The element silver's symbol "Ag" comes from its Latin name argentum, meaning "bright white". It is considered a precious metal because its pure form has a gray luster that does not corrode quickly and remains intact if cleaned regularly. Silver can be found pure in nature, but is mainly extracted from minerals, such as pyrargyrite and acanthite. Because it is valuable and easily cast, pure silver was historically used to make coins. This metal is also ideal in jewelry, making bracelets and gem settings. Silver cutlery was the only cutlery that did not leave an unpleasant metallic taste in the mouth before the invention of stainless steel. Silver conducts electricity better than copper and is used in some electrical circuit boards. Silver nitrate, AgNO3, is a mild disinfectant used in some antibacterial soaps. This element also forms light-sensitive compounds with chlorine (used in sunglasses) and bromine (used in antique photographic plates).

Summary of properties (Ag)

Atomic weight107.8682(2)
Discoverer (year)unknown (ancient times)
Natural formmetallic solid (face centered cubic)
Electron configuration[Kr] 4d10 5s1
Melting point (ºC)962
Boiling point (ºC)2212
Abundance in earth's crust (ppm)0.075
Isotope (abundance)107Ag (51.839), 109Ag (48.161)
Density g/cm310.5
Van der Waals radius (pm)211
Covalent radius (pm)136
Electronegativity (Pauling)1.93
Vaporization enthalpy (kJ/mol)255.10
Enthalpy of fusion (kJ/mol)11.30
Specific heat capacity (J/g·K) at 25ºC and 1 atm0.24
Thermal conductivity (W/cm·K) at 25ºC and 1 atm4.290
Oxidation state+1
Electron affinity (eV)1.30
1st Ionization potential (eV)7.5762

Back to the Periodic Table of the Elements.