Silver (Chemical symbol Ag) is a brilliant gray white metal that is quite soft and malleable. It is quite resistant to corrosion and does not oxidize easily, although it readily forms a surface tarnish of silver sulfide. A modern and comprehensive document on the subject is the second edition of the classic CORROSION BASICS textbook.
Of all the metals, it is the best conductor of electricity. Due to these qualities (and its relative scarcity), it is often classified along with gold and platinum as a precious metal. Silver's primary use is in photographic paper and film 28% (commercial photography, medical, dental and industrial X-rays and graphic arts), jewellery and electronics 25% (connectors, contacts and batteries).
The main source of silver is in lead ore, although it can also be found associated with copper, zinc and gold and produced as a by-product of base metal mining activities. Mexico, Peru and the USA are major producers of silver. There are many substitutes for silver in a variety of applications. Most importantly is the advance of digital imaging that no longer requires image development using silver related products. The use of stainless steel for ornamental tableware is replacing traditional silver. Aluminum and rhodium can be used instead of silver in mirrors and other reflective applications. (Internet reference 12)