Silver, a chemical element, exists in the periodic table with the symbol “Ag” and atomic number 47. Silver is a soft white lustrous transition metal. Due to the fact that it has the highest electrical and thermal conductivity of any metal, silver is widel used throughout the world, used in used in coins, jewelry, tableware, and photography. Silver occurs in minerals and in free form.
I’m sure if you looked you would have in your household several objects that are made of polished silver. For example: Silver dollars, or Silver cutlery, or photography equipment.
Being just a bit harder than gold, silver is very ductile and malleable. Because of silver’s physical properties as a brilliant white metallic luster it can take a high degree of polish. Copper has replaced silver in several instances due to it’s hire cost, this is especially true for electrical purposes.
Silver has a number of other notable characteristics:
- Silver has the whitest color of any metal
- Silver has the highest thermal conductivity of any metal
- Silver has the lowest contact resistance of any metal
- Silver has the highest optical reflectivity of any metal
Silver is stable in both pure air and water, but does tarnish when it is exposed to ozone, hydrogen sulfide, or air with sulfur in it. The most common use of silver is as a precious metal and its halide salts. This is especially true of silver nitrate. Silver is also widely used in photography, which has today, become the biggest single industry in which silver is used.