Periodic Table


Atomic number: 47
Atomic weight: 107.8682
Symbol: Ag
Group number: 11
Electronic configuration: [Kr].4d10.5s1


Silver is somewhat rare and expensive, although not as expensive as gold. Slag dumps in Asia Minor and on islands in the Aegean Sea indicate that man learned to separate silver from lead as early as 3000 B.C. Pure silver has a brilliant white metallic lustre. It is a little harder than gold and is very ductile and malleable. Pure silver has the highest electrical and thermal conductivity of all metals, and possesses the lowest contact resistance. Silver iodide, AgI, is (or was?) used for causing clouds to produce rain.

Silver is stable in pure air and water, but tarnishes when exposed to ozone, hydrogen sulphide, or air containing sulphur. It occurs in ores including argentite, lead, lead-zinc, copper and gold found in Mexico, Peru, and the USA.

General information

Discoveror: Known since ancient times
Date discovered:
Discovered at: not known
Meaning of name: From the Anglo-Saxon word "siolfur" meaning "silver" (the origin of the symbol Ag comes from the Latin word "argentum" meaning "silver")

Physical data

Standard state: solid at 298 K
Colour: silver
Density of solid at ambient temperature/kg m-3: 10490
Molar volume/cm3: 10.27

Radii /pm

Atomic: 165
Covalent (single bond):
Pauling radius for the ion [Ag]-: no data

Valence shell orbital radius maxima (Rmax)
orbital s p d f
radius153.2no data54.7no data


Both values are quoted on the Pauling scale.

Pauling: 1.93
Allred Rochow: 1.42

Crystal Structure

structure: ccp (cubic close-packed)

The following CrystalMaker image represents the solid state structure. For most elements, the most stable allotrope is illustrated. Try WebElements version 2 for interactive virtual reality and CHIME images.


Temperatures (/K)

melting point: 1234.93
boiling point: 2435

Enthalpies /kJ mol-1

fusion: 11.6
vaporization: 254

single bond enthalpies:
Ag-F Ag-Cl Ag-Br Ag-I Ag-Ag
no data no data no data no data 163

Ionization enthalpies /kJ mol-1

Number Enthalpy


This section gives some data for naturally occurring isotopes.
Nominal mass Accurate mass % natural abundance
107Ag106.905092 (6)51.839 (7)
109Ag108.904756 (4)48.161 (7)

Further Information

Copyright 1997 Mark Winter
Department of Chemistry at the University of Sheffield, Sheffield S3 7HF, England.

The current version of this document is at http://www.shef.ac.uk/~chem/web-elements-I/Ag.html