What is Silver?

Silver (Ag), is a chemical element, a lustrous white metal that is prized for its decorative beauty and electrical conductivity. Silver is situated between copper (period 4) and gold (period 6) in Group 11(Ib) and Period 5 of the periodic table, and its physical and chemical properties are intermediate between those two metals.

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Appearance: it appears as a white lustrous metal

Structure:  It has face-centered cubic crystal structure

Elemental Properties of Silver

  • The Silver atomic number is 47

  • the Atomic weight of silver is 107.868g

  • Its melting point is 960.8 °c (1,861.4 °f)

  • Its boiling point is 2,212 °c (4,014 °f)

  • Silver has specific gravity, approximately 10.5 (20 °c [68 °f])

  • Oxidation states of silver is +1, +2, +3

Physical Properties of Silver

Silver is a very popular metal too. Silver, like gold, is a rare metal and has great value, and is also traded in similar markets.

Silver is also a common metal with which to make jewelry owing to its scarcity and malevolence.

Silver has also been used in dentistry for some time, although it had to be mixed with mercury as it is not quite as malleable as gold.

Gold is also a good conductor, and is used for galvanizing. It is also used in battery manufacturing and as a catalyst.

Chemical Properties of Silver

While coinage metals are known to be oxygen-resistant in air, silver will become tarnished by H2S(g)

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Pure silver metal is Heat and Electricity 's best conductor. For jewellery and utensils, pure silver would be too soft so it is usually alloyed with at least one other metal. For example, sterling silver is generally about 93% silver and 7% other metals, mostly copper.

Silver can be found in high concentrations such as argentite, Ag2SAg2S but most of it is recovered in other metals such as copper refining processes. Most of the silver compounds are light sensitive, and the photographic industry uses a lot of silver bromide and silver chloride.

Preparation of Silver

Extraction of Silver By Cyanide Process

Silver also occurs both in combined and free state. The most important silver ores are: Argentite (Ag2S), Copper silver look, Horn silver, Ruby silver. In some parts of India, the silver ores are found alongside gold ores.

The rock-argentitis (Ag2S) extracts Gold. The gold extraction process is called cyanide process as sodium cyanide solution is used. The ore is crushed, compressed, and then treated with a solution of sodium cyanide. This reaction forms the cyanide sodium argento.

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Sodium argento cyanide solution combines with zinc dust, which forms cyanozicate sodium tetra and precipitated silver. The precipitated silver is called silver spongy.

To obtain pure silver the spongy silver is fused with potassium nitrate. The obtained silver is then extracted by an electrolytic process.

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Applications of Silver

As an Element

Silver has been used for many thousands of years by people all over the world, for jewellery, as money, and many other things. 

Although it looks black it is called a white metal. Also, the term silver is used to talk of this color or shade of grey.

Silver is used in utensils, too. In dentistry, it may be used as an amalgam to fill teeth. Silver serves as a catalyst.


Silver is incorporated into wound dressings in medicine, and used in medical devices as an antibiotic coating. External infections are treated with wound dressings containing silver sulfadiazine or silver nanomaterials.

Silver is also used in some medical applications, such as urinary catheters (where preliminary evidence indicates that it decreases urinary tract infections associated with catheters) and in endotracheal breathing tubes.


Silver is very important for conductors and electrodes in electronics because of its high electrical conductivity even when tarnished.

Brazing Alloys

Silver - containing brazing alloys are used to brush metallic materials, particularly alloys based on cobalt, nickel, and copper, tool steels, and precious metals.


Silver metal is a good catalyst for oxidation reactions; in addition, it is somewhat too good for most purposes, as finely divided silver tends to result in complete oxidation of organic compounds to carbon dioxide and water, and therefore prefers to use coarser-grained silver instead.


The photosensitivity of the silver halides let their use in traditional photography, though now dominant is digital photography, which does not use silver.

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

1. What Does Ag in Silver Mean?

Silver element symbol is Ag (derived from the Latin argentum which means shiny' or' white') and its atomic number is 47.

2. What are 3 Interesting Facts About Silver?

Silver is a metal that is very ductile and malleable. It's very transparent and smooth, white and lustrous metal. It has all the elements with the highest electrical conductivity. The electrical conductivity is potentially much greater than copper, the most commonly used metal for electrical cables and wiring.

3. Is Silver an Antibacterial?

It has long been known that silver's antibacterial action is enhanced by the presence of an electric field. Used as a topical antiseptic, silver is incorporated into the bacteria it kills. Dead bacteria can thus be the source of silver that could destroy additional bacteria.

4. Does Silver React With Gold?

Gold and Silver atoms react with one another to form reasonably strong metallic bonds, but amazingly they have almost no chemical interaction with the atmosphere.