Historical Introduction.—As given in modern text-books, the holohedral-cubic silver haloids occurring as minerals include the following species: the pure chloride, chlorargyrite, AgCl. ; the pure bromide, bromargyrite, AgBr; the intermediate embolite, Ag(Cl,Br), containing chlorine and bromine in varying proportions ; and iodobromite, containing all three halogens in a definite ratio corresponding to the formula 2AgCl.2AgBr.AgI.
The terms hornsilver (used by Gesner as far back as 1565) and cerargyrite (Beudant, 1832) are usually taken as referring only to the pure chloride. As regards their signification, however, they are equally applicable to all of the above species, and in lack of chemical analyses were certainly so applied in the past. Thus Breithaupt, after the discovery of the bromide and chloro-bromide of silver by Berthier in 1841 and 1842, remarks that many of the specimens of ‘Hornerz’ in the Werner Museum having a greenish colour probably contained bromine.