Commonly accepted as the second most popular precious metal in the world, behind gold, silver maintains the use in coins, jewellery, and trinkets that it has had for centuries.
Silver is bought for many reasons, as an item of value for display, in the form of jewellery for example, an investment opportunity, and many industrial processes. North America and South America are the two biggest producers of silver in the world, so the value of silver can affect currencies in both regions.
It is specifically the US, Mexico, and Peru which produce silver, with newly mined silver meeting most of the global demand.
There are secondary silver sources as well, such as scrap metal recovery, melted coins, recycled jewellery, and dishoarding from countries with export restrictions.
The value of silver tends to be very dependent on supply and demand, although factors that affect mining production, like the wave of incidents in 2010, can also affect the market price of silver.