Skip to Main Content

About Silver

Silver Bohr

As one of the first precious metals known by man, silver has always been a highly valued material for coinage, jewelry, and decorative objects. Based on its properties, the metal also has wide-reaching applications in modern technology, but its relative high cost often encourages the use of cheaper alternative materials. Yet the existence of easily accessible silver stockpiles have led to its substitution for cheaper metals that are temporarily in short supply. Most notably, silver reserves were tapped during the world wars, substituting for copper in electrical applications, tin in solder, and nickel in the production of coins.

Silver has the highest electrical conductivity of any element. Copper is a more economically viable substitute, but for some applications the energy savings or performance benefits provided by the substitution of silver are substantial enough to overcome this cost barrier. Silver may be used for electronics applications in cases where other key physical or chemical properties are uniquely advantageous: for instance, silver nanowires can be used to produce transparent and flexible electrodes for use in photovoltaic solar cells, and silver nanoparticles and conductive silver inks are used in the production of RFID tags and membrane switches used for tv remote controls, computer keyboards, and control panels on home appliances. Silver cadmium oxide and other conductive silver compounds are favored for use in high-voltage contacts because they resist the effect of electrical arcing. Silver also is a component of some materials used for phase-change memory technologies such as rewritable optical discs (CD-RW).

Mirrors can be produced by a chemical process that coats glass with thin layer of silver metal, often termed silvering, which was discovered in 1835. Today, standard mirrors are usually produced using sputtered thin coats of aluminum, as it is cheaper than silver and less subject to tarnishing, but glass ornaments and some high quality mirrors are still sometimes made with the silvering process. Thinner layers of silver are visually transparent but effectively block UV radiation; today optical glass coated with such layers is used in energy-saving window panes. Film photography was first developed around the same time, and then as now, silver was an essential component of almost all film photography processes, which exploit the photosensitivity of silver halide compounds. Finally, silver ions are naturally germicidal, and silver and its compounds have been used in wound care and as disinfectant for centuries. Today, silver is still found in antimicrobial creams for treating burns, and silver nanoparticles are used in water filtration systems and embedded in clothing to deter bacterial growth.

Several specialized battery formulations contain silver salts. Silver oxide batteries have a long working life and high energy-to-weight ratio, and therefore are used in small devices such as hearing aids. Silver-zinc batteries are likewise valued for high-energy density, as well as for being extremely safe and reliable, with a long life both on the shelf and in active use. Silver-zinc formulations are frequently used in batteries designed for aerospace and defense applications such as NASA launch vehicles, missiles, and satellites. As with the use of silver as a conductor for electronics, the use of these batteries are limited by the added expense of silver, but in some applications the advantages are considered worth the cost.

An additional key use for silver is in silver soldering and brazing. Both are methods used to join metallic components, but they vary in the composition of the joining material and the temperatures required. Silver soldering is a lower temperature process often used in jewelry making or as a substitute for lead-based solders, and often uses tin-silver or tin-silver-copper formulations. Silver brazing is a higher temperature process that produces an extremely strong joint that will resist significant shock and vibration while using very small amounts of a silver brazing alloy. Brazing is used frequently for attaching cemented carbide tips to tools.

Silver staining procedures, which typically make use of soluble silver nitrate along with various sensitizers and fixatives, are used in biology labs, as silver ions bind tightly to most proteins and allow their visualization on diagnostic gels, in karyotypes, and in tissue samples. Silver is often included in nuclear control rods to absorb free neutrons and used to plate steel bearings for use in automotive or jet engines to reduce friction. Amalgam fillings made of mercury in combination with silver or gold are still used in dentistry, but increasingly ceramic composites are favored for cosmetic reasons and due to safety concerns related to the use of mercury. Silver also serves as a catalyst in the industrial production of ethylene oxide and formaldehyde or as one of several catalysts found in catalytic converters, but platinum group metals are usually preferred for this purpose.

Silver can be found as a native metal or as part of natural alloys with gold, but is more often a component of minerals such as argentite. It is most often produced for commercial uses as a byproduct of mining and refining copper, copper-nickel, lead, and lead-zinc ores, which frequently contain some amount of silver minerals.

+ Open All
- Close All

High Purity (99.999%) Silver Oxide (AgO)Powder Silver has a long history as a precious metal where it's been used in coins, ornaments, jewelry, and utensils (silverware). Silver is also used for electrical contacts and conductors. It's sometimes used as a catalysis of chemical reactions. Silver nitrate has wide application in painting, xerography, chemical electroplating and electric batteries. Silver chloride is another important compound, due to its ductility and malleability. High Purity (99.999%) Silver (Ag) Sputtering TargetThe organic compounds of the element are used in the coating of several metals and in dynamite or other explosive bars. Silver is available as metal and compounds with purities from 99% to 99.999% (ACS grade to ultra-high purity). Elemental or metallic forms include pellets, rod, wire and granules for evaporation source material purposes. Silver nanoparticles and nanopowders provide ultra-high surface area. Oxides are available in powder and dense pellet form for such uses as optical coating and thin film applications. Oxides tend to be insoluble. Fluorides are another insoluble form for uses in which oxygen is undesirable such as metallurgy, chemical and physical vapor deposition and in some optical coatings. Silver is also available in soluble forms including chlorides, nitrates and acetates. These compounds can be manufactured as solutions at specified stoichiometries.

Silver Properties

Silver(Ag)atomic and molecular weight, atomic number and elemental symbolSilver is a Block D, Group 11, Period 5 element. Silver Bohr ModelThe number of electrons in each of Silver's shells is 2, 8, 18, 18, 1 and its electron configuration is [Kr]4d10 5s1. Elemental SilverThe silver atom has a radius of and its Van der Waals radius is In its elemental form, CAS 7440-22-4, silver has a brilliant white metallic luster. It is a little harder than gold and is very ductile and malleable, being exceeded only by gold and perhaps palladium. Pure silver has the highest electrical and thermal conductivity of all metals, and possesses the lowest contact resistance. It is stable in pure air and water, but tarnishes when exposed to ozone, hydrogen sulfide, or air containing sulfur. Silver was first used by early humans, begininng prior to 5000 BC. It is found in copper, copper-nickel, lead, and lead-zinc ores among others. Silver was named after the Anglo-Saxon word "seolfor" or "siolfur" meaning 'silver'.

Symbol: Ag
Atomic Number: 47
Atomic Weight: 107.8682
Element Category: transition metal
Group, Period, Block: 11, 5, d
Color: silver
Other Names: Argentum, Argent, Silber, Plata
Melting Point: 961.78 °C, 1763.2 °F, 1234.93 K
Boiling Point: 2162 °C, 3924 °F, 2435 K
Density: 10.49 g·cm3
Liquid Density @ Melting Point: 9.320 g·cm3
Density @ 20°C: 10.5 g/cm3
Density of Solid: 10490 kg·m3
Specific Heat: 0.23 (kJ/kg/K)
Superconductivity Temperature: N/A
Triple Point: N/A
Critical Point: N/A
Heat of Fusion (kJ·mol-1): 11.3
Heat of Vaporization (kJ·mol-1): 257.7
Heat of Atomization (kJ·mol-1): 284.09
Thermal Conductivity: 429 W·m-1·K-1
Thermal Expansion: (25 °C) 18.9 µm·m-1·K-1
Electrical Resistivity: (20 °C) 15.87 nΩ·m
Tensile Strength: N/A
Molar Heat Capacity: 25.350 J·mol-1·K-1
Young's Modulus: 83 GPa
Shear Modulus: 30 GPa
Bulk Modulus: 100 GPa
Poisson Ratio: 0.37
Mohs Hardness: 2.5
Vickers Hardness: 251 MPa
Brinell Hardness: 206 MPa
Speed of Sound: (r.t.) 2680 m·s-1
Pauling Electronegativity: 1.93
Sanderson Electronegativity: 1.83
Allred Rochow Electronegativity: 1.42
Mulliken-Jaffe Electronegativity: 1.47 (s orbital)
Allen Electronegativity: N/A
Pauling Electropositivity: 2.07
Reflectivity (%): 97
Refractive Index: N/A
Electrons: 47
Protons: 47
Neutrons: 61
Electron Configuration: [Kr]4d10 5s1
Atomic Radius: 145 pm
Atomic Radius,
non-bonded (Å):
Covalent Radius: 145±5 pm
Covalent Radius (Å): 1.36
Van der Waals Radius: 172 pm
Oxidation States: 1, 2, 3 (amphoteric oxide)
Phase: Solid
Crystal Structure: Cubic face centered
Magnetic Ordering: diamagnetic
Electron Affinity (kJ·mol-1) 125.58
1st Ionization Energy: 731.01 kJ·mol-1
2nd Ionization Energy: 2073.48 kJ·mol-1
3rd Ionization Energy: 2073.48 kJ·mol-1
CAS Number: 7440-22-4
EC Number: 231-131-3
MDL Number: MFCD00003397
Beilstein Number: N/A
SMILES Identifier: [Ag]
InChI Identifier: InChI=1S/Ag
PubChem CID: 23954
ChemSpider ID: 22394
Earth - Total: 44 ppb
Mercury - Total: 7.2 ppb
Venus - Total: 49 ppb
Earth - Seawater (Oceans), ppb by weight: 0.1
Earth - Seawater (Oceans), ppb by atoms: 0.0057
Earth -  Crust (Crustal Rocks), ppb by weight: 80
Earth -  Crust (Crustal Rocks), ppb by atoms: 20
Sun - Total, ppb by weight: 1
Sun - Total, ppb by atoms: 0.01
Stream, ppb by weight: 0.3
Stream, ppb by atoms: 0.003
Meterorite (Carbonaceous), ppb by weight: 140
Meterorite (Carbonaceous), ppb by atoms: 20
Typical Human Body, ppb by weight: N/A
Typical Human Body, ppb by atom: N/A
Universe, ppb by weight: 0.6
Universe, ppb by atom: 0.007
Discovered By: N/A
Discovery Date: before 5000 BC
First Isolation: N/A

Health, Safety & Transportation Information for Silver

Silver is not toxic although most silver salts are poisonous. Safety data for Silver and its compounds can vary widely depending on the form. For potential hazard information, toxicity, and road, sea and air transportation limitations, such as DOT Hazard Class, DOT Number, EU Number, NFPA Health rating and RTECS Class, please see the specific material or compound referenced in the Products tab. The below information applies to elemental (metallic) Silver.

Safety Data
Signal Word N/A
Hazard Statements N/A
Hazard Codes N/A
Risk Codes N/A
Safety Precautions N/A
RTECS Number N/A
Transport Information N/A
WGK Germany 3
Globally Harmonized System of
Classification and Labelling (GHS)
Review and Print SDS for Silver Metal


Date Created: 05/15/2015
Date Revised: 05/15/2015


Product Name: Silver Metal

Product Number: All applicable American Elements product codes, e.g. AG-M-05-I, AG-M-05-L, AG-M-05-P, AG-M-05-ST, AG-M-05-WSX

CAS #: 7440-22-4

Relevant identified uses of the substance: Scientific research and development

Supplier details:
American Elements
1093 Broxton Ave. Suite 2000
Los Angeles, CA 90024
Tel: +1 310-208-0551
Fax: +1 310-208-0351

Emergency telephone number:
Domestic, North America +1 800-424-9300
International +1 703-527-3887


Classification of the substance or mixture
Classification according to Regulation (EC) No 1272/2008
The substance is not classified as hazardous to health or the environment according to the CLP regulation.
Classification according to Directive 67/548/EEC or Directive 1999/45/EC
Not applicable
Information concerning particular hazards for human and environment:
No information known.
Hazards not otherwise classified
No information known.
Label elements
Labelling according to Regulation (EC) No 1272/2008
Not applicable
Hazard pictograms
Not applicable
Signal word
Not applicable
Hazard statements
Not applicable
WHMIS classification
Not controlled
Classification system
HMIS ratings (scale 0-4)
(Hazardous Materials Identification System)

Health (acute effects) = 0
Flammability = 0
Physical Hazard = 0
Other hazards
Results of PBT and vPvB assessment
PBT: Not applicable.
vPvB: Not applicable


Chemical characterization: Substances
CAS# Description:
7440-22-4 Silver
Identification number(s):
EC number: 231-131-3


Description of first aid measures
General information
No special measures required.
After inhalation
Seek medical treatment in case of complaints.
After skin contact
Generally the product does not irritate the skin.
After eye contact
Rinse opened eye for several minutes under running water. If symptoms persist, consult a doctor.
After swallowing
If symptoms persist consult doctor.
Information for doctor
Most important symptoms and effects, both acute and delayed
No further relevant information available.
Indication of any immediate medical attention and special treatment needed
No further relevant information available.


Extinguishing media
Suitable extinguishing agents
Special powder for metal fires. Do not use water.
For safety reasons unsuitable extinguishing agents
Special hazards arising from the substance or mixture
If this product is involved in a fire, the following can be released:
Silver oxides
Advice for firefighters
Protective equipment:
No special measures required.


Personal precautions, protective equipment and emergency procedures
Not required.
Environmental precautions:
Do not allow material to be released to the environment without proper governmental permits.
Do not allow product to reach sewage system or any water course.
Do not allow to penetrate the ground/soil.
Methods and material for containment and cleaning up:
Pick up mechanically.
Prevention of secondary hazards:
No special measures required.
Reference to other sections
See Section 7 for information on safe handling
See Section 8 for information on personal protection equipment.
See Section 13 for disposal information.


Precautions for safe handling
Keep container tightly sealed.
Store in cool, dry place in tightly closed containers.
Information about protection against explosions and fires:
No special measures required.
Conditions for safe storage, including any incompatibilities
Requirements to be met by storerooms and receptacles:
No special requirements.
Information about storage in one common storage facility:
Do not store together with acids.
Further information about storage conditions:
Keep container tightly sealed.
Store in cool, dry conditions in well sealed containers.
Specific end use(s)
No further relevant information available.


Additional information about design of technical systems:
No further data; see section 7.
Control parameters
Components with limit values that require monitoring at the workplace:
7440-22-4 Silver (100.0%)
PEL (USA) Long-term value: 0.01 mg/m³ metal and soluble compounds (as Ag)
REL (USA) Long-term value: 0.01 mg/m³
TLV (USA) Long-term value: 0.1 mg/m³ metal: dust and fume
EL (Canada) Short-term value: 0.03 mg/m³
Long-term value: 0.01 mg/m³ as Ag
EV (Canada) Long-term value: 0.1* 0.01** mg/m³
*metal;**water-soluble compdounds (as silver)
Additional information: No data
Exposure controls
Personal protective equipment
General protective and hygienic measures
The usual precautionary measures for handling chemicals should be followed.
Maintain an ergonomically appropriate working environment.
Breathing equipment: Not required.
Protection of hands: Not required.
Penetration time of glove material (in minutes)
Not determined
Eye protection: Safety glasses
Body protection: Protective work clothing.


Information on basic physical and chemical properties
General Information
Form: Solid in various forms
Color: Silver-colored
Odor: Characteristic
Odor threshold: Not determined.
pH-value: Not applicable.
Change in condition
Melting point/Melting range: 961.8 °C (1763 °F)
Boiling point/Boiling range: 2210 °C (4010 °F)
Sublimation temperature / start: Not determined
Flammability (solid, gaseous): Not determined.
Ignition temperature: Not determined
Decomposition temperature: Not determined
Auto igniting: Not determined.
Danger of explosion: Not determined.
Explosion limits:
Lower: Not determined
Upper: Not determined
Vapor pressure: Not applicable.
Density at 20 °C (68 °F): 10.5 g/cm³ (87.623 lbs/gal)
Relative density: Not determined.
Vapor density: Not applicable.
Evaporation rate: Not applicable.
Solubility in / Miscibility with Water: Not determined
Partition coefficient (n-octanol/water): Not determined.
dynamic: Not applicable.
kinematic: Not applicable.
Other information
No further relevant information available.


No information known.
Chemical stability
Stable under recommended storage conditions.
Thermal decomposition / conditions to be avoided:
Decomposition will not occur if used and stored according to specifications.
Possibility of hazardous reactions
No dangerous reactions known
Conditions to avoid
No further relevant information available.
Incompatible materials:
Hazardous decomposition products:
Silver oxides


Information on toxicological effects
Acute toxicity:
The Registry of Toxic Effects of Chemical Substances (RTECS) contains acute toxicity data for this substance.
LD/LC50 values that are relevant for classification: No data
Skin irritation or corrosion:
Powder: irritant effect
Eye irritation or corrosion:
Powder: irritant effect
Sensitization: No sensitizing effects known.
Germ cell mutagenicity: No effects known.
EPA-D: Not classifiable as to human carcinogenicity: inadequate human and animal evidence of carcinogenicity or no data are available.
The Registry of Toxic Effects of Chemical Substances (RTECS) contains tumorigenic and/or carcinogenic and/or neoplastic data for this substance.
Reproductive toxicity: No effects known.
Specific target organ system toxicity - repeated exposure: No effects known.
Specific target organ system toxicity - single exposure: No effects known.
Aspiration hazard: No effects known.
Subacute to chronic toxicity:
The Registry of Toxic Effects of Chemical Substances (RTECS) contains multiple dose toxicity data for this substance.
Additional toxicological information:
To the best of our knowledge the acute and chronic toxicity of this substance is not fully known


Aquatic toxicity:
No further relevant information available.
Persistence and degradability
No further relevant information available.
Bioaccumulative potential
No further relevant information available.
Mobility in soil
No further relevant information available.
Additional ecological information:
General notes:
Do not allow material to be released to the environment without proper governmental permits.
Do not allow undiluted product or large quantities to reach ground water, water course or sewage system.
Avoid transfer into the environment.
Results of PBT and vPvB assessment
PBT: Not applicable.
vPvB: Not applicable.
Other adverse effects
No further relevant information available.


Waste treatment methods
Consult state, local or national regulations to ensure proper disposal.
Uncleaned packagings:
Disposal must be made according to official regulations.


Not applicable
UN proper shipping name
Not applicable
Transport hazard class(es)
Not applicable
Packing group
Not applicable
Environmental hazards:
Not applicable.
Special precautions for user
Not applicable.
Transport in bulk according to Annex II of MARPOL73/78 and the IBC Code
Not applicable.
Transport/Additional information:
Marine Pollutant (DOT):
UN "Model Regulation":


Safety, health and environmental regulations/legislation specific for the substance or mixture
National regulations
All components of this product are listed in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Toxic Substances Control Act Chemical substance Inventory.
All components of this product are listed on the Canadian Domestic Substances List (DSL).
SARA Section 313 (specific toxic chemical listings)
7440-22-4 Silver
California Proposition 65
Prop 65 - Chemicals known to cause cancer
Substance is not listed.
Prop 65 - Developmental toxicity
Substance is not listed.
Prop 65 - Developmental toxicity, female
Substance is not listed.
Prop 65 - Developmental toxicity, male
Substance is not listed.
Information about limitation of use:
For use only by technically qualified individuals.
Other regulations, limitations and prohibitive regulations
Substance of Very High Concern (SVHC) according to the REACH Regulations (EC) No. 1907/2006.
Substance is not listed.
The conditions of restrictions according to Article 67 and Annex XVII of the Regulation (EC) No 1907/2006 (REACH) for the manufacturing, placing on the market and use must be observed.
Substance is not listed.
Annex XIV of the REACH Regulations (requiring Authorisation for use)
Substance is not listed.


Safety Data Sheet according to Regulation (EC) No. 1907/2006 (REACH). The above information is believed to be correct but does not purport to be all inclusive and shall be used only as a guide. The information in this document is based on the present state of our knowledge and is applicable to the product with regard to appropriate safety precautions. It does not represent any guarantee of the properties of the product. American Elements shall not be held liable for any damage resulting from handling or from contact with the above product. See reverse side of invoice or packing slip for additional terms and conditions of sale. COPYRIGHT 1997-2016 AMERICAN ELEMENTS. LICENSED GRANTED TO MAKE UNLIMITED PAPER COPIES FOR INTERNAL USE ONLY.

Silver Isotopes

Naturally occurring silver (Ag) has two stable isotopes: 107Ag and 109Ag.

Nuclide Isotopic Mass Half-Life Mode of Decay Nuclear Spin Magnetic Moment Binding Energy (MeV) Natural Abundance
(% by atom)
93Ag 92.94978(64)# 5# ms [>1.5 µs] Unknown 9/2+# N/A 746.1 -
94Ag 93.94278(54)# 37(18) ms [26(+26-9) ms] ß+ to 94Pd 0+# N/A 760.7 -
95Ag 94.93548(43)# 1.74(13) s ß+ to 95Pd; ß+ + p to 94Pd (9/2+) N/A 775.3 -
96Ag 95.93068(43)# 4.45(4) s ß+ to 96Pd; ß+ + p to 95Pd (8+) N/A 788.03 -
97Ag 96.92397(35) 25.3(3) s ß+ to 97Pd (9/2+) N/A 802.63 -
98Ag 97.92157(7) 47.5(3) s ß+ to 98Pd; ß+ + p to 97Pd (5+) N/A 812.58 -
99Ag 98.91760(16) 124(3) s ß+ to 99Pd (9/2)+ N/A 824.38 -
100Ag 99.91610(8) 2.01(9) min ß+ to 100Pd (5)+ N/A 833.39 -
101Ag 100.91280(11) 11.1(3) min ß+ to 101Pd 9/2+ N/A 847.06 -
102Ag 101.91169(3) 12.9(3) min ß+ to 102Pd 5+ N/A 855.14 -
103Ag 102.908973(18) 65.7(7) min EC to 103Pd 7/2+ 4.47 872.53 -
104Ag 103.908629(6) 69.2(10) min EC to 104Pd 5+ 3.92 880.61 -
105Ag 104.906529(12) 41.29(7) d EC to 105Pd 1/2- 0.1014 888.69 -
106Ag 105.906669(5) 23.96(4) min EC to 106Pd; ß- to 106Cd 1+ 3.71 896.77 51.839
107Ag 106.905097(5) STABLE - 1/2- -0.11357 904.85 -
108Ag 107.905956(5) 2.37(1) min EC to 108Pd; ß- to 108Cd 1+ 2.6884 912.93 48.161
109Ag 108.904752(3) STABLE - 1/2- -0.1306905 921.01 -
110Ag 109.906107(3) 24.6(2) s EC to 110Pd; ß- to 110Cd 1+ 2.7271 929.08 -
111Ag 110.905291(3) 7.45(1) d ß- to 111Cd 1/2- N/A 937.16 -
112Ag 111.907005(18) 3.130(9) h ß- to 112Cd 2(-) 0.0547 945.24 -
113Ag 112.906567(18) 5.37(5) h ß- to 113Cd 1/2- 0.159 953.32 -
114Ag 113.908804(27) 4.6(1) s ß- to 114Cd 1+ N/A 961.4 -
115Ag 114.90876(4) 20.0(5) min ß- to 115Cd 1/2- N/A 969.48 -
116Ag 115.91136(5) 2.68(10) min ß- to 116Cd (2)- N/A 968.24 -
117Ag 116.91168(5) 73.6(14) s [72.8(+20-7) s] ß- to 117Cd 1/2-# N/A 976.32 -
118Ag 117.91458(7) 3.76(15) s ß- to 118Cd 1- N/A 984.4 -
119Ag 118.91567(10) 6.0(5) s ß- to 119Cd 1/2-# N/A 992.48 -
120Ag 119.91879(8) 1.23(4) s ß- to 120Cd; ß- + n to 119Cd 3(+#) N/A 1000.55 -
121Ag 120.91985(16) 0.79(2) s ß- to 121Cd; ß- + n to 120Cd (7/2+)# N/A 1008.63 -
122Ag 121.92353(22)# 0.529(13) s ß- to 122Cd; ß- + n to 121Cd (3+) N/A 1007.4 -
123Ag 122.92490(22)# 0.300(5) s ß- to 123Cd; ß- + n to 122Cd (7/2+) N/A 1015.47 -
124Ag 123.92864(21)# 172(5) ms ß- to 124Cd; ß- + n to 123Cd 3+# N/A 1023.55 -
125Ag 124.93043(32)# 166(7) ms ß- to 125Cd; ß- + n to 124Cd (7/2+)# N/A 1022.32 -
126Ag 125.93450(32)# 107(12) ms ß- to 126Cd; ß- + n to 125Cd 3+# N/A 1030.39 -
127Ag 126.93677(32)# 79(3) ms ß- to 127Cd; ß- + n to 126Cd 7/2+# N/A 1038.47 -
128Ag 127.94117(32)# 58(5) ms Unknown N/A N/A 1037.24 -
129Ag 128.94369(43)# 44(7) ms [46(+5-9) ms] Unknown 7/2+# N/A 1045.31 -
130Ag 129.95045(36)# ~50 ms Unknown 0+ N/A 1044.08 -