Silver is a very well known precious metal with the chemical symbol Ag. Silver is soft shiny white metal that has exceptional electrical and thermal conductivity. Silver exists in the nature in its pure form, as well as in alloy with many other metals including gold The majority of silver production is by-product of base metal mining (copper, zinc and lead mainly).
Silver has been used for thousands of years as money and for jewelry production, however in modern times silver has found many industrial applications as well. Silver is used in electrical conductors and contacts, in photography films (this usage is rapidly declining), as catalyst of chemical reactions and in many antimicrobial applications.
Unlike most of the mined gold throughout human history, which is still available in form of jewelry, coins, and bullion bars, silver has many industrial uses, and silver supplies are used up instead of hoarded. The fact that silver is considered both precious metal and industrial metal makes it very volatile. Silver is an excellent hedge against monetary inflation as well.