AskDefine | Define argentite

Dictionary Definition

argentite n : a valuable silver ore consisting of silver sulfide (Ag2S)

User Contributed Dictionary



argentite (uncountable)
  1. silver sulphide, (Ag_2S), a primary ore of silver, in cubic or hexoctahedral crystals.


  • Croatian: argentit

Extensive Definition

Argentite, a mineral which belongs to the galena group, is cubic silver sulfide (Ag2S). It is occasionally found as uneven cubes and octahedra, but more often as dendritic or earthy masses, with a blackish lead-grey color and metallic lustre. The cubic cleavage, which is so prominent a feature in galena, here present only in traces. The mineral is perfectly sectile and has a shining streak; hardness 2.5, specific gravity 7.3. It occurs in mineral veins, and when found in large masses, as in is Mexico and in the Comstock Lode in Nevada, it forms an important ore of silver. The mineral was mentioned 1529 by G. Agricola, but the name argentite (from the Lat. argentum, silver) was not used till 1845 and is due to W. Haidinger. Old names for the species are Glaserz, silver-glance and vitreous silver. A cupriferous variety, from Jalpa in Mexico, is known as jalpaite.
Acanthite, also Ag2S, crystallizes in the monoclinic system and is the stable form below 177oC. As argentite cools below that temperature its cubic form is distorted to the monclinic form of acanthite.
argentite in Catalan: Argentita
argentite in German: Argentit
argentite in Spanish: Argentita
argentite in Croatian: Argentit
argentite in Hungarian: Argentit
argentite in Italian: Argentite
argentite in Latvian: Argentīts
argentite in Lithuanian: Argentitas
argentite in Dutch: Argentiet
argentite in Japanese: 輝銀鉱
argentite in Low German: Argentit
argentite in Polish: Argentyt
argentite in Russian: Аргентит
argentite in Slovak: Argentit
argentite in Ukrainian: Аргентит
argentite in French: Acanthite
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