As seen in this video, $\ce{AgNO3}$ reacted with sodium acetate $(\ce{CH3CO2Na})$ to form silver acetate $(\ce{CH3CO2Ag})$.

Why is that $\ce{CH3CO2Na}$ is soluble but $\ce{CH3CO2Ag}$ forms precipitate? Shouldn't both be polar and thus dissolve in water?

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    $\begingroup$ Silver acetate is soluble - just not VERY: ~1-2 g/100mL H2O. $\endgroup$ May 1, 2022 at 20:08
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    $\begingroup$ There are lots of cases like this, e.g., calcium fluoride is insoluble while calcium chloride is highly soluble. The silver salts are the reverse. Simple explanations do not always work and the reasons why they don’t can be subtle, deep or both. Welcome to Chemistry! $\endgroup$
    – Ed V
    May 1, 2022 at 20:09
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    $\begingroup$ thanks for the clarification, textbooks are really confusion on this subject. $\endgroup$
    – monke
    May 1, 2022 at 21:13
  • $\begingroup$ Silver acetate is moderately soluble in water. // BTW, if you got your answer, feel free to self answer it. $\endgroup$ May 2, 2022 at 3:20
  • $\begingroup$ Polarity is not guarantee of solubility. Many very polar substances are very insoluble in water. $\endgroup$
    – Poutnik
    May 2, 2022 at 7:48

1 Answer 1


Probably for the same reason that AgCl is insoluble compared to NaCl and KCl. Trying to research this on the web gives all sorts of explanations about differences in lattice and solvation energies with no reasons why. My explanation is that the relatively exposed valence orbital because of the filled d orbitals inefficient shielding, the ionic bond has some charge transfer feedback increasing the lattice energy. This loosely explains the decreasing solubility and increasing color of AgBr and AgI and the relative solubilities of the PbCl2, PbBr2 and PbI2.


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