Prepared by crystallization from a solution of pure silver in dilute nitric acid: when fused and solidified in moulds, it constitutes the small pencils known as "lunar caustic."

Characters And Tests

The crystals are tabular and colorless, and form a neutral solution with distilled water: sp. gr. 4.3. They are soluble in four parts of rectified spirit; when pure they do not blacken on mere exposure to light, but do so, and readily decompose, on continued contact with any organic substance.

An aqueous solution of the nitrate is precipitated by any soluble chloride, a characteristic curdy-white chloride of silver being formed, which becomes dark on exposure to the air: it is soluble in ammonia, insoluble in nitric acid. A black sulphide of silver is precipitated from a solution of the nitrate by passing through it sulphuretted hydrogen.