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Silver and its striations are both silver-white in color. It is usually stable in air or water and does not corrode easily or experience chemical reactions. It will however react with sulfur in the air to form gray or black silver sulfide. Silver is a metallic mineral that offers the best electrical and thermal conductivity. It is also very ductile and is commonly used in the electronics industry, currency, precious ornamentation and photography. Native silver is not an important source of silver. Most silver is extracted from silver-bearing minerals such as argentite.

Native silver in Taiwan is only found in the rock veins of Mine No. 8 at Jinguashih. Silver and gold are frequently companion minerals and silver production of Jinguashih-Jioufen region in the early years was a byproduct of gold mining. In Jioufen silver content of the gold ore was as high as 25 ~ 40% and is known as "electrum".

Mineral Formation
Mainly forms in hydrothermal veins with gold, sulfides and other silver-bearing minerals as companion minerals. 
~Geographic Distribution~
Native silver in Taiwan is only found in spots within the rock veins of Mine No. 8 at Jinguashih (Folinsbee et al., 1972).

Other silver-bearing minerals included electrum, argentite and galena. Electrum was found in the Jioufen and Jinguashih area, argentite in the Jinguashih mining district and Galena in the Jioufen and Wudankeng mining districts. Electrum deposits have also been found at Pinglin and Jhangyuan in Taitung, as well as the copper-bearing iron sulfide deposits at Dong-ao, Jyue and Futai. 
Mining History
Native Silver is very rare in Taiwan and was found only in the No. 8 Mine at Jinguashih but not in any commercially worthwhile quantities. Silver was mainly smelted from silver-bearing minerals such as electrum, argentite and galena as a byproduct of gold mining. Silver was mined in Jioufen as early as 1898 while production was recorded at Jinguashih starting in 1904. Smelting of silver also occurred at Dong-ao in Yilan as well as Jhangyuan and Jyue in Taitung at some point. 
In 1904, silver production at Jinguashih totaled 189.053 kg and reached 2,810,963 kg in 1912. Production peaked at 284,101 kg in 1970.
In 1898, the annual production of silver at Jioufen was 3,597 kg and peaked in 1938 at 496,404 kg. 
Silver can be used for making decorations, cutlery and currency as well as electrical contacts in electronic instruments, photo film, photo paper and silver batteries. Silver alloys can be used for making utensils, surgical tools and dental fillings. Silver ions have a germicidal effect so it is used for making antiseptic agents as well. 

National Museum of Natural Science