you may be surprised to think that silver’s #1 use is not in money or jewelry – but instead, in electronics. Silver is the uncontended best at thermal and electrical conductivity. That means that it would not be simple – perhaps not even possible – to use a substitute.

#1: The Ol’ Silver Switcharoo

So, how exactly do they put silver to use? Silver serves as a contact in electrical switches; the contact allows the switch to turn on and off. Sometimes that switch is you turning on your bedroom light, other times it’s a microwave turning on the heat. If something has a power switch, it probably has silver in it. When you think about it, that’s a lot of devices! To make silver’s job even more important, when silver is used in electronics, you can’t get away with using something “good enough”. Electronics demand that only the highest purity is used – the astounding number of 99.99% percent. There’s literally no room for error when it comes to this. Obviously, when it comes to obtaining cash for silver, this high quality metal can be a large asset. Silver is used in switches in all sorts of devices, from automobiles to smartphones to industrial strength equipment.

#2: Powders and Flakes

Things get cooler from there. You can dissolve pure silver in nitric acid, which doesn’t destroy the precious metal – rather it transforms it into powder or flakes. It’s used in electronics for circuit paths, allowing your iPhone to function. It’s also helping us conquer our energy woes by being instrumental for solar energy. When you perform a cash for silver deal, you might be helping the human race figure out how to create renewable, pollution-free energy!

#3: Small Sized Silver

Nanosilver is exactly what it sounds like – silver that has been broken down to an extremely small particle size. Just how small are we talking here? 1/100 billionths of a meter. This miniscule amount of silver is at the forefront of technological innovation. Printed electronics such as RFID tags use nanosilver conductive ink.

#4: Charging it Up!

Batteries keep your electronics running all day long. You can thank silver oxide and silver zinc alloys for this. These batteries are not only efficient for powering cameras, watches, and laptops, they can even handle cars and even aerospace and defense tools. Part of the reason they’re so dang efficient is that they can handle high temperatures without sacrificing efficiency. Maybe this is why Marvel made their famous galactic hero the Silver Surfer and not the Gold Surfer!

#5: Moldable, Flexible Plastics

Silver helps the electronic parts of some of your favourite goods function, but it also plays a role in flexible plastics such as handles or containers or cases. Silver is a catalyst in ethylene oxide, which is used for these molded plastics. Any plastic that needs a little bend – such as door handles – could contain silver.

#6: Silver: A Medical Wonder

When you head to the hospital, you can thank some of the advances we’ve made on silver. Silver ions absorb oxygen and kill bacteria. That means that they’re an antibiotic property that have been used in medicine for thousands of years. Silver is used in hospitals to prevent the spread of infections and pathogens, coating hospital surfaces and medical equipments. This is especially important now that hospitals have to worry about antibiotic resistant superbugs – silver keeps them at bay! You can find silver in surgical equipment, wound dressings, and ointment. Silver ion treatments can even heal bone infections and help damaged tissue regeneration. Silver is in eye drops and dental hygiene as well. Your dental fillings could even be made out of silver!

#7: Start Your Engines!

These bearings allow your vehicle’s engine to function smoothlyThe engines of a car or truck rely on silver in order to run. The engine bearings are a fusion of steel and silver. Silver’s high melting point ensures it can withstand the heat of the engine, and it also acts like a lubricant to cut down on friction. Steel alone cannot do the job; silver is needed to keep the driver and vehicle safe.

When you’re considering cash for silver, look beyond the obvious sources. You may be surprised at how many things around you contain this precious metal. The seven examples above are just a start – it’s used in many more devices and tools. With the price of silver continuing to rise, look to EDI Refining for the best deals. Call us at 1 866 688 3353 and we’ll be happy to lend you a hand.