How is the element silver used in the United States? Data gathered by the U.S. Geological Survey provides a broad answer to this question.
Based on information sourced from the U.S. Bureau of Mines and other minerals records, usage breaks down into four major categories:
- Jewelry, sterling silver ware, and electroplated silver ware – Everything from rings and bracelets to dining utensils, pitchers, and collectibles.
- Electrical and electronics – As an excellent conductor of electricity, silver is ideal for circuitry and wiring within the latest technological gadgetry.
- Photography – In an ionic solution, silver was an essential part of developing photographs taken with film.
- Other – A broad category that includes the use of silver in the context of human health.
With the move toward digital photography since 2003, the amount of silver used for the development of film-based photography would be interesting to see on this chart. However, this source of information only details usage up to 2003.
This information matches additional data provided by the U.S. Geological Survey, which can be viewed here: Silver Production, Trade & Usage.