Silver nitrate is a colorless crystalline solid. It dissolves in water. Most silver compounds do not dissolve in water. It can get dark if light shines on it. It is an oxidizing agent. Most of the time the silver ion is reduced, but sometimes the nitrate ion is reduced. It reacts with copper to make silver crystals and copper(II) nitrate. It turns into silver, nitrogen dioxide, and oxygen when it is heated. It is the least expensive silver compound. It reacts with bases to make dark brown silver(I) oxide.
It was used to separate silver and gold. Gold does not dissolve in nitric acid. It is used to make other silver compounds. It reacts with chloride, bromide, and iodides to make white, cream, and yellow-colored solids. It is also used as an oxidizing agent. It can also be used to kill germs.
Silver nitrate is an oxidizing agent and should be kept away from chemicals that can burn. It can burn and stain skin. If too much is eaten, it can turn the skin blue.