The silver used in jewelry comes from various sources. Due to the high demand of silver use, today the majority of it is extracted from silver mines or as a byproduct of mining other metals like copper, zinc, lead, and gold. Silver is a naturally occurring metal, and it's often found in combination with other elements in the Earth's crust.
Common sources of silver used in jewelry:
- Silver mines: There are specific mines dedicated to extracting silver from the ground. These mines are located in various regions around the world, including countries like Mexico, Peru, China, Australia, and Russia.
- Byproduct of other metal mining: Silver is frequently found alongside other metals, especially in deposits of copper, zinc, lead, and gold. When mining these metals, silver is often extracted as a byproduct.
- Recycling: Silver can also be obtained from recycling old and discarded silver jewelry, coins, and other silver-containing items. Recycling plays an essential role in sustaining the supply of silver and reducing the need for new mining.
Once the silver has been mined or recycled, it goes through a refining process to purify it and remove any impurities. The refined silver is then used to make various forms of jewelry, coins, and silverware. If you are curious to learn about using recycled silver in your jewelry, read our article on recycled silver.