Describe Properties of Silver

Physical properties

i) It is a white lustrous metal.

ii) It melts at 1233°C and boils at 2485°C.

iii) Molten silver absorbs about twenty times its volume of oxygen which it again expels on cooling. Globules of molten silver are thrown off. This is called “spitting of silver”. This can be prevented by covering the molten metal with a layer of charcoal.


Chemical properties

i) With dilute HNO3

Dilute HNO3 reacts with silver liberating nitric oxide.

3Ag + 4HNO3 → 3AgNO3 + NO↑ + 2H2O

ii) With con.HNO3 or con.H2SO4

Hot con.HNO3 or con.H2SO4 react with silver liberating NO2 and SO2 respectively.

Ag + 2 HNO3 → AgNO3 + NO2↑ + H2O

2Ag + 2H2SO4 → Ag2SO4 + SO2↑ + 2H2O

iii) Action with chlorine

Chlorine attacks silver, forming silver chloride.

2Ag + Cl2 → 2AgCl

iv) Action of alkalies

Silver is not attacked by alkalies.