Silver is mined in many different countries around the world. The major silver producing countries are: Mexico, Peru, China, Australia, Chile, Poland, Russia, Bolivia, USA, and Canada. Manu other countries also mine silver.
Silver production increased drastically in 2011 to 761.6 million ounces, mainly due to gains from by-product gold and lead/zinc mining. The largest silver producing country in the world in 2011 was Mexico, followed by Peru, China, Australia and Chile.
In the year 2011 total silver fabrication demand was at 876 million ounces, the second highest level since 2000. There are many factors that affect the demand for silver and accordingly prices react. The sectors that consume most of the silver mining are automobile manufacturers, silver jewelry manufacture, photography, the medical field and makers of general silverware.
From all the different elements the have earned the status "precious metals", Silver is the most plentiful and the least expensive, yet it is still a scarce metal and mining and refining is very expensive. Precious metals are known for their unique qualities like malleability, high resistance to corrosion, reflectiveness and conductivity. They are valued for their shining beauty and relative scarcity around the world's crust.
Socially, these precious metals like Silver, Gold and Platinum have long signified and still show status and wealth. Romance and legends, religion and culture were always associated with Silver. From the time history has been 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.
New uses for silver are constantly found and the metal continues to be revered for its fineness and beauty and becomes increasingly popular as the quantities mined and market price show.