Silver belongs to precious metals, along with gold, platinum and a number of others.
Silver is a soft, ductile, malleable, lustrous metal. Of all metals, it has the highest electrical and thermal conductivity.
In many premodern monetary systems, it has functioned as coinable specie, sometimes even alongside gold. In addition, silver has numerous applications beyond currency, such as in solar panels, water filtration, jewelry and ornaments, high-value tableware and utensils, and also as an investment in the forms of coins and bullion.
Sterling silver (an alloy of 92.5% silver and 7.5% copper) or Britannia silver (an alloy of 95.8% silver and 4.2% copper) are used for jewelry and silverware.
Silver is second only to oil as the world's most useful commodity.
Silver bullion has the ISO currency code XAG.
Like most commodities, the price of silver is driven by speculation and supply and demand. Compared to gold, the silver price is notoriously volatile.