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Silver crystals are beautiful and easily grown metal crystals. You can watch crystal growth under a microscope or let the crystals grow overnight for larger crystals.
- Suspend a piece of copper wire in 0.1M silver nitrate in a test tube. If you coil the wire you will get high surface area and more visible growth.
- Place the tube in a darkened location. Try to avoid high-traffic (high-vibration) areas.
- Crystals should be visible to the naked eye on the copper wire after about an hour, but larger crystals and noticeable blue coloration of liquid will occur overnight.
- Place a drop of mercury in a test tube and add 5-10 ml 0.1M silver nitrate.
- Allow the tube to stand undisturbed in a dark location for 1-2 days. Crystals will grow on the surface of the mercury.
- It is easy to watch crystals form on a copper wire under a microscope. The heat of the microscope light will cause crystals to form very quickly.
- A displacement reaction is responsible for crystal formation: 2Ag+ + Cu → Cu2+ + 2Ag
- 0.1M Silver Nitrate
- Test Tube
- Copper Wire or Mercury