How Do You Identify Silver?


Quick Answer

Silver is a mineral that can be identified by its unique physical properties. It is a very resistant mineral that does not dissolve in most solvents and does not react to water or oxygen.

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How Do You Identify Silver?
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Full Answer

Silver can be found in the Earth as a mineral and is one of the most famous precious metals. Most silver is extracted from silver ores, but it can be mined from Native Silver. It has a bright luster that is metallic and when it is untarnished it looks white. When silver tarnishes, it turns dark yellow or black. Silver can combine with different elements to form other minerals and ores.

Though exposure to air tarnishes silver, there are chemical coats that can protect it from tarnishing and polishes that can remove the tarnish. As a mineral, silver can crystallize, but crystallized silver is very rare. Silver is soft with a hardness on the Mohs scale of a 2 or 3. It is malleable and ductile. Silver is used in jewelry, silverware and electrical products. It is considered the best conductor of electricity. Silver can be formed in volcanic basalt rocks and in hydrothermal and mesothermal veins. It can also be formed by the breakdown of sulfur.

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