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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

3,194 media by topicpage 1 of 32
[Interior view of a metallurgical workshop where men are removing impurities from silver]

[Interior view of a metallurgical workshop where men are removing impu...

Title devised by Library staff. Illus. in: Beschreibung. Franckfurt am Mayn : J. Feyerbendt, 1598. Published in: The tradition of technology : Landmarks of Western technology ... / Leonard C. Bruno. Washington,... More

Thomas Jefferson, 1776, Table Comparing Value of European Silver and Gold Coins; with Notes

Thomas Jefferson, 1776, Table Comparing Value of European Silver and G...

Table Comparing Value of European Silver and Gold Coins; with Notes

United States Congress, September 1, 1781, Printed Table of Currency Scale, Paper Money to Silver

United States Congress, September 1, 1781, Printed Table of Currency S...

Printed Table of Currency Scale, Paper Money to Silver

Cash in hand, occassioned by the capture of the British Packet Swallow. by Commodore Rodgers, with 260,000 dollars, in gold and silver on board. Boston printed by Nathaniel Coverly, Jun. Corner Theatre-Alley [1813].

Cash in hand, occassioned by the capture of the British Packet Swallow...

Positive Photostat.; War of 1812 ballad.; Verse. Available also through the Library of Congress web site in two forms: as facsimile page images and as full text in SGML. Printed Ephemera Collection; Portfolio 5... More

The original silver medal presented by George Washington to Red Jacket

The original silver medal presented by George Washington to Red Jacket

Etching of medallion: on recto: Red Jacket smoking long pipe, George Washington on left with right hand extended, below inscription: George Washington / President / 1792; on verso: presidential seal.

The philosopher's stone! Gold & silver plating, by the electro-magnetic apparatus ... Alton. Printed at the Telegraph Office [1840?].

The philosopher's stone! Gold & silver plating, by the electro-magneti...

Imprint 3. Available also through the Library of Congress web site in two forms: as facsimile page images and as full text in SGML. Printed Ephemera Collection; Portfolio 16, Folder 35.

Highest premium silver plating fluid. [Boston, Mass.? s. n., s. d.].

Highest premium silver plating fluid. [Boston, Mass.? s. n., s. d.].

Massachusetts n. d.; Advertisement.; 1. Silver-plating. Available also through the Library of Congress web site in two forms: as facsimile page images and as full text in SGML. Printed Ephemera Collection; Port... More

Just what it means. Let us try to put this silver question plainly, so that any workingman can understand it ... [n. p. n. d.].

Just what it means. Let us try to put this silver question plainly, so...

Available also through the Library of Congress web site in two forms: as facsimile page images and as full text in SGML. Printed Ephemera Collection; Portfolio 243, Folder 40.

Anthony Dumesnil, jeweller and watch maker No. 24 Union Street. Boston has for sale gold and silver watches, of all kinds ... [Boston, 17- ].

Anthony Dumesnil, jeweller and watch maker No. 24 Union Street. Boston...

Imprint 2.; Advertisemnt.; Not in Ford.; Not in Evans. Available also through the Library of Congress web site in two forms: as facsimile page images and as full text in SGML. Printed Ephemera Collection; Portf... More

General map of the United States & their territory between the Mississippi & the Pacific Ocean. 1. Showing the different surveyed routes from the Mississippi valley to the coast of Pacific Ocean, 2. the new established & proposed Post Routes, 3. the recently discovered gold, silver, and copper region in Kansas, Nebraska and Arizona.

General map of the United States & their territory between the Mississ...

Gold mines are indicated in yellow and silver mines in blue. Indicates post routes, "old trail," finished and unfinished railroads, and the proposed state of "Colona." Scale ca. 1:6,500,000. Relief shown by hac... More

Blair, Francis Preston, house, Silver Spring

Blair, Francis Preston, house, Silver Spring

Title from caption card. This record contains unverified, old data from caption card. Transfer; LC Manuscript Division (gift, Gist Blair, 1936); 1963 July.

U.S. gunboat Silver Cloud

U.S. gunboat Silver Cloud

No. 3149. Title from item. Mounted with five other photographs with general caption: Mississippi River Fleet. Cited in Fighting for Time: the Image of War, vol. 4, p. 334. Gift; Col. Godwin Ordway; 1948.

Catalogue of valuable silver ware, to be sold at auction by Leonard & Co. 49 Tremont Street, Boston. On Saturday, May 18th, 1861 ....

Catalogue of valuable silver ware, to be sold at auction by Leonard & ...

Handwritten on verso: 18 May 1861. Available also through the Library of Congress web site in two forms: as facsimile page images and as full text in SGML. Printed Ephemera Collection; Portfolio 67, Folder 20.

[Lieutenant Hiram L. Hendley of Co. A, 9th Tennessee Cavalry Battalion, in silver brooch]

[Lieutenant Hiram L. Hendley of Co. A, 9th Tennessee Cavalry Battalion...

Portrait photograph of identified soldier set in brooch. Title devised by Library staff. Case: plain leather. Gift; Tom Liljenquist; 2012; (DLC/PP-2012:127). More information about this collection is available ... More

J. B. Gough. Presentation of a silver cup. The Boston young ladies' total abstinence society will give an entertainment at the Tremont Temple! on this Wednesday evening Oct. 23d ... [Boston] Mail steam press. [1862].

J. B. Gough. Presentation of a silver cup. The Boston young ladies' to...

Handwritten on verso: 23 Oct. 1862. Available also through the Library of Congress web site in two forms: as facsimile page images and as full text in SGML. Printed Ephemera Collection; Portfolio 69, Folder 31b.

Ruins of Montgomery Blair's house at Silver Spring burnt by the Confederates under Gen. Early

Ruins of Montgomery Blair's house at Silver Spring burnt by the Confed...

Photo shows the mansion called Falkland, built in the 1850s as a summer residence and burned by either Confederate troops or camp followers on July 12, 1864. (Source: Silver Spring Patch blog post, July 15, 201... More

Silver Spring, Maryland. Blair house

Silver Spring, Maryland. Blair house

Photo shows the residence of Francis P. Blair (Source: Anne Peterson, 2011)

Map of the territory of Montana with portions of the adjoining territories : showing the gulch or placer diggings actually worked and districts where quartz (gold & silver) lodges have been discovered to January 1st 1865 /

Map of the territory of Montana with portions of the adjoining territo...

Relief shown by hachures. LC copy annotated in blue pencil on verso: Map of Montana terr. 1865, with suggestions as to new post routes & pos. made in..., A.G. Lawrence's report of December 13 1865. ... Availabl... More

Map of the territory of Montana with portions of the adjoining territories : showing the gulch or placer diggings actually worked and districts where quartz (gold & silver) lodes have been discovered to January 1st 1865 /

Map of the territory of Montana with portions of the adjoining territo...

Relief shown by hachures. Includes inset of "Map showing the routes from the Missouri River to Fort Laramie, where they connect with ... large map." LC copy annotated in blue pencil: "Working diagram of Montana... More

Silver City, Nevada, from the Devil's Gate, looking south

Silver City, Nevada, from the Devil's Gate, looking south

The Library holds only one photo from a pair published as a stereographic view. Gems of California scenery, no. 748. LOT subdivision subject: Nevada Cities and Towns. This record contains unverified old data fr... More

Silver Lake, Amador County--Evening View

Silver Lake, Amador County--Evening View

The Library holds only one photo from a pair published as a stereographic view. Gems of California scenery, no. 934. LOT subdivision subject: Silver Lake. This record contains unverified old data from caption card.

Quartz Mill, Silver Mountain, Alpine County

Quartz Mill, Silver Mountain, Alpine County

The Library holds only one photo from a pair published as a stereographic view. Gems of California scenery, no. 920. LOT subdivision subject: Quartz Mill. This record contains unverified old data from caption card.

Silver Mountain Valley, from the West, Alpine County

Silver Mountain Valley, from the West, Alpine County

The Library holds only one photo from a pair published as a stereographic view. Gems of California scenery, no. 917. LOT subdivision subject: Alpine County. This record contains unverified old data from caption card.

View of the Summit, from Silver Mountain Pass; Altitude 9,000 feet, Alpine County

View of the Summit, from Silver Mountain Pass; Altitude 9,000 feet, Al...

The Library holds only one photo from a pair published as a stereographic view. Gems of California scenery, no. 914. LOT subdivision subject: Alpine County. This record contains unverified old data from caption card.

Western Shore, Silver Lake, Amador County

Western Shore, Silver Lake, Amador County

The Library holds only one photo from a pair published as a stereographic view. Gems of California scenery, no. 933. LOT subdivision subject: Silver Lake. This record contains unverified old data from caption card.

Silver Lake and Beacon Bluff, Amador County

Silver Lake and Beacon Bluff, Amador County

The Library holds only one photo from a pair published as a stereographic view. Gems of California scenery, no. 931. LOT subdivision subject: Silver Lake. This record contains unverified old data from caption card.

Town of Silver Mountain, Alpine County. Gen. view from the East

Town of Silver Mountain, Alpine County. Gen. view from the East

The Library holds only one photo from a pair published as a stereographic view. Gems of California scenery, no. 921. LOT subdivision subject: Alpine County. This record contains unverified old data from caption card.

Silver's wash powder, saves time, labor, money!

Silver's wash powder, saves time, labor, money!

LOT subject: Washing powders. Title and other information transcribed from caption card and item. Copyright by Ziegler & Smith.

The Rocky Shore, Silver Lake, Amador County

The Rocky Shore, Silver Lake, Amador County

The Library holds only one photo from a pair published as a stereographic view. Gems of California scenery, no. 932. LOT subdivision subject: Silver Lake. This record contains unverified old data from caption card.

Main Street, Silver Mountain, Alpine County

Main Street, Silver Mountain, Alpine County

The Library holds only one photo from a pair published as a stereographic view. Gems of California scenery, no. 919. LOT subdivision subject: Alpine County. This record contains unverified old data from caption card.

Silver City, Nevada, from the Devil's Gate, looking north

Silver City, Nevada, from the Devil's Gate, looking north

The Library holds only one photo from a pair published as a stereographic view. Gems of California scenery, no. 749. LOT subdivision subject: Nevada Cities and Towns. This record contains unverified old data fr... More

Cañon at Silver City

Cañon at Silver City

The Library holds only one photo from a pair published as a stereographic view. Gems of California scenery, no. 746. LOT subdivision subject: Nevada Cities and Towns. This record contains unverified old data fr... More

Town of Silver Mt., Alpine County -  Road leading to the I-X-L Mine

Town of Silver Mt., Alpine County - Road leading to the I-X-L Mine

The Library holds only one photo from a pair published as a stereographic view. Gems of California scenery, no. 918. LOT subdivision subject: Alpine County. This record contains unverified old data from caption card.

Beach View, Silver Lake, Amador County

Beach View, Silver Lake, Amador County

The Library holds only one photo from a pair published as a stereographic view. Gems of California scenery, no. 936. LOT subdivision subject: Silver Lake. This record contains unverified old data from caption card.

View on Silver lake, Amador County

View on Silver lake, Amador County

The Library holds only one photo from a pair published as a stereographic view. Gems of California scenery, no. 937. LOT subdivision subject: Silver Lake. This record contains unverified old data from caption card.

Silver Mountain Peak; altitude 11,000 feet; Alpine County

Silver Mountain Peak; altitude 11,000 feet; Alpine County

The Library holds only one photo from a pair published as a stereographic view. Gems of California scenery, no. 916. LOT subdivision subject: Alpine County. This record contains unverified old data from caption card.

Silver Mountain Valley, from the Pass, Alpine County

Silver Mountain Valley, from the Pass, Alpine County

The Library holds only one photo from a pair published as a stereographic view. Gems of California scenery, no. 915. LOT subdivision subject: Alpine County. This record contains unverified old data from caption card.

The Bland silver bill. To the editor of the Herald. New York January 10th, 1878.

The Bland silver bill. To the editor of the Herald. New York January 1...

Title. Available also through the Library of Congress web site in two forms: as facsimile page images and as full text in SGML. Printed Ephemera Collection; Portfolio 128, Folder 52.

Silver Sounds

Silver Sounds

Music cover showing man fishing, boat on river or lake, mountain in background. LOT subdivision subject: Sentimental - Scenes. Title and other information transcribed from caption card and item. Copyright by Ol... More

Royal plate polish. Makes silver white, keeps silver bright

Royal plate polish. Makes silver white, keeps silver bright

Poster shows an advertisement with two women, one with a pre-polished object, and one with a polished object. "Railway Adv. Co., New York, Design and Print." Title from item. Forms part of the Artist poster fil... More

Silver spur

Silver spur

P15412 U.S. Copyright Office "Copyright 1884 by E.F. Benton." Caption: Elgie. Created by "Shober & Carqueville Lith., Chicago." Form 7. Forms part of: Theatrical poster collection (Library of Congress)

Bird's eye view of Butte-City, Montana, county seat of Silver Bow Co., 1884 /

Bird's eye view of Butte-City, Montana, county seat of Silver Bow Co.,...

"Copyright by W. Coleman & Co." LC Panoramic maps (2nd ed.), 453 Available also through the Library of Congress Web site as a raster image. Includes index to points of interest and ill. 3 copies. Copy 2 is a re... More

The silver lining to an opium cloud / MA Woolf.

The silver lining to an opium cloud / MA Woolf.

Illustration shows a serene Chinese man sitting at a table, smoking opium in a long opium pipe while being scolded by his wife; a young child is hanging onto the skirt of her kimono. There is a sign that states... More

Mexican silver (5640 lbs. weight, Main Bldg.)

Mexican silver (5640 lbs. weight, Main Bldg.)

(DLC/PP-1933:0205). Forms part of: Cabinet of American illustration (Library of Congress). Published in: "The New Orleans Exposition," Century, 30:6 (May 1885).

[Fla. - Silver Spring - sternwheeler coming into landing; railroad station in left foreground]

[Fla. - Silver Spring - sternwheeler coming into landing; railroad sta...

Photo by George Barker, 20 x 24 in. Misc. Geogr. - Barker. This record contains unverified, old data from caption card. Caption card tracings: Shelf. Florida.

Silver Spring & Silver Spring Run, Fla.

Silver Spring & Silver Spring Run, Fla.

Photograph showing a group of people gathered at the shore of Silver Spring in Marion County Florida. A steamboat heads into Silver Spring Run. 8855R U.S. Copyright Office. Copyright by Geo. Barker. On verso: ... More

[Silver King, St. Louis Browns, baseball card portrait]

[Silver King, St. Louis Browns, baseball card portrait]

Baseball card title devised by Library staff. Issued by: Goodwin & Company. Forms part of: Baseball cards from the Benjamin K. Edwards Collection.

Silver Spring[s], Florida, moonlight

Silver Spring[s], Florida, moonlight

Photograph showing moonlight on water with boathouse and trees in the background.

[Silver Flint, Chicago White Stockings, baseball card portrait]

[Silver Flint, Chicago White Stockings, baseball card portrait]

Baseball card title devised by Library staff. Issued by: Goodwin & Company. Forms part of: Baseball cards from the Benjamin K. Edwards Collection.

[Silver King, St. Louis Browns, baseball card portrait]

[Silver King, St. Louis Browns, baseball card portrait]

Baseball card title devised by Library staff. Issued by: Goodwin & Company. Forms part of: Baseball cards from the Benjamin K. Edwards Collection.

[Silver Flint, Chicago White Stockings, baseball card portrait]

[Silver Flint, Chicago White Stockings, baseball card portrait]

Baseball card title devised by Library staff. Issued by: Goodwin & Company. Forms part of: Baseball cards from the Benjamin K. Edwards Collection.

[Silver Flint, Chicago White Stockings, baseball card portrait]

[Silver Flint, Chicago White Stockings, baseball card portrait]

Baseball card title devised by Library staff. Issued by: Goodwin & Company. Forms part of: Baseball cards from the Benjamin K. Edwards Collection.

[Silver Flint, Chicago White Stockings, baseball card portrait]

[Silver Flint, Chicago White Stockings, baseball card portrait]

Baseball card title devised by Library staff. Issued by: Goodwin & Company. Forms part of: Baseball cards from the Benjamin K. Edwards Collection.

Men weighing old silver for coins at the United States mint in Philadelphia

Men weighing old silver for coins at the United States mint in Philade...

Title devised by Library staff. Photo made by the Library of Congress from original glass negative: LC-J688-26.

[Silver King, St. Louis Browns, baseball card portrait]

[Silver King, St. Louis Browns, baseball card portrait]

Baseball card title devised by Library staff. Issued by: Goodwin & Company "C. C. King"- -caption on card. Forms part of: Baseball cards from the Benjamin K. Edwards Collection.

[Peasants carrying two-hundred pound bags of silver ore from mines, Mexico]

[Peasants carrying two-hundred pound bags of silver ore from mines, Me...

Frank and Frances Carpenter Collection. Copyright by C.B. Waite, Mexico City.

Gold Hill, from Belcher Dump.  Silver City, from south end of town

Gold Hill, from Belcher Dump. Silver City, from south end of town

Photographed and copyrighted, 1890, by Jas. H. Crockwell, Virginia City, Nevada. Composite of two reproductions of photographic prints. In album: Souvenir of the Comstock, p. 5.

[Silver Strand and Ben Venue, Trossachs, Scotland]

[Silver Strand and Ben Venue, Trossachs, Scotland]

Title from the Detroit Publishing Co., catalogue J foreign section. Detroit, Mich. : Detroit Photographic Company, 1905. Print no. "13002". More information about the Photochrom Print Collection is available at... More

Map of Silver Bow County, Montana /

Map of Silver Bow County, Montana /

Relief shown by hachures. "Copyright 1890 by Gustave A. Kornberg, C. E." Related to entry # 415 in LC Land ownership maps. Available also through the Library of Congress Web site as a raster image. Cut and moun... More

U.S.S. San Francisco, silver service

U.S.S. San Francisco, silver service

Date based on Detroit, Catalogue J (1901). Detroit Publishing Co. no. 020941. Gift; State Historical Society of Colorado; 1949.

Silver Creek, N.Y.

Silver Creek, N.Y.

Bird's-eye view. Available also through the Library of Congress Web site as a raster image. Indexed for points of interest. PM3

[Silver statue of Justice in exhibit hall, Montana exhibit, World's Columbian Exposition, Chicago, Ill.]

[Silver statue of Justice in exhibit hall, Montana exhibit, World's Co...

55575Y1 U.S. Copyright Office. "Copyrighted 1893 by Souvenir Photo Co."

Out of the silver flood! / Dalrymple.

Out of the silver flood! / Dalrymple.

Print shows Uncle Sam trying to climb out of a flood of silver coinage toward elevated ground labeled "Repeal of the Sherman Law by the 53rd Congress" using a rope labeled "Public Opinion" while carrying a fema... More

Out of the silver flood / Dalrymple.

Out of the silver flood / Dalrymple.

Uncle Sam pulling woman, "business interests" out of body of water "Sherman Silver Purchase Act", using rope "public opinion" over rock "repeal of the Sherman Law by the 53rd Congress." Illus. in: Puck, 1893 Se... More

Silver campaign meeting will be held at Ardsley Lyceum Hall, Wednesday evening, Sept. 30, at 8 o'clock for the discussion of "Honest Money." ... Invitations have been extended to the Bryan and Sewall Clubs of Yonkers, Hastings, Dobbs Ferry, Irvi

Silver campaign meeting will be held at Ardsley Lyceum Hall, Wednesday...

On verso: Gift Edw McPherson Papers 1908. Available also through the Library of Congress web site in two forms: as facsimile page images and as full text in SGML. Printed Ephemera Collection; Portfolio 130, Folder 16c.

The free silver highwayman at it again / Keppler.

The free silver highwayman at it again / Keppler.

Print shows a highwayman identified as a "Silverite", holding two handguns labeled "Free Coinage" and "McKinleyism", and with papers extending from a pocket labeled "Paternalism" and "Wild Cat Schemes"; he is h... More

The silver candle and the moths / Hamilton.

The silver candle and the moths / Hamilton.

Magazine cover showing moths, "Altgeld," "Teller," "Tillman," "Boies," "Bland," "Stevenson," "Cleveland," etc. flying around flame of candle, "free silver," and dying.

Last ghost-dance of the free silver tribe - just before being sent to the Salt River Reservation / Dalrymple.

Last ghost-dance of the free silver tribe - just before being sent to ...

Print shows a Native encampment of the Democrat/Populist presidential candidate and his followers dancing around a campfire labeled "Repudiation"; depicted are, from left, "Peffer, Jerry Simpson, Teller, Vest, ... More

The free silver jabberwock / Keppler.

The free silver jabberwock / Keppler.

Print shows a gigantic man labeled "Free Silverite" with the wings of a bat and the tail of a dragon, emerging from a dark forest carrying papers that state "Free Silver and Repudiation" and bearing down on a k... More

Silver bullion

Silver bullion

In United States mint, New Orleans, La. Photo copyrighted by E.S. Gardner. No. 2. This record contains unverified, old data from caption card. Caption card tracings: Geogr.; Silver; Mints.

Colorado. Burros at silver mine

Colorado. Burros at silver mine

Title from item. Title on inventory list: Burros at silver mine. Detroit Publishing Co. no. "51051". Forms part of: Photochrom Print Collection. More information about the Photochrom Print Collection is availab... More

Silver Apron, Yosemite Valley

Silver Apron, Yosemite Valley

Copyright 1898 by Photochrom Co. Title from item. Detroit Publishing Co. no. "53019". Forms part of: Photochrom Print Collection. More information about the Photochrom Print Collection is available at http://hd... More