How much silver is Potosi?

Potosí was founded as a mining town in 1546, while Bolivia was still part of the Viceroyalty of Peru. Over the next 200 years, more than 40,000 tons of silver were shipped out of the town, making the Spanish Empire one of the richest the world had ever seen.

What was Potosi silver used for?

The silver of Potosi thus stimulated the formation of a sophisticated regional and global trading network. Iron from northern Spain was essential to mining. Spain had some of Europe’s richest iron deposits and Basque ironmongers became essential to Potosi.

How much silver was mined from Potosi?

Now one of the largest silver mines in Bolivia, and in the world, the Cerro Rico de Potosí mine to date has yielded an estimated 60,000 tons of silver, and deposits are thought to still contain estimated reserves of 1.76 billion ounces (50,000 tons) of silver and 540 million tons of ore grading 0.17% tin.

What did the Spanish create out of the silver at Potosi?

The discovery of a mountain of silver (and a new way to extract it) transformed this remote Incan hamlet into the economic centre of Spain’s empire – larger than London, Milan or Seville.

Is there still silver in Potosi?

Geology. Located in the Bolivian Tin Belt, Cerro Rico de Potosí is the world’s largest silver deposit and has been mined since the sixteenth century, producing up to 60,000 tonnes by 1996. Estimates are that much silver still remains in the mines.

How did silver change society?

Eventually, this trade had profound effects on West African society: It reoriented trade routes toward the coast rather than across the Sahara, which led to the decline of interior states. It also led to an increasing traffic in humans to work, among other places, in the silver mines of the Americas.

Did African slaves work in silver mines?

Few enslaved Africans were used in the silver mines in Peru. The mines were high in the mountains, and the cost of feeding and clothing slaves in this isolated and cold area would be too high. Africans were not used to the lack of oxygen in the air at that altitude, and did not work well.

Why did the Chinese want silver?

China and the demand for silver China had a high demand for silver due to its shift from paper money to coins in the early period of the Ming Dynasty. Hence silver became of high value because it was a valid currency that could be processed abroad.

Why did a majority of silver end up in Spain and China?

Why Did People in China Want Silver? -Spain spent too much of it’s collected silver to fight wars against emerging capitalist powers in NW Europe. After the decline in value and demand in China, the Spanish Empire declined.

Who was the largest exporter of silver to China?

Despite America’s dominance in silver production over three centuries, Japan may have been the primary exporter of silver to China in the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries, shipping perhaps 200 tons per year at times. Japanese silver exports, however, fell off dramatically in the second half of the …

What were the negative impacts of China’s demand for silver?

Fluctuating values of silver caused the real salaries of Chinese officials to rise and fall, encouraging graft and corruption. For Spain, the declining value of silver meant disaster. So much so that the Spanish crown actually experienced bankruptcies during times of record silver production.

Why did Spain want silver?

Spaniards at the time of the Age of Exploration discovered vast amounts of silver, much of which was from the Potosí silver mines, to fuel their trade economy. Potosí’s deposits were rich and Spanish American silver mines were the world’s cheapest sources of it.