AROUND 3,000 BCE
Known in Latin as argentum, originating from the Sanskirt word argunas meaning “shining” silver is often an overlooked metal in comparison to gold, though it has properties that make it a unique and special element. Pure silver is the best conductor of heat and electricity, and also the best reflector of visible light, which is why it is commonly used in the production of mirrores. However, pure silver is too soft for making products such as jewellery and tableware. To combat this, silver is usually mixed with other metals to create an alloy, for example, the finest tableware is made from sterling silver, which is an alloy of 92.5 percent silve and 7.4 percent copper (or another metal).