Whether you're looking for precious metals to add to your investment portfolio, or just looking for the best materials for your next jewelry purchase, you've probably been wondering a lot about the difference between gold and silver. While we all can obviously tell the difference in color, not everyone knows the way that gold and silver are elementally different, and the way they differ on the market. Here are just a few of the biggest differences between the two metals, so the next time you're thinking about buying gold or silver, you've got the facts you need right in your pocket.
Industrial use - While silver is used very heavily in the industrial market, only about 10% of gold goes to the same purposes. The U.S. alone circulates and deposits over $7.6 trillion worth of gold, and a majority of it goes towards ornamental purposes or investment opportunities. That being said, gold is used in certain technical situations, like computer chips and other micro-processing.
Price - This one is kind of a no-brainer, but when it comes to price, gold is significantly more expensive than silver. Per ounce, gold costs around $1300, where silver costs only $22. Gold is a heavier, denser metal, with one cubic foot weighing half a ton. The largest gold bar in the world weighs 440 pounds. Imagine carrying that around in your bag all day.
History - While silver has a long history of monetary use, gold has always been sought after as a more precious metal. It's also been considerably harder to find; nearly 75% of all gold in circulation today was extracted after 1910. That's a lot of gold in not a lot of time! To show just how precious gold has been to our society, when gold coins were revoked as currency, the government even demanded that they be given back.