“No single event in the history of silver rivals the importance of the discovery of the New World in 1492. This momentous finding and the years that followed reinvented the role of silver throughout the world.”
The unearthing of this buried treasure in the American West effectively constituted the next wave of American conquests and colonization, as word of the large amount of hidden wealth spread across the civilized world. Silver was a critical driving force behind the creation of new towns, the diversification in population, the expansion of railroads, and the rise of the labor movement.
The Rise of Silver
The excitement led to increased discovery of silver deposits elsewhere and, as the United States continued to grow in both population and size coupled with the increasing amount of technological innovation at the turn of the twentieth century, global production of silver increased 50 percent between 1900-1920.
Today, more than 5000 years after ancient cultures first began to mine this precious metal, the United States consistently ranks in the top ten silver-producing countries in the world.