Information about: Silver

Index | Silver

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Silver. A brilliant white metal which was known to the ancients. It melts at a heat estimated at about 1900° F. When melted, it absorbs oxygen, and just before solidifying it evolves it with effervescence, causing spirting and projection of the metal. It is the best known conductor of electricity and heat, is extremely malleable and ductile, and has great tenacity; it is not oxidized at ordinary temperatures, and is unaffected by any atmospheric agent, except sulphur compounds which are sometimes present. It is found native or combined with other elements, the principal ores being compounds of sulphur, arsenic, chlorine, antimony, or tellurium. The method of extraction from the ore depends upon the nature of the compound used. It is sometimes produced on a large scale by fusing its ore with a lead compound, and then cupelling, or by amalgamation with mercury. Silver is found in different parts of the earth; but it is most abundant along the Rocky Mountain-Andes system of the Americas. The silver mines of Mexico, Peru, and the United States far exceed in value the whole of the European and Asiatic mines. Extensive deposits of silver also occur at Cobalt in the province of Ontario, Canada.