Etymology

The term comes from argentum, derived from the Greek ὰργὀς (literally “shiny” or “white”), and ultimately from a Proto-Indo-European language root reconstructed as *h₂erǵ-, “grey” or “shining”. However, in the Italian language (argento), Romanian (argint), French (argent), Irish (argant). The term comes from the Latin word “platta” meaning sheet metal.

History

Silver is an ancient metal, and the oldest mention of silver is found in the book of Genesis at the beginning of chapter 13. From an archaeological point of view, we can mention findings of objects and jewelry in tombs dating from 4000 B.C. Silver has been used throughout history since man discovered it and began working with it for the manufacture of various decorative objects, tools, jewelry, weapons, coins dating back centuries BC, and in modern times, since the mid-twentieth century there has been a global explosion in the use of silver in industrial applications for its properties as an excellent thermal and electrical conductor.

Native Silver Characteristics and Properties

Mineral Class Native elements I Group
Color Yellow, pale yellow, reddish yellow
Streak Yellow
Hardness 2.5 – 3 Mohs
Specific Gravity 15.5 – 19.3
Cleavage None
Fracture Metallic
Crystal System Cubic
Habit Unformed grains, dendrite growths, octahedron, dodecahedron
Chemical Formula Au
Atomic Number 79
Fusion Point 1063°C
Boiling Point 2856°C
Transparency Opaque

Deposits

Currently, the most important silver deposits are in Peru and Mexico, where its been exploited since the discovery of America. Other major producers are China, Chile, Australia, and the United States. In ancient times the first significant silver mines dating back to 4000 B.C, were the ones in Cappadocia, Turkey.

Uses

Usually the most common application of silver is in jewelry, from very inexpensive pieces of custom, to high-quality jewelry

The uses of silver are diverse, because of the excellent properties of this metal, usually, the most common application of silver is in jewelry, from very inexpensive pieces of custom to high-quality jewelry, and in the silverware area we can see a great variety of items made with silver for home use.

Before the digital era, silver played a very important role in the development of photography, which perhaps would not have been possible without the light sensitivity to silver chloride and silver bromide. Silver iodide is also used to encourage artificial rain.

In the electronics industry, thanks to its high conductivity it is used in integrated circuits, additionally we can find silver in electric generator contacts in train engines.

In medicine, silver nitrate is used to remove warts, but care must be taken due to its high rate of toxicity and can only be used in treatments for external use.
In odontology, until a few years ago it was very common to use silver in the preparation of amalgam filling alloyed with other metals.
Finally, if you are not quite fortunate enough to meet a werewolf, remember that a silver bullet may help you get out of trouble.