Silver is a metallic chemical element with the chemical symbol Ag (Greek: άργυρος <árgyros>, Latin: argentum, both from the Indo-European root *arg- for "grey" or "shining") and atomic number 47. A soft, white, lustrous transition metal, it has the highest electrical conductivity of any element and the highest thermal conductivity of any metal. The metal occurs naturally in its pure, free form (native silver), as an alloy with gold and other metals, and in minerals such as argentite and chlorargyrite. Most silver is produced as a byproduct of copper, gold, lead, and zinc refining.
Silver has long been valued as a precious metal, and is used as an investment, to make ornaments, jewelry, high-value tableware, utensils (hence the term silverware), and currency coins. Today, silver metal is also used in electrical contacts and conductors, in mirrors and in catalysis of chemical reactions. Its compounds are used in photographic film, and dilute silver nitrate solutions and other silver compounds are used as disinfectants and microbiocides (oligodynamic effect). While many medical antimicrobial uses of silver have been supplanted by antibiotics, further research into clinical potential continues.
Famous quotes containing the word silver:
“Keep the home fires burning,
While your hearts are yearning,
Though your lads are far away
They dream of home.
Theres a silver lining
Through the dark cloud shining;
Turn the dark cloud inside out,
Till the boys come home.”
—Lena Guilbert Ford (18701916)
“Silver bells, silver bells,
Its Christmas time in the city.”
—Ray Evans (b. 1915)
“When I was a kid I used to tell myself the moon was a silver gong and if I could climb high enough to beat on it with both hands all my wishes would come true.”
—John Dos Passos (18961970)