But that discovery must have occurred very early on in human history.Archaeologists (scientists who study ancient civilizations) have found silver objects dating to about 3400 in Egypt. It also decorated temples, palaces, and other important buildings.

These properties make the metal desirable in jewelry, coins, and art.

About a half dozen metals near silver in the periodic table are also precious metals.

Malleable means capable of being hammered into thin sheets. It conducts heat and electricity better than any other element. It does react slowly with sulfur compounds in the air, however.

The product of this reaction is silver sulfide (Ag S), a black compound.

The symbol for silver (Ag), however, comes from its Latin name, argentum.

The name may have originated from the Greek word argos, meaning "shiny" or "white." Silver is a soft, white metal with a shiny surface. Ductile means capable of being drawn into thin wires. It does not react with oxygen in the air under normal circumstances. The transition metals are elements between Groups 2 and 13 in the periodic table.The periodic table is a chart that shows how chemical elements are related to one another.These properties made it easy for early humans to learn about silver.Today, the most important use of silver is in photography.It is often used to make alloys with gold for some of these applications.