Silver is an invaluable property in the medical field. Humans have known about silver and its natural antimicrobial properties for thousands of years reports Silver Sinus. The Phoenicians used silver bottles to store their water in order to prevent it from spoiling, and that was back in 1200 BC. While many cultures used silver coins as currency, the metal has several other uses. Silver ions are thought to embody bacterial enzymes that bind to DNA. That makes using silver in medicine effective for treating bacteria, fungi, and viruses.

Recently, new research suggested that silver could be used to detect and treat a wide array of diseases. An experimental medical imaging technique using pulsed lasers and tiny metallic nanocages has been developed to help treat patients, according to Purdue Newsroom.

Doctors inject hollow nanocages and solid nanoparticles made of silver and gold. They then shine infrared laser pulses through the skin to detect the alloys. This method allows professionals the opportunity to get a better view of the viruses that are invading cells and identify bacteria and fungi that may have developed in the body.

What makes this method stand out, according to the news source, is that it does not cause heat damage to tissue, which keeps patients safe while eliminating any fluorescent background that was created in past infrared scanning methods.

While silver bullion and gold have long been viewed as essential in various societies, it seems that scientists have begun to realize the full range of uses these rare materials can perform. This discovery has led medical professionals to buy silver at alarming rates, and with stocks running low, investors, collectors, and industry leaders may be compiling silver supplies more than ever in the coming years.