Silver is a soft, easily formable heavy metal with the highest electrical and thermal conductivity of all metals. It is used for the manufacture of mirrors as it is the whitest of all used metals. It reacts with hydrogen sulfide in the air, which is why it tarnishes.
It is used for the production of formaldehyde or ethylene oxide and increasingly also for alkaline fuel cells in silver catalysts. Various silver salts are used for the colouration of glass and enamels. Moreover, it is applied in antimicrobial treatments of textiles as well as in coatings of surfaces such as refrigerators or mirrors. In the medical sector, silver is used in coatings of endoprostheses or in the manufacture of wound dressings. Due to the good conductivity of silver, it is essential in printable inks, computers, solar panels and OLEDs. The focus for mobile information and communication technologies is increasingly on silver-zinc accumulators. Large quantities of silver will continue to be processed for jewelry, coins and in the field of photography.