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Silver

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Formula:
Ag
System:IsometricColour:Silver-white, tarnishes ...
Lustre:MetallicHardness:2½ - 3
Member of:Copper Group
Name:An Old English word "seolfor" whose original meaning is now lost. The current spelling "silver" was known as early as 1478. Known in ancient Roman times as argentum. The chemical element abbreviation Ag comes from argentum.


Copper Group. Gold-Silver Series and Palladium-Silver Series.

Silver is used in jewelry, tableware, coins, scientific equipment and in photographic processes. Silver tarnishes black with a surface layer of acanthite (silver sulphide), especially when placed in proximity to sulphurous compounds. It is primarily found as a constituent of hydrothermal veins. It is often found associated with copper. Unlike gold, it is soluble in any oxidizing mineral acid.

Classification of Silver

IMA status:Valid - first described prior to 1959 (pre-IMA) - "Grandfathered"
Strunz 8th edition ID:1/A.01-20
Nickel-Strunz 10th (pending) edition ID:1.AA.05

1 : ELEMENTS (Metals and intermetallic alloys; metalloids and nonmetals; carbides, silicides, nitrides, phosphides)
A : Metals and Intermetallic Alloys
A : Copper-cupalite family
Dana 7th edition ID:1.1.1.2
Dana 8th edition ID:1.1.1.2

1 : NATIVE ELEMENTS AND ALLOYS
1 : Metals, other than the Platinum Group
Hey's CIM Ref.:1.2

1 : Elements and Alloys (including the arsenides, antimonides and bismuthides of Cu, Ag and Au)
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Occurrences of Silver

Geological Setting:1) Primary Hydrothermal veins
2) Secondary enrichment
3) Alluvial nuggets

Physical Properties of Silver

Lustre:Metallic
Diaphaneity (Transparency):Opaque
Colour:Silver-white, tarnishes dark gray to black
Streak:Silver white
Hardness (Mohs):2½ - 3
Hardness (Vickers):VHN100=61 - 65 kg/mm2
Hardness Data:Measured
Tenacity:Malleable
Cleavage:None Observed
None
Fracture:None observed
Density (measured):10.1 - 11.1 g/cm3
Density (calculated):10.497 g/cm3

Crystallography of Silver

Crystal System:Isometric
Class (H-M):m3m (4/m 3 2/m) - Hexoctahedral
Space Group:Fm3m
Cell Parameters:a = 4.0862Å
Unit Cell Volume:V 68.23 ų (Calculated from Unit Cell)
Z:4
Morphology:Crystals are cubic, octahedral, dodecahedral to a cm. Often elongated to many cm in herring bone twins and wires (crystals elongated along the [111] axis)
Twinning:Penetration twins on (111) with cubes from Kongsberg and tetrahexahedrons from Michigan (bearpaws). Arbourescent growths twinned on (100) and on (111).
Crystal Atlas:
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Silver no.1 - Goldschmidt (1913-1926)
Silver no.2 - Goldschmidt (1913-1926)
Silver no.4 - Goldschmidt (1913-1926)

About Crystal Atlas

The mindat.org Crystal Atlas allows you to view a selection of crystal drawings of real and idealised crystal forms for this mineral and, in certain cases, 3d rotating crystal objects. The 3d models and HTML5 code are kindly provided by www.smorf.nl.

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Epitaxi Comments:"Halfbreeds" with Ag on Cu and more rarely Cu on Ag. The face centred lattice is continuous between the two minerals.
Wires with black Acanthite crystals and coating form by continuing the face centred cubic silver between the minerals.
X-Ray Powder Diffraction:
d-spacingIntensity
2.359 (100)
2.044 (40)
1.231 (26)
1.445 (25)
0.9375 (15)
1.8341 (13)
0.9137 (12)

Optical Data of Silver

Type:Isotropic
Reflectivity:
400nmR=69.8%
420nmR=71.0%
440nmR=73.2%
480nmR=75.0%
500nmR=76.8%
520nmR=78.2%
540nmR=79.5%
560nmR=80.8%
580nmR=82.5%
600nmR=83.2%
620nmR=84.0%
640nmR=84.6%
660nmR=85.2%
680nmR=86.0%
700nmR=86.5%


Graph shows reflectance levels at different wavelengths (in nm). Peak reflectance is 86.5%.
Colour in reflected light:brilliant silver white
Internal Reflections:none
Pleochroism:Non-pleochroic

Chemical Properties of Silver

Formula:
Ag
Essential elements:Ag
All elements listed in formula:Ag
Analytical Data:Apart from the Gold-Silver series, native silver is often relatively pure (especially secondary silver). It often contains significant amounts of mercury (up to 20%) and antimony (up to 5%). Reported copper- and arsenic-rich varieties.
Au      0.004
Cu      0.011
Fe      0.024
Sb      0.581
Hg      1.130
Total 100.2  
Empirical Formula:
Ag
Common Impurities:Au,Hg,Cu,Sb,Bi

Relationship of Silver to other Species

Series:Forms a series with Gold (see here)
Forms a series with Palladium (see here)
Member of:Copper Group
Other Members of Group:

- +
Related Minerals - Nickel-Strunz Grouping):

- +
1.AA.05Aluminium
Al
1.AA.05Copper
Cu
1.AA.05Electrum
(Au, Ag)
1.AA.05Gold
Au
1.AA.05Lead
Pb
1.AA.05Nickel
Ni
1.AA.05UM2004-08-E:AuCuPd
(Cu,Pd,Au)
1.AA.05UM1991-06-E:AuCu
Au
 
3
Cu
1.AA.10aAuricupride
Cu
 
3
Au
1.AA.10bTetra-auricupride
AuCu
1.AA.10aCuproauride
Cu
 
3
Au
1.AA.15Anyuiite
Au(Pb,Sb)
 
2
1.AA.15Khatyrkite
(Cu,Zn)Al
 
2
1.AA.15Iodine
I
 
2
1.AA.15Novodneprite
AuPb
 
3
1.AA.15UM1985-02-E:AlZn
ZnAl
 
2
1.AA.20Cupalite
(Cu,Zn)Al
1.AA.25Hunchunite
Au
 
2
Pb
Related Minerals - Hey's Index Grouping:

- +
1.1Copper
Cu
1.5Gold
Au
1.6Auricupride
Cu
 
3
Au
1.7Tetra-auricupride
AuCu
1.8Zinc
Zn
1.9Cadmium
Cd
1.10Danbaite
CuZn
 
2
1.11Zhanghengite
CuZn
1.12Mercury
Hg
1.13Kolymite
Cu
 
7
Hg
 
6
1.14Moschellandsbergite
Ag
 
2
Hg
 
3
1.15Eugenite
Ag
 
11
Hg
 
2
1.16Schachnerite
Ag
 
1.1
Hg
 
0.9
1.17Paraschachnerite
Ag
 
3
Hg
 
2
1.18Luanheite
Ag
 
3
Hg
1.19Weishanite
(Au,Ag)
 
3
Hg
 
2
1.20Indium
In
1.21Aluminium
Al
1.22Khatyrkite
(Cu,Zn)Al
 
2
1.23Cupalite
(Cu,Zn)Al
1.24Diamond
C
1.25Graphite
C
1.26Chaoite
C
1.27Lonsdaleite
C
1.28Silicon
Si
1.29Tin
Sn
1.30Lead
Pb
1.31Anyuiite
Au(Pb,Sb)
 
2
1.31Novodneprite
AuPb
 
3
1.32Leadamalgam
Pb
 
0.7
Hg
 
0.3
1.33Arsenic
As
1.34Arsenolamprite
As
1.35Paxite
CuAs
 
2
1.36Koutekite
Cu
 
5
As
 
2
1.37Domeykite
Cu
 
3
As
1.38Algodonite
(Cu
 
1-x
As
 
x
)
1.39Novakite
Cu
 
20
AgAs
 
10
1.40Kutinaite
Ag
 
6
Cu
 
14
As
 
7
1.41Antimony
Sb
1.42Stibarsen
AsSb
1.43Paradocrasite
Sb
 
3
As
1.44Horsfordite
Cu, Sb
1.45Cuprostibite
Cu
 
2
(Sb,Tl)
1.46Allargentum
(Ag
 
1-x
Sb
 
x
)
1.47Aurostibite
AuSb
 
2
1.48Dyscrasite
Ag
 
3
Sb
1.49Bismuth
Bi
1.50Maldonite
Au
 
2
Bi
1.51Sulphur
S
 
8
1.52Rosickýite
S
1.53Selenium
Se
1.54Tellurium
Te
1.55Chromium
Cr
1.56Rhenium
Re
1.57Iron
Fe
1.58Chromferide
Fe
 
3
Cr
 
1-x
(x=0.6)
1.59Ferchromide
Cr
 
3
Fe
 
1-x
1.60Wairauite
CoFe
1.61Nickel
Ni
1.62Kamacite
(Fe,Ni)
1.63Taenite
(Fe,Ni)
1.64Tetrataenite
FeNi
1.65Awaruite
Ni
 
3
Fe
1.66Palladium
(Pd,Pt)
1.67Potarite
PdHg
1.68Paolovite
Pd
 
2
Sn
1.69Stannopalladinite
(Pd,Cu)
 
3
Sn
 
2
1.70Cabriite
Pd
 
2
CuSn
1.71Taimyrite-I
(Pd,Cu,Pt)
 
3
Sn
1.72Atokite
(Pd,Pt)
 
3
Sn
1.73Rustenburgite
(Pt,Pd)
 
3
Sn
1.74Zvyagintsevite
(Pd,Pt,Au)
 
3
(Pb,Sn)
1.75Plumbopalladinite
Pd
 
3
Pb
 
2
1.76Osmium
(Os,Ir,Ru)
1.77Iridium
(Ir,Os,Ru)
1.82Platinum
Pt
1.83Hongshiite
PtCu
1.84Niggliite
PtSn
1.85Isoferroplatinum
Pt
 
3
Fe
1.86Tetraferroplatinum
PtFe
1.87Tulameenite
Pt
 
2
CuFe
1.88Ferronickelplatinum
Pt
 
2
FeNi
1.89Rhodium
(Rh,Pt)
Related Minerals - Dana Grouping):

- +
1.1.1.1Gold
Au
1.1.1.3Copper
Cu

Other Names for Silver

Synonyms:
ColqueNative SilverPlata Nativa
Other Languages:
Afrikaans:Silwer
Albanian:Argjendi
Amharic:ብር
Arabic:فضة
Armenian:Արծաթ
Asturian:Plata
Azeri:Gümüş
Basque:Zilar
Belarusian:Серабро
Bengali:রূপা
Bishnupriya Manipuri:প্রাটা
Bosnian (Latin Script):Srebro
Bulgarian:Сребро
Catalan:Plata
Cebuano:Silver
Chuvash:Кĕмĕл
Corsican:Argentu
Croatian:Srebro
Czech:Stříbro
Danish:Sølv
Dutch:Zilver
Erzya:Сия
Esperanto:Arĝento
Estonian:Hõbe
Finnish:Hopea
French:Argent
Friulian:Arint
Galician:Prata
Gan:
Georgian:ვერცხლი
German:Silber
Gediegen Silber
Haarigsilber
Greek:Άργυρος
Guarani:Itatĩ
Gujarati:ચાંદી
Haitian:Ajan
Hakka:Ngiùn
Hebrew:כסף
Hindi:रूप्यम्
Hungarian:Ezüst
Icelandic:Silfur
Ido:Arjento
Indonesian:Perak
Irish Gaelic:Airgead
Italian:Argento
Japanese:
Javanese:Perak
Kapampangan:Pilak
Korean:
Kurdish (Latin Script):Zîv
Latin:Argentum
Latvian:Sudrabs
Limburgian:Zèlver
Lithuanian:Sidabras
Lojban:rijno
Low Saxon:Sülver
Luxembourgish:Sëlwer
Malay:Perak
Malayalam:വെള്ളി
Manx:Argid
Maori:Kawata
Marathi:चांदी
Min Nan:Ag
Nahuatl:Iztāc teōcuitlatl
Norman:Ergent
Norwegian (Bokmål):Sølv
Norwegian (Nynorsk):Sølv
Occitan:Argent
Persian:نقره
Polish:Srebro
Portuguese:Prata
Quechua:Qullqi q'illay
Ripuarian:Silber
Romanian:Argint
Russian:Серебро
Sanskrit:रूप्यम्
Scottish Gaelic:Airgead
Serbian (Cyrillic Script):Сребро
Serbo-Croatian:Srebro
Sicilian:Argentu
Simplified Chinese:自然银
Slovak:Striebro
Slovenian:Srebro
Spanish:Plata
Swahili:Agenti
Swedish:Silver
Silfver
Tajik (Cyrillic Script):Нуқра
Tamil:வெள்ளி
Tatar:Kömeş
Telugu:వెండి
Thai:เงิน
Traditional Chinese:自然銀
Turkish:Gümüş
Ukrainian:Срібло
Urdu:چاندی
Uzbek (Latin Script):Kumush
Venetian:Arxento
Vietnamese:Bạc
Welsh:Arian
Yiddish:זילבער
Zhuang:Ngaenz
Zulu:Isiliva
Varieties:
AmalgamAntimonial SilverAntimonian SilverArqueriteArsenian Silver
CuproarqueriteKongsbergiteKüstelite

Other Information

Fluorescence in UV light:none
Magnetism:Paramagnetic
Special Storage/
Display Requirements from:
El Bonanza Mine,..., Mackenzie District, Northwest Territories, CanadaAirbourne S will tarnish it . Should be kept covered with Sulfur free container.
Health Warning:No information on health risks for this material has been entered into the database. You should always treat mineral specimens with care.
Industrial Uses:Electrical conductor, in photo-active chemicals in film and light darkening glass, jewelry, coinage.

References for Silver

Reference List:

- +
Guertler (1912) Metallographie. Berlin: 1: 769.

McKeehan (1922) Physical Review, a Journal of Experimental and Theoretical Physics: 20: 424.

Goldschmidt, Victor Mordechai (1923), Atlas der Krystallformen, Verlag Winters, Heidelberg: Vol. 8: 38.

Holgersson and Sedström (1924) Annalen der Physik, Halle, Leipzig: 75: 143.
Murphy (1931) Journal of the Institute of Metals, London, Proceedings: 46: 507.

Broderick and Ehret (1931) Journal of Physical Chemistry: 35: 3322.

Stenbeck (1933) Zeitschrift für anorganische und allgemeine Chemie, Hamburg, Leipzig: 214: 16.

Drier and Walker (1933) Philosophical Magazine and Journal of Science: 16: 294.

Lindgren, Waldemar (1933): 600.

Vegard and Kloster (1934) Zeitschrift für Kristallographie, Mineralogie und Petrographie, Leipzig: 89: 560.

Owen and Rogers (1935) Journal of the Institute of Metals, London: 57: 257.

Montoro, V. (1938), Studio sulla orientazione preferenziale delle cristalliti nella varietà filiforme di argento nativo. Periodico di Mineralogia – Roma pp. 55-59.

Peacock (1940) University of Toronto Studies, Geology Series: 44: 31.

Palache, Charles, Harry Berman & Clifford Frondel (1944), The System of Mineralogy of James Dwight Dana and Edward Salisbury Dana Yale University 1837-1892, Seventh edition, Volume I: 96-99.

Zapiski Vserossiyskogo Mineralogicheskogo Obshchestva (1979): 108: 552-563.

American Mineralogist (1980): 65: 1069.

Extra Lapis No. 8 (1995).

Best Localities for Silver

Best of Species:Silver

Internet Links for Silver

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  • Silver details from Handbook of Mineralogy (PDF)
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  • Specimens:The following Silver specimens are currently listed for sale on minfind.com.

    Localities for Silver

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