THE BEST WAYS TO CLEAN SILVER
Silver is a chemical element with symbol Ag (from the Latin argentum, derived from the Proto-IndoEuropean h?erg?: “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.
Jewellery and silverware
The major use of silver besides coinage throughout most of history was in the manufacture of jewellery and other general-use items, and this continues to be a major use today.
Examples include table silver for cutlery, for which silver is highly suited due to its antibacterial properties.
HISTORY OF SILVER
Silver was one of the seven metals of antiquity that were known to prehistoric humans and whose discovery is thus lost to history . In particular, the three metals of group 11, copper, silver, and gold, occur in the elemental form in nature and were probably used as the first primitive forms of money as opposed to simple bartering.
However, unlike copper, silver did not lead to the growth of metallurgy on account of its low structural strength, and was more often used ornamentally or as money .
Since silver is more reactive than gold, supplies of native silver were much more limited than those of gold. For example, silver was more expensive than gold in Egypt until around the fifteenth century BC: the Egyptians are thought to have separated gold from silver by heating the metals with salt, and then reducing the silver chloride produced to the metal.
The situation changed with the discovery of cupellation, a technique that allowed silver metal to be extracted from its ores. While slag heaps found in Asia Minor and on the islands of the Aegean Sea indicate that silver was being separated from lead as early as the 4th millennium BC, and one of the earliest silver extraction centres in Europe was Sardinia in early the Chalcolithic period, these techniques did not spread widely until later, when it spread throughout the region and beyond.
Conservation & Restoration
The conservation and restoration of silver objects is an activity dedicated to the preservation and protection of objects of historical and personal value made from silver.
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