Logo: Silhouette of William Hunter

Hunterian Museum & Art Gallery William Hunter Collections:
GLAHM 100222


This information is © The Hunterian Museum and Art Gallery, University of Glasgow 2018

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GLAHM 100222: silver; button, with a small slice cut from one side; smelted from acanthite number M526 - click to view larger image

silver; button, with a small slice cut from one side; smelted from acanthite number M526

handspm


Dimensions:
2x2x0.5cm
Locality:
*non loc.*
Context:
unknown
References:
CIT Trustees Catalogue (FORDYCE) 1797 [42] CIT FORDYCE,George, and ALCHORNE,Stanesby 1779 P527-536
Notes:
Museum catalogue says only "Hunterian" but this is almost certainly from William Hunter's original bequest. No. 42 in the Silver Ores section of the Trustees catalogue of 1794-7: " No. 42 Black or Vitreous Silver Ore in imperfect Cubical Crystals. One specimen from Freyberg, two others, and a specimen of the Silver contained in the Ore". The analysis of this ore is described in the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society in 1779, under experiments V and VI. The authors remark: "Dr. HUNTER not refusing to subject the ore to an assay although scarce and expensive". The article reports the weight of the silver button as 213 grains, which is 13.8g. This button now weighs 12.3g, but a small slice has been removed, presumably for analysis, so the original weight would match very well. The authors conclude in their article: ".. vitreous silver ore is a compound of silver and sulphur, and when pure, that it contains between 92 and 93 grains of silver in a hundred". We now know the formula to be Ag2S (87% silver). An interesting result from the dawn of quantitative analytical chemistry.
Keywords:
SYNTHETIC : ELEMENT : MINERAL : ORIGINAL BEQUEST : TUCSON EXHIBIT 2006 : : HUNTER 2007 : EH_HUNTER_MINERALS :

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For more information please contact Malcolm.Chapman@glasgow.ac.uk