Silver has been used since antiquity and cannot be said to have been discovered by any one person. In areas where humans have never collected it, silver can occur as nuggets lying on the surface of the ground.
The oldest surviving silver artifact originated in Asia Minor around 4000 BCE. It is likely the metal was discovered early in the history of civilization, and it has been continuously in use as currency and decoration throughout recorded history. Silver is sometimes found alloyed with other heavy metals, and it is known that people were smelting lead to extract silver as early as 3000 BCE.