Front Page Titles (by Subject) Silver. - Money and the Mechanism of Exchange
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Silver. - William Stanley Jevons, Money and the Mechanism of Exchange 
Money and the Mechanism of Exchange (New York: D. Appleton and Co. 1876).
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I need hardly say that silver is distinguished by its exquisite white lustre, which is not rivalled by that of any other pure metal. Certain alloys, indeed, such as speculum metal, or Britannia metal, have been made of almost equal lustre, but they are either brittle, or so soft as not to give the metallic ring of silver. When much exposed to the air silver tarnishes by the formation of a black film of silver sulphide; but this forms no obstacle to its use as currency, since the film is always very thin, and its peculiar black colour even assists in distinguishing the pure metal from counterfeit. When suitably alloyed, silver is sufficiently hard to stand much wear, and next after gold it is the most malleable and impressible of all the metals.
A coin or other object made of silver may be known by the following marks:—(1) a fine pure white lustre, where newly rubbed or scraped; (2) a blackish tint where the surface has long been exposed to the air; (3) a moderate specific gravity; (4) a good metallic ring when thrown down; (5) considerable hardness; (6) strong nitric acid dissolves silver, and the solution turns black if exposed to light.
Silver has been coined, it need hardly be said, in all ages since the first invention of the art, and its value relatively to gold and copper suits it for taking the middle place in a monetary system. Its value too remains very stable for periods of fifty or a hundred years, because a vast stock of the metal is kept in the form of plate, watches, jewellery, and ornaments of various kinds, in addition to money, so that a variation in the supply for a few years cannot make any appreciable change in the total stock. Productive silver mines exist in almost all parts of the world, and wherever lead is produced, a small but steady yield of silver is obtained from it by the Pattinson method of extraction.