Silver is one of 31 Rare Resources in the game and, if present on a map, available from the beginning. Like all rare resources on land, it can be harvested by sending a Merchant from the Market to the resource location. Silver provides the following benefits:
Silver is one of the five rare resources to reduce research cost, with the other four being Dye, Furs, Papyrus and Silk. Due to the high cost of age advances, early linking of this resource can save a nation lots of resources, most noteable Knowledge, which is required for all advances after the Classical Age. This holds especially true, when playing with one of the 'long and expensive research' options.