This paper describes a solution-phase route to the large-scale synthesis of silver nanowires with diameters in the range of 30-40 nm, and lengths up to ~50 μm. The initial step of this synthesis involved the formation of Pt nanoparticles by reducing PtCl2 with ethylene glycol (EG) refluxed at ~160 °C. These Pt nanoparticles could serve as seeds for the growth of silver (formed by reducing AgNO3 with EG) through heterogeneous nucleation process because their crystal structures and lattice constants matched closely. In the presence of poly(vinyl pyrrolidone) (PVP), the growth of silver could be led to a highly anisotropic mode with formation of uniform nanowires. UV-visible spectroscopy was used to track the growth process of silver nanowires because different silver nanostructures exhibited distinctive surface plasmon resonance peaks at different frequencies. SEM, TEM, XRD, and electron diffraction were used to characterize these silver nanowires, indicating the formation of a highly pure face-centered cubic phase, as well as uniform diameter and bicrystalline structure. The morphology of these silver nanostructures could be varied from particles and rods to long wires by tuning the reaction conditions, including reaction temperature, and the ratio of PVP to silver nitrate. These silver nanowires could be used as sacrificial templates to synthesize gold nanotubes via a template-engaged replacement reaction. The dispersion of gold nanotubes exhibited a strong extinction peak in the red regime, which was around 760 nm.