Silver is found in native form usually combined with sulfur, arsenic, antimony, or chlorine and in various ores such as argentite (Ag2S) and chlorargyrite (AgCl). Rarely it is found in silver nugget form.
The principal sources of silver are copper, copper-nickel, gold, lead, and lead-zinc ores obtained from Canada, the United States, Mexico, Australia, Bolivia and Peru.
Peru is the largest silver producer in the world and Mexico, the world's second largest silver producer. Reportedly, Mexico produced 80,120,000 troy ounces (2,492 metric tons) in 2000, about 15 percent of the annual production of the world.
Silver is commonly extracted from ore by smelting or chemical leaching.
Commercial grade fine silver is at least 99.9 percent pure silver. Purities greater than 99.999 percent are available.