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Silver is a soft, white metal that usually occurs in nature in one of four forms: 1) as a native element; 2) as a primary constituent in silver minerals; 3) as a natural alloy with other metals; and, 4) as a trace to minor constituent in the ores of other metals. Most of the silver produced today is a product of the fourth type of occurrence. Silver is known as a "precious metal" because it is rare and because it has a high economic value. It is valuable because it has a number of physical properties that make it the best possible metal for many different uses. Silver has an electrical and thermal conductance that is higher than any other metal. It has a higher reflectivity at most temperatures than any other metal. It has an attractive colour and lustre that resist tarnish and make the metal desirable in jewellery, coins, tableware, and many other objects. These are just a few of silver's important properties. When performance is more important than price, silver is often the material of choice - ""