Q:

How is silver formed?

A:

Deep in the Earth's crust, silver is one of the important metals that can be found, along with gold, copper, lead and zinc. It is formed by forming compounds with sulfur. Due to hot temperature, salty water called brine dissolves, collects and concentrates silver into the brine. Once the brine mixes with cold sea water, the metal does not stay dissolved and precipitates on the sea floor as minerals.

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Silver is classified as a transition and precious metal. It is a transition metal because it is situated between groups two and 13 in the periodic table of elements. It is a precious metal because it is not very abundant in the Earth's crust and not very chemically active but very attractive. It is also a resistant mineral since it does not dissolve in solvents and does not react to oxygen or water. It often occurs as a free element in nature and can be extracted easily from ores. This is why it has been used by humans for thousands of years, specifically for photography, jewelry, electrical equipment, mirrors, and medical and dental equipment. It is also often used to make alloys, the melting and mixing of two or more metals, with gold and is also often mixed with arsenic and antimony.

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