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The Metallic Facts of Silver

Updated on March 28, 2017

Ancient Metal of choice

Silver has been known for centuries! Today, the metal is significantly lower in price than gold. However, in ancient times, silver was a higher priced commodity. Silver was separated from lead to be used in its pure form. It can found naturally as nuggets as well.

Silver - The shiny, reflective element

Silver gains its name from the Anglo-Saxon word seolfor. This lustrous, white metal has a bright shine. Its high reflective properties allow it to work great for mirrors and solar cells.

Silver Casting Grain


Silver's high shine and malleable properties allow it to work great for use in jewelry. Silver is the whitest of all metals. It is alloyed with other materials to help with durability. The most common form of silver is sterling silver. This consists of 92.5% silver and 7.5% copper.

Silver Casting Grain


Silver's chemical element symbol is AG. This is derived from the Latin term Argentum. It has a standard atomic weight of 107.8682 (2). It melts at 1763 °F or 961° for all you celcius fans!

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Silver was once the standard for X-Ray. The use of digital X-Ray has replaced the need for silver-halide X-Rays. Silver X-Rays are still used in many developing countries because of the high accuracy and low-cost.

Silver Coins

Silver Bullion

A standard across the world for investing in silver bullion are silver bars. These bars are made by a variety of different companies. They are typically stamped with .999 fine silver. These bars come in a variety of different sizes and weights.


Prior to 1965, silver was the choice for American coins. Quarters and dimes were made from 90% silver. Even the Kennedy half dollars from 1965-1969 were made from 40% silver! Take a look at your change. It may be worth more than you think!

Silver equals $?

There are many different languages in which silver means money. There is a monetary system using the fixed weight of silver as a unit of economic measurement. This is known as the silver standard. Silver has long been used as a medium of exchange even dating back to 200 BC! Silver was the first metal used as currency in Ancient Greece.

Silver Shock!

Silver is a great conductor of electricity. It is the best of all elements! A scale measuring conductivity of metal ranks silver at 100! Gold is a 76.

Silver Wire

A Ductile Material

Silver is very ductile! I guess you could say if preforms well under stress! Only gold is a more ductile material. An 8,000 foot long wire can be drawn from just 1 ounce of silver!

Silver! The Defender!

Bacteria beware! Silver has long been used as a natural way to fight infection. There have been many studies done to determine exactly how silver attacks bacteria. Colloidal silver, or silver suspended in water, is said to help improve antibiotics effectiveness. Many companies use silver in bandages and ointments to prevent bacterial growth and speed healing time.

Noble Metals

Noble metals are unique. This group of metals are impervious to corrosion and oxidation.

Here is a list of the noble metals.

  • Rhodium
  • Palladium
  • Silver
  • Osmium
  • Iridium
  • Platinum
  • Gold
  • Ruthenium

There are lists that include Rhenium, Copper and Mercury as noble metals. Noble metals is not the same term as precious metals. In physics terms, there are only 3 noble metals. These are gold, silver and copper.


Silver reacts with air, actually it is the sulfur compounds. This forms a black layer also known as tarnish. This layer can be easily removed with a polishing cloth and silver will return to its nice, white shine!

Where is Silver found?

Silver can be found in a variety of different places. Mexico is a large producer of silver. It is also mined in the United States, Canada and Russia. Australia also produces silver output! A majority of silver is found as a corollary of mining other materials such as lead or zinc.

Silver Paper

Photogenic Silver

Smile! Say cheese! Silver has long been used in photographic material. The reflective properties of silver make is great for this purpose.


Silver at the dinner table.

Silver has been used as the metal of choice for eating utensils. Today, we often use the term silverware to describe knives, forks and spoons. However, most tableware is made using different materials such as stainless steel. Silver was often used for high quality cutlery.

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