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A gray to black metallic mineral of Silver sulfide. Acanthite occurs in hydrothermal deposits and as a corrosion product of Silver. Large crystals of acanthite have been mined in Norway (Kongsberg), Mexico (Pachuca, Guanajuato, Zacatecas) and the U.S. (Nevada, Colorado, Montana). On silver, acanthite crystals can appear as black, shiny, acanthus-like leaflets. At temperatures above 173 C, acanthite is converted to Argentite.

Synonyms and Related Terms


Chemical structure


Other Properties

Luster = metallic Streak = black Cuts like lead; indistinct cleavage

Composition Ag2S
CAS 21548-73-2
Mohs Hardness 2.0 - 2.5
Melting Point 845
Density 7.2 - 7.4
Molecular Weight mol. wt. = 247.8

Hazards and Safety

Sensitive to light.

Fisher Scientific: MSDS

Additional Information

Mineralogy Database: Acanthite

Sources Checked for Data in Record

  • Encyclopedia Britannica, Comment: argentite" [Accessed December 11, 2001 (gives conversion temperature as 91 C)
  • C.W.Chesterman, K.E.Lowe, Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Rocks and Minerals, Alfred A. Knopf, New York, 1979 Comment: Gives conversion temperature as 173 C