According to the United States Geological Survey Minerals Report, last year U.S. mines produced approximately 1,100 tons of silver with an estimated value of $570 million. There was an additional reported production of commercial-grade silver with an estimated total output of 2,100 tons from domestic and foreign ores and concentrates and from old and new scrap.
Silver has been known since ancient times, and yet is currently a major component of the newest electronics. In addition, it can be found in jewelry, coins, photographic materials, medical equipment, and even as an ingredient in plastics.
To ensure silver is pure, or identify other metals that may be alloyed with it, portable XRF analyzers for precious metals can provide a fast, accurate, and most importantly, a nondestructive method to test the purity and composition of all precious metals, including silver. XRF quickly determines the presence and concentration of other trace alloying elements including lead, a toxic metal.