Did you know that silver has been known since ancient times and has been recorded in the book of Genesis?
Here is some historical information on the evolution of Silver:
- Record history shows that man learned to separate silver from lead as early as 3000 B.C.
- The first area of mining silver was Anatolia (modern day Turkey). Silver was a valuable resource for the civilizations that flourished in the Near East, Crete and Greece.
- Silver production shifted to Greece’s Larium mines in 1200 B.C and then moved to Spain in approximately 100 A.D. The Spanish mines were the major supplier of the Roman Empire.
- From the Moorish invasion of Spain, silver mining them moved to a broader range of countries, mostly in Central Europe.
- Several silver mines were discovered between 750 and 1200 A.D. including Eastern Europe and Germany.
- The Spanish Conquest after the discovery of the New World in 1492 led to silver mining that dramatically impacted anything before that time.
- Between 1500 and 1800 A.D.,Bolivia,Peru and Mexico accounted for over 85% of world production and trade.
- As time progressed, many other countries started contributing, particularly the United States. Silver continued expanding worldwide, growing from 40 to 80 million troy ounces annually by 1870.
- From 1876 to 1920 both silver expanded greatly in both technological and exploitation of new regions worldwide. Production increased four fold towards the end of the 19th Century over the average of the first 75 years to an amount totaling 120 million troy ounces per annum.
- New discovery was noted in Australia, Central America and Europe and the years 1900 to 1920 brought in a 50% increase in global production bringing the total to 190 million troy ounces per annum. This increase was assisted by discoveries in Canada, the United States, Africa, Mexico, Chile, Japan and other countries.
- In the last 100 years, contributions to the extreme increase in silver production have been a result of new technologies. Major breakthroughs included steam-assisted drilling, mining, mine dewatering and improved haulage. And advances in mining techniques assisted in the separation of silver from other ores and the possibility of the handling of larger volumes of ore that consisted of silver.
- These methods played a key role to the increased volumes of production as many of the high grade ores throughout the world had been significantly depleted by the end of the 19th century.
- Now in present day, more than 5000 years after the first mining of silver, the yearly global mine production totals an average of 671 million troy ounces.
For more information about silver’s history, see this quick video.
Now we know the history, let’s learn some; “Quick Facts About Silver”?