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Silver (Ag) (from Anglo-Saxon seolfor, compare Old High German silabar) is a chemical element with the symbol Ag (from the traditional abbreviation for the Latin argentum). A soft white lustrous transition metal, it has the highest electrical and thermal conductivity of any metal and occurs in minerals and in free form. Silver is used in coins, jewelry, tableware, and photography. Silver is a very ductile and malleable (slightly harder than gold) univalent coinage metal with a brilliant white metallic luster that can take a high degree of polish. It has the highest electrical conductivity of all metals.

The principal use of silver is as a precious metal and its halide salts, especially silver nitrate, are also widely used in photography. Some other uses for silver are as follows: electrical and electronic products; mirrors. Silver has been coined to produce money since 700 BC by the Lydians, in the form of electrum. Later, silver was refined and coined in its pure form. The metal is chosen for its beauty in the manufacture of jewelry and silverware, which are traditionally made from Sterling silver, which is 92.5% silver.

Silver is found in native form, combined with sulfur, arsenic, antimony, or chlorine and in various ores such as argentite (Ag2S) and horn silver (AgCl). The principal sources of silver are copper, copper-nickel, gold, lead and lead-zinc ores obtained from Canada, Mexico, Peru, Australia and the United States. This metal is also produced during the electrolytic refining of copper. Commercial grade fine silver is at least 99.9% pure silver and purities greater than 99.999% are available. Mexico is the largest silver producer.

From: a.o.