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:main article. Also note, that Metal is not gathered before the Classical Age.
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.
While Greeks and Muslims were known for striking gold coins (such as bezants and dinars) silver, alongside copper, iron and salt, formed the principal mineral wealth of mediaeval Europe, and for a higher-level currency, silver was sufficient in quantity and quality, extracted from mines in eastern Europe or from Sardinia, whose ore fed the purse of the Pisan republic. Silver also has anti-bacterial properties and was also sought by apothecaries as well — tradition in Korea holds that the best chopsticks are made of pure silver.