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Silver

This page kindly sponsored by Alex Homenuke
Formula:
Ag
System:
Isometric
Colour:
Silver-white, tarnishes ...
Lustre:
Metallic
Hardness:
2½ - 3
Member of:
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

Valid - first described prior to 1959 (pre-IMA) - "Grandfathered"
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 ed.:
1.1.1.2
1.1.1.2

1 : NATIVE ELEMENTS AND ALLOYS
1 : Metals, other than the Platinum Group
1.2

1 : Elements and Alloys (including the arsenides, antimonides and bismuthides of Cu, Ag and Au)
mindat.org URL:
http://www.mindat.org/min-3664.html
Please feel free to link to this page.

Occurrences of Silver

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

Physical Properties of Silver

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:
10.1 - 11.1 g/cm3 (Measured)    10.497 g/cm3 (Calculated)

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).

Crystallographic forms of Silver

Crystal Atlas:
Image Loading
Click on an icon to view
Silver no.1 - Goldschmidt (1913-1926)
Silver no.2 - Goldschmidt (1913-1926)
Silver no.4 - Goldschmidt (1913-1926)
3d models and HTML5 code kindly provided by www.smorf.nl.

Toggle
Edge Lines | Miller Indicies | Axes

Transparency
Opaque | Translucent | Transparent

View
Along a-axis | Along b-axis | Along c-axis | Start rotation | Stop rotation
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 Data:
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%

Reflectance graph
Graph shows reflectance levels at different wavelengths (in nm). Top of box is 100%. 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:
All elements listed in formula:
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:
Other Members of Group:
1.AA.05AluminiumAl
1.AA.05CopperCu
1.AA.05Electrum(Au, Ag)
1.AA.05GoldAu
1.AA.05LeadPb
1.AA.05NickelNi
1.AA.05UM2004-08-E:AuCuPd(Cu,Pd,Au)
1.AA.05UM1991-06-E:AuCuAu3Cu
1.AA.10aAuricuprideCu3Au
1.AA.10bTetra-auricuprideAuCu
1.AA.10aCuproaurideCu3Au
1.AA.15AnyuiiteAu(Pb,Sb)2
1.AA.15Khatyrkite(Cu,Zn)Al2
1.AA.15IodineI2
1.AA.15NovodnepriteAuPb3
1.AA.15UM1985-02-E:AlZnZnAl2
1.AA.20Cupalite(Cu,Zn)Al
1.AA.25HunchuniteAu2Pb
1.1CopperCu
1.5GoldAu
1.6AuricuprideCu3Au
1.7Tetra-auricuprideAuCu
1.8ZincZn
1.9CadmiumCd
1.10DanbaiteCuZn2
1.11ZhanghengiteCuZn
1.12MercuryHg
1.13KolymiteCu7Hg6
1.14MoschellandsbergiteAg2Hg3
1.15EugeniteAg11Hg2
1.16SchachneriteAg1.1Hg0.9
1.17ParaschachneriteAg3Hg2
1.18LuanheiteAg3Hg
1.19Weishanite(Au,Ag)3Hg2
1.20IndiumIn
1.21AluminiumAl
1.22Khatyrkite(Cu,Zn)Al2
1.23Cupalite(Cu,Zn)Al
1.24DiamondC
1.25GraphiteC
1.26ChaoiteC
1.27LonsdaleiteC
1.28SiliconSi
1.29TinSn
1.30LeadPb
1.31AnyuiiteAu(Pb,Sb)2
1.31NovodnepriteAuPb3
1.32LeadamalgamPb0.7Hg0.3
1.33ArsenicAs
1.34ArsenolampriteAs
1.35PaxiteCuAs2
1.36KoutekiteCu5As2
1.37DomeykiteCu3As
1.38Algodonite(Cu1-xAsx)
1.39NovákiteCu20AgAs10
1.40KutinaiteAg6Cu14As7
1.41AntimonySb
1.42StibarsenAsSb
1.43ParadocrasiteSb3As
1.44HorsforditeCu, Sb
1.45CuprostibiteCu2(Sb,Tl)
1.46Allargentum(Ag1-xSbx)
1.47AurostibiteAuSb2
1.48DyscrasiteAg3Sb
1.49BismuthBi
1.50MaldoniteAu2Bi
1.51SulphurS8
1.52RosickýiteS
1.53SeleniumSe
1.54TelluriumTe
1.55ChromiumCr
1.56RheniumRe
1.57IronFe
1.58ChromferideFe3Cr1-x (x=0.6)
1.59FerchromideCr3Fe1-x
1.60WairauiteCoFe
1.61NickelNi
1.62Kamacite(Fe,Ni)
1.63Taenite(Fe,Ni)
1.64TetrataeniteFeNi
1.65AwaruiteNi3Fe
1.66Palladium(Pd,Pt)
1.67PotaritePdHg
1.68PaolovitePd2Sn
1.69Stannopalladinite(Pd,Cu)3Sn2
1.70CabriitePd2CuSn
1.71Taimyrite-I(Pd,Cu,Pt)3Sn
1.72Atokite(Pd,Pt)3Sn
1.73Rustenburgite(Pt,Pd)3Sn
1.74Zvyagintsevite(Pd,Pt,Au)3(Pb,Sn)
1.75PlumbopalladinitePd3Pb2
1.76Osmium(Os,Ir,Ru)
1.77Iridium(Ir,Os,Ru)
1.82PlatinumPt
1.83HongshiitePtCu
1.84NiggliitePtSn
1.85IsoferroplatinumPt3Fe
1.86TetraferroplatinumPtFe
1.87TulameenitePt2CuFe
1.88FerronickelplatinumPt2FeNi
1.89Rhodium(Rh,Pt)

Other Names for Silver

Name in 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:
Guarani:Itatĩ
Haitian:Ajan
Hakka:Ngiùn
Hebrew:כסף
Hungarian:Ezüst
Icelandic:Silfur
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
Manx:Argid
Maori:Kawata
Min Nan:Ag
Norman:Ergent
Norwegian (Bokmål):Sølv
Norwegian (Nynorsk):Sølv
Occitan:Argent
Persian:نقره
Polish:Srebro
Portuguese:Prata
Ripuarian:Silber
Romanian:Argint
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
Tajik (Cyrillic Script):Нуқра
Tatar:Kömeş
Traditional Chinese:自然銀
Turkish:Gümüş
Ukrainian:Срібло
Uzbek (Latin Script):Kumush
Venetian:Arxento
Vietnamese:Bạc
Welsh:Arian
Yiddish:זילבער
Zhuang:Ngaenz
Zulu:Isiliva

Other Information

Magnetism:
Paramagnetic
Health Risks:
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).

Internet Links for Silver

Specimens:
The following Silver specimens are currently listed for sale on minfind.com.

Localities for Silver

map shows a selection of localities that have latitude and longitude coordinates recorded. Click on the symbol to view information about a locality. The symbol next to localities in the list can be used to jump to that position on the map.
Mineral and/or Locality  
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