Difference Between Silver and Platinum

Silver vs Platinum

Both silver and platinum are d block elements. They are commonly known as transition metals. Like most of the transition metals, these also have the ability to form compounds with several oxidation states and can form complexes with various ligands. Both silver and platinum are very expensive, which has limited their usages. Platinum and silver has a similar appearance; therefore, sometimes for an untrained eye it is hard to differentiate them.


Silver is shown with the symbol Ag. In Latin, silver is known as Argentum and, thus silver got the symbol Ag. Its atomic number is 47 and has the electronic configuration as follows.


Though it originally has a 4d95s1 configuration, it gets 4d105s1 configuration because having a fully filled d orbital is more stable than having nine electrons. Silver is a transition metal in group – 11 and period 5. As copper and gold, which are in the same group, silver has the oxidation state of +1. Silver is a soft, white, lustrous solid. Its melting point is 961.78°C, and the boiling point is 2162°C. Silver is a stable metal since it doesn’t react with atmospheric oxygen and water. Silver is known as the metal with the highest electrical conductivity and thermal conductivity. But silver is very valuable; therefore, It cannot be used for regular electrical and thermal conducting purposes. Because of its color and durability, silver is heavily used for jewelry making. There are evidences to prove that silver has been used for centuries. Silver is naturally found in deposits as argentite (Ag2S) and horn silver (AgCl). Silver has few isotopes, but most abundant one is the 107Ag.


Platinum or Pt is a transition metal with the atomic number 78. In the periodic table, it is in the group with Nickel and Palladium. So has the electric configuration similar to Ni with outer orbitals having s2 d8 arrangement. Pt, most commonly, forms +2 and +4 oxidation states. It can also form +1 and +3 oxidation states too. Pt is silvery white in color and has a higher density. It has six isotopes. Among these, most abundant one is 195Pt.  Atomic mass of Pt is about 195 gmol-1. Pt doesn’t oxidize or react with HCl or nitric acid. It is highly resistant to corrosion. Pt also can withstand a very high temperature without melting. (Its melting point is 1768.3 °C) Also, it is paramagnetic. Pt is a very rare metal, which is used in jewelry making. Pt jewelry is also known as white gold jewelry and is very expensive. Further it can be used as the electrode in electrochemical sensors, and cells.  Pt is a good catalyst to use in chemical reactions. South Africa is the number one producer of platinum metal.


What is the difference between Silver and Platinum?

• Pt has only 8 d electrons, whereas Ag has 20 d electrons.

• Platinum can form various oxidation states but, for silver, the oxidation state is +1.

• Platinum is more ductile than silver.

• Silver is known as a metal with the highest electrical conductivity and thermal conductivity.

• Platinum is rarely found in nature than silver.

• Platinum is more valuable than silver.

• Platinum is more resistant to corrosion that silver.