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Silver Ag
Atomic No. - 47

Silver has been used for thousands of years for ornaments and utensils, for trade, and as the basis for many monetary systems.

The History Says

Associated with the moon, as well as with the sea and various lunar goddesses, silver was referred to by alchemists by the name luna. One of the alchemical symbols for silver is a crescent moon with the open part on the left.

The Present Scenario

In India, foods can be found decorated with a thin layer of silver, known as 'Varak.'

Silver is found in the earth as native silver, a mineral. It has a bright, metallic luster. When it is untarnished, it has a white color. Silver is usually found with a various different elements forming variety of minerals and ores. In gold, lead, zinc, and copper ores, it is found in a very small amounts, which is known as trace amount.

As a mineral, it crystallizes in the cubic (isometric) system. In a very rare cases silver forms crystals. Generally, found in thin sheets or as long wires and bundles of wires. Silver is soft with a hardness on Mohs scale only at 2 to 3. It is malleable and ductile.

The name 'silver' was named from the Old English (Anglo-Saxon) word 'seolfer.' The word is also related to 'silber' in German and 'zilfer' in Dutch. Earlier it was also called by a Latin name 'Luna.' It simply means 'moon,' because of its bright luster. The symbol 'Ag' has been taken from the Latin word for silver, 'Argentum.'

Physical Properties of Silver

Cleavage None
Color Silver-white on untarnished surface. Tarnishes dark yellow to black.
Hardness 2.5-3
Fracture Hackly
Specific Gravity 9.6 - 12.0 (Pure = 10.5)
Luster Metallic
Streak Silver-white to light gray. Streak shiny.
Transparency Opaque
Tenacity Ductile and Malleable

Sources of Silver

Silver occur in lead, zinc, and copper ore deposits. Seventy-five percent of the resources in the world are found in association with other metal ores. The remaining is found with gold. The most important ore mineral is argentite, Ag2S (silver sulfide).

Significant world silver producing countries are the US, Mexico, Peru, Chile, and Canada. In the US, Nevada is leads in silver producing. There it occurs as a by-product of gold mining.

Uses of Silver

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