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Silver is a chemical element with the symbol Ag (from the Latin argentum, derived from the Proto-Indo-European h₂erǵ: "shiny" or "white") and atomic number 47. A soft, white, lustrous transition metal, it exhibits the highest electrical conductivity, thermal conductivity, and reflectivity of any metal. The metal is found in the Earth's crust in the pure, free elemental 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. Silver metal is used in many bullion coins, sometimes alongside gold: while it is more abundant than gold, it is much less abundant as a native metal. Its purity is typically measured on a per-mille basis; a 94%-pure alloy is described as "0.940 fine". As one of the seven metals of antiquity, silver has had an enduring role in most human cultures.

Other than in currency and as an investment medium (coins and bullion), silver is used in solar panels, water filtration, jewellery, ornaments, high-value tableware and utensils (hence the term "silverware"), in electrical contacts and conductors, in specialized mirrors, window coatings, in catalysis of chemical reactions, as a colorant in stained glass and in specialised confectionery. Its compounds are used in photographic and X-ray film. Dilute solutions of silver nitrate and other silver compounds are used as disinfectants and microbiocides (oligodynamic effect), added to bandages and wound-dressings, catheters, and other medical instruments.

Silver Media

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Gold earring with head of a bull

Gold earring with head of a bull

Classical or Hellenistic

Sumerian Ring

Sumerian Ring

Mesopotamia, Ur (modern Tell al-Muqayyar) Early Dynastic IIIa

Earring or spiral, bronze, Cyprus

Earring or spiral, bronze, Cyprus

Gold plated bronze. Classical

Cuneiform tablet: record of silver for purchase of animals, Ebabbar archive

Cuneiform tablet: record of silver for purchase of animals, Ebabbar ar...

Mesopotamia, probably from Sippar (modern Tell Abu Habba) Neo-Babylonian

Silver statuette of a sphinx with gilding

Silver statuette of a sphinx with gilding

Gilded silver sphinx perched upon an Ionic capital with head turned to the left. Classical

Gold earring with head of a bull

Gold earring with head of a bull

Classical or Hellenistic

Gold earring with head of a bull

Gold earring with head of a bull

Classical or Hellenistic

Gold serpentine fibula (safety pin)

Gold serpentine fibula (safety pin)

Serpentine fibulae have distinctive coiled bows. Geometric

Greek Gold slipknot strap necklace

Greek Gold slipknot strap necklace

The length can be adjusted by sliding the two straps through the central bead. Hellenistic

Roman Wreath of ivy

Roman Wreath of ivy

Accession Number: 00.15.1

Mirror, bronze, China, six dynasties

Mirror, bronze, China, six dynasties

Accession Number: 25.20.1 Six Dynasties (220–589)

Roman Necklace

Roman Necklace

Glass objects, Roman Empire.

Gold ring with a garnet

Gold ring with a garnet

Gold ring with a garnet. Hellenistic

Greek Gold ring, gold, Classical period

Greek Gold ring, gold, Classical period

Seated woman crowning female herm. Classical

Roman Pair of gold earrings

Roman Pair of gold earrings

In the form of rings of twisted gold. Imperial

Earring with swans or geese
Earring or spiral, bronze

Earring or spiral, bronze

Accession Number: 74.51.3342

Greek Silver bracelet, gold, Classical period

Greek Silver bracelet, gold, Classical period

Silver serpentine bracelet. Classical

Silver bracelet with gold terminals

Silver bracelet with gold terminals

Silver bracelet with gold terminals.

Chinese Belt Hook, bronze, China, Eastern Zhou dynasty

Chinese Belt Hook, bronze, China, Eastern Zhou dynasty

Eastern Zhou dynasty, Warring States period (475–221 B.C.)

Earring with pendants of female heads

Earring with pendants of female heads

Accession Number: 98.11.99, .100 Hellenistic ?

Earring, slit, New Kingdom, Egypt, 1550  -1070 BC

Earring, slit, New Kingdom, Egypt, 1550 -1070 BC

Accession Number: 74.51.4460 New Kingdom

Roman Earring with paste setting

Roman Earring with paste setting

Glass objects, Roman Empire.

Jar with offering scene, Egypt, Third Intermediate Period (1070–664 BC)

Jar with offering scene, Egypt, Third Intermediate Period (1070–664 BC...

From Egypt, Eastern Delta, Tell Basta (Bubastis), Temple of Bastet, ancient cache Third Intermediate Period

Faience amulet in the form of the dwarf god Pataikos

Faience amulet in the form of the dwarf god Pataikos

Amulet, Ptah-seker. Late Dynastic–Hellenistic

Gold earring with head of a lion

Gold earring with head of a lion

Circlet of twisted gold wire, which tapers from the animal's head at the front end to a hooked point which passes through a loop below its throat. Classical or Hellenistic

Gold earring with head of a bull

Gold earring with head of a bull

Classical or Hellenistic

Gold earring with head of a lion

Gold earring with head of a lion

Circlet of twisted gold wire, which tapers from the animal's head at the front end to a hooked point which passes through a loop below its throat. Classical or Hellenistic

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