When silver is mined from the ground it is commonly mixed with a number of other elements. In order to get pure silver that can be used for commercial or industrial purposes, it must be refined. Silver has an extraordinarily high melting point—it must be heated to nearly 2,200 degrees in order to be refined to complete purity. Only when it has been through that process does the silver become useful for its intended function. Beautiful service pieces, high tech equipment, and collectible coins all become possible once the silver has been refined.