November 28, 2012 7 Comments

The Silver Series: Supply and Demand (Part 2)

The History of SilverSilver Supply and DemandSilver as an Investment

The Silver Series: Supply and Demand (Part 2)

The History of SilverSilver Supply and DemandSilver as an Investment

In 2011, there were 1040.6 million troy oz of silver produced.  Of this, 84% was used by industry and the remaining was used as an investment.

Interestingly, traditional uses of silver only account for about a third of silver fabrication.  These include jewelry, coins, medals, and silverware.  Most silver is actually consumed in over 10,000 modern industrial applications.

The vast majority of silver supply comes from recycling, net government sales, and mine production.  In terms of mine production, the majority of silver comes as a by-product of mining other metals.  In addition, about half of all mined silver comes from Latin America.

Although all silver ever mined can fit in a 52m cube, the vast majority of silver has been consumed.  While the actual amount is unknown, some experts believe as much as 90-95% of all the silver ever mined has been ‘lost’ to landfills.  For this reason, there is likely less silver available above ground than gold (98% of all gold is accounted for today).

Enjoyed the second installation of the Silver Series?

Check out our completed series on Gold:

7 Responses to “The Silver Series: Supply and Demand (Part 2)”

  1. Rogier says:

    Love the series! Good way to explain folks around me why i am getting silver and why they should too. The only thing is laughing at me and saying ‘silver aint worth shit’. HA! We’ll see who laughs last. That includes my Mom!

  2. George says:

    A wise man once told me, that in order be successful, just do two things.
    1) Watch what the public masses, and do the complete opposite.
    2) Listen to what the government says, and do the exact opposite.

    Everyone I speak to about silver and gold, always reply with the uneducated response of “you can’t eat gold or silver”. At least I know that having both, will keep me out of a Red Cross or FEMA Camp when all else fails.

    There are two things that have withstood the test of time, and all the bankers manipulated shenanigans all through 4,500 years of history, and that’s gold and silver!
    Thus why they hate you to own either!

  3. Jacob says:

    Please help me with the uses of silver. What is the use of the unlabeled wedge of your pie chart? What is the analysis of that use?

    Thank you

    37% traditional
    7.5 photography
    6.8 photovoltaic
    7.2 soldering
    3.3 ethylene oxide
    21.5 electrical
    16.7% ?

    • Kai says:

      Hi Jacob,

      Apologies for the confusion. That wedge represents the combined 9,995-odd industrial uses that weren’t mentioned.

      There are many very interesting uses that make up this wedge, like water purification, super capacitors, glass-coatings, medicine, batteries – the list goes on and on. Most of them only use several million ounces every year.

      The Silver Institute’s “The Future of Silver Industrial Demand”goes into more detail on all industrial uses, including lots of the ones we didn’t mention. You can find it here:

      Hope that answers your question!

      The VC Team

      • Jacob says:

        Thanks for the response Kai. I am eager to review the report from the silver institue. I love the fundamentals of silver; long history, depleting non-renewalble supply, high demand in economic hardship, high demand in economic growth and all wrapped up in an artificialy low price point. Plus it’s just cool.

  4. Marc says:

    I hate the ‘can’t eat silver” argument.
    These people eat coins and bills? Or do they put their entire investment portfolio into food?

    Stupid fux just repeating something they heard on TV.

    An employee first said this to me in 2007 …silver tripled since then …now buying 3x the food.

  5. Jason says:

    I’m looking for the exact citation for two bits of data: 1.) 10,000 industrial uses. I can’t find that number in any of the linked sources. 2.) 90% has been last to landfills. Where is this number found?

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