Ah, silver bars. My aunt used to give me one of these every birthday. They're not terribly collectible, but their material value alone will move them out the door.
- Fact 1: Silver was the standard currency metal worldwide through most of history. Ingots were first used around 2000 BC, coins around 700 BC, and until the late 19th century silver still backed most nations' paper money.
- Fact 2: Many currencies originated as measures of silver; the British Pound Sterling was once the value of one pound of sterling silver.
- Fact 3: Though the Romans used bronze as their currency metal, their system of one-pound and smaller "uncia" coins became the basis for the modern troy ounce, the standard of measure for precious metals.
- Fact 4: One-ounce silver bars were once considered serious investment pieces, but as silver prices fell through the 20th century they became more common as collectors' gifts commemorating events and holidays.
- Fact 5: Silver's high conductivity, malleabilty, and chemical reactivity make it a key part of electronics, medicine, photography, optics, chemistry, and industry.