Although silver is scarce compared to many other elements and resources, it is the most plentiful and least expensive of those elements that have earned precious metal status. Precious metals are valued for their beauty and relative scarcity in the Earth’s crust. Other unique qualities include their malleability, high resistance to corrosion, reflectiveness and conductivity. Socially, these precious metals have long signified status and wealth. Silver has been associated with romance and legends, religion and culture. For as long as history has be recorded, adventurers have scoured the remote corners of the world in search of this luminous white metal. In Peru, for example, the Incas called it “the tears of the moon” while the Chinese believed that a silver locket hung around a child’s neck would ward off evil spirits.
Today, it continues to be revered for its fineness and beauty.