Anyone who tells you that “diamonds are a girl’s best friend” is dealing in completely false clichés. In fact, silver, not diamonds, is the best friend of all mankind and not just for its gorgeous sheen and aesthetic versatility. While it’s true that silver boasts a long history in the limelight of jewelry-making and coinage, this gleaming metal’s true worth to humanity remains its best-kept secret: the multitude of medical purposes for which silver has become invaluable.

Even before there was scientific proof, silver was used for numerous health purposes. In ancient Phoenicia, imperative drinking liquids were stored in silver containers to keep them unspoiled. For centuries before the invention of antibiotics, silver was used to great effect in medical treatments for all kinds of conditions requiring antibacterial compounds.

This is due to the element’s most remarkable quality, its ability to kill bacteria through what is known as an oligodynamic effect. The effect is toxic for organisms like algae, fungus, and bacteria, which has prompted medical and scientific experts to begin utilizing silver for healing. As far back as 400 B.C., forefathers of modern medicine praised silver for these properties, and it has since been used to treat wounds, prevent and treat infection and disease, and to disinfect.

When included in necessarily sterile instruments, like catheters and breathing tubes, silver has dramatically decreased occurrences of resulting urinary tract infections and pneumonia. Thanks again to its momentous antiseptic qualities, silver is also used often in dental procedures, particularly in cavity fillings in conjunction with other metals. It should be noted that thanks to the oligodynamic effect, silver is an incredibly unique element and one of the only metals that can be employed thus.

The 47th element has also made a splash in alternative medicine, especially colloidal silver, which consists of tiny silver particles dispersed and suspended throughout a liquid base, usually water. Although silver is not a mineral naturally found in the body, proponents of holistic treatment have long advocated the ingestion of silver as a supplement. According to these sources, the metal is said to help prevent and treat ailments, like diabetes, tuberculosis, HIV, and various forms of cancer, among others.

In its colloidal form, silver demonstrates its antibacterial properties in experiments with isolated organisms (known as in vitro). With an overwhelming amount of centuries-long evidence, there can be no doubt that this is an extraordinary metal and one whose uses are as indispensible in the medical field as they are in the art of jewelry-making and metal currency. The conclusion? Silver truly is a girl’s best friend whether it’s on her arm, around her neck, or in her medical appliances. However, if you don’t plan on using your scrap silver jewelry in an improvised surgery, why not send that silver in to Cash for Silver USA?