Silver has an advantage of its relative low cost, but it is susceptible to tarnishing when exposed to sulfur in the atmosphere. Silver plating, in addition to being decorative, has the highest electrical and thermal conductivity of any metal. It is highly ductile, malleable, and solderable. Silver tarnishes easily. Matte silver plate is used extensively for finishing electronic components where silver's mechanical properties of silver plate alone may not be enough and the design engineer feels that appearance may also be an important consideration.
Silver can be plated to military specification QQ-S-365, "Silver Plate as Type I (matter finish, the best conductor), Type II (semibright) or Type III (bright, the worst conductor) and may call for Grade A (chromate treated) or Grade B (no chromate)
Matte silver plate (QQ-S-365, Type II) if often specified where the electrical and/or mechanical properties of silver plate alone may not be enough and the design engineer feels that appearance may also be an important consideration. Semibright silver does, however, tend to tarnish faster than matte silver.
Typically, platers prefer to apply silver plate as thin as practical, because it is a relatively expensive metal. Designer, of source specify the thinnest plating that will serve their purposes, but anything over that minimum is "free." Precious-metal plating is thus controlled much more closely than are the more common metals. Silver is typically applied in thickness as low as 0.00005 to 0.0005 in. (1.0 to 10 um), although most applications call for 0.0002 to 0.0004 in. (5.0 to 10.0 um).