Silver is a precious white and gray material. Despite not being like gold and being very scarce, it is in great commercial demand due to the ease and beauty of working it, since it is resistant and does not rust. It is used for dental amalgams and in bullets, but its main use is in jewelry with very good taste and shine when polished. The extraction or excavation of it is varied, since it can be found attached to other minerals such as copper and gold. Its symbol is AG from the ancient Latin meaning very bright.

what is silver

This term is part of the chemical elements of the periodic table, located in group 11 of the same, is identified with 47 as atomic number and has Ag as a symbol. This element is described as a white and extremely bright object, however, scientifically it is described as transitions between gray and metallic white, it is malleable, ductile and apparently soft.

It is a natural mineral, but rare, in fact, it represents only a small part of the earth’s surface compared to other minerals. Its form is free or generally sulfide and is obtained thanks to by-products in the treatments of lead, gold, zinc and copper mines.

Etymologically, this term comes from the Latin “platus”, whose meaning refers to something flat or like a metal sheet. Its symbol, that is, the Ag, has its genesis in the Latin “Argentum”, which derives from the Indo-European root that defines the word as something shiny. Different names of the term are born from these words, generally from languages ​​such as French (argent), Italian (argento) and Romanian (argint).

This term is also used in different situations, for example, silver weddings, that is, wedding anniversaries. When a couple turns 25 years married, a celebration is held with that name. On the other hand, there is the so-called silver age, that is, the name given to a certain period of time at the level of history, which is considered a successor to the golden age, therefore its value is lower. .

history of silver

This precious material is part of the seven oldest metals in the world, in fact, it is mentioned in the book of Genesis of the Bible, in addition, various finds in the Aegean Sea and Asia Minor verify that the metal separated from lead and became only one four millennia ago, so that would be its origin.

According to history, in Egypt silver was used as a method of conceiving male children in small portions in the form of sheets, as long as they are given under the gaze of the goddess Isis, by a priest singing prayers and prayers, in case it came out a girl because she was not blessed by the goddess in granting them a boy by not following her instructions to the letter. Although something like this is not properly documented, the damage that silver can cause to the body from blindness, kidney damage, brain damage, among others, is.

The alchemists were more mystical because they referred to silver with the crescent moon or the moon goddess, that is, they used it to refer to silver as the moon metal.

On the other hand, in the modern era when a couple reaches 25 years of marriage, it is customary to celebrate silver weddings.

Currently, Mexico, with 500 years on the market, is the nation that heads the list as the country with the largest silver production in the world with 16.7 million ounces per year, followed by Peru on the list with 118.1 million ounce and China with 118 million ounce and these are just three of a great list in the world.

Silver Characteristics

Because it is a natural metal, it is difficult to find, however, those who have found it claim that it has soft characteristics and is used to create various products, for example, silver nitrate, silver sulfadiazine, among others. But it also has different special characteristics, among them are the following.


It is a natural metal, but it is combined with sulfur, arsenic, antimony or chlorine, so that various mineral groups derived from silver are formed. This metal is obtained in lead, zinc, nickel and gold mines in the US, Canada, Mexico and Peru.


When it is in its natural state, it is composed of two totally stable isotopes, the first is more abundant and is called Ag-107, the second lacks abundance and is called Ag-109.


Silver - Pure State of the Element

This metal is malleable and ductile, it is also harder than gold, but soft to the touch, has a great shine that can range from gray to metallic white and tends to be susceptible to polishing.

It is possible to hold it in both air and water, however, its surface may cloud when exposed to sulfur, sulfur-containing air, ozone, or hydrogen sulfide.

It is necessary to highlight that it has the highest thermal and electrical conductivity of all existing metals, however, the ounce of silver, that is, its value has prevented it from being used in massive electrical ways. When found in its pure state, it has a high reflection index.

Data in the periodic table

It is a chemical element of the periodic table, located in group 11 and with 47 as atomic number, in addition, it is known for having the acronym Ag, which means bright or white. Its transition is silvery white and is known to be malleable.


Salts like silver nitrate tend to be very lethal in large concentrations, say 2 grams. In addition, its compounds and derivatives are easily absorbed by the body tissues of the human and animal body, which can generate bluish or black pigmentation in the skin, causing cracking.

Silver sulfadiazine and colloidal silver can have different impacts, for example, it can cause severe damage to the cornea when in contact with the eyes, if it is on the skin, then it tends to cause skin irritation. If there is daily or repeated contact with the metal, the person may have severe symptoms of allergic dermatitis.

If the metal is inhaled due to exposure to high concentrations in the form of vapor, the person may have dizziness, breathing problems, headache, respiratory irritation, among other consequences. Very high concentrations generate spasms, confusion, drowsiness, unconsciousness, a possible coma or, alternatively, quite extreme states, such as death.

uses of silver

Silver - Uses of silver in coins

The usefulness of silver is really varied, in fact, it can be used for the following aspects:

  • White weapons: used to make arrowheads, swords, spears, knives, among others.
  • Photography: it is used to produce the well-known artificial rain, since it is sensitive to light.
  • Medicine: It may be toxic, but it is only in extremely high amounts, so this metal can be applied in small concentrations. It is generally used to remove warts.
  • Electricity: used for mobility and use of diesel engines.
  • Mirrors: this metal is usually used because it would reflect light.
  • Electronics: this is due to its high conductivity, it is also used in computer keyboards and integrated circuits.
  • Silver coins: have been created since 700 BC as payment methods to purchase goods or services.
  • Silverware and jewelry: metal is used to make different types of items, for example silver chains, rings, bracelets, necklaces, 925 silver, that is, sterling silver, among others.

Silver FAQ

What is silver?

It is a natural metal with a bright white or metallic white color, it is part of the chemical elements of the periodic table and is very scarce in the world, in fact, it is only manufactured in countries such as the US, Mexico and Chile.

What is silver used for?

It actually has various uses, it can be medicinal to get rid of warts, you can also create other metals, make jewelry, bladed weapons, artifacts, among others.

How to recognize silver?

A magnet is used to find out if it really is a piece of silver. If the piece totally adheres to the magnet, the percentage is quite low, if the magnet remains still, it is only metal, on the other hand, if the artifact slides along with the piece, it is natural metal.

What is colloidal silver?

It is a colloid that has nanoparticles of the natural metal as the main compound, in addition, it is electrically charged in its entirety and has between 1 and 10 nm in diameter, this means that it remains totally suspended in distilled water.

How to clean silver?

There are different ways to clean this metal, for example, you can submerge the piece in vinegar with baking soda and rub it with a handkerchief or piece of cloth for a few minutes. It can also be cleaned with hot water and aluminum.