December’s Mineral: Silver [Ag]

Posted by : Emily | On : December 1, 2013

silver 2

This precious metal has had a myriad of conventional and not-so-conventional uses throughout history. Today silver continues to be used as medicine, ornamentation (from jewelry to silver-bells), currency, and tableware but is also now also used in athletic clothing, solar energy, and as superconductors. Silver has the best reflectivity and the highest electrical conductivity of all metals, but is not often used due to its relatively high market value.

Native silver often forms intertwining and malleable strings of silver wire (as shown in the above photo taken at Greens Creek Mine near Juneau, Alaska). It does not tarnish easily in air or water, unless there is  the presence of ozone or hydrogen sulphide. Silver was first mined in Anatolia (modern day Turkey) around 3000BC and has been used as various forms of currency since 700BC. In the middle ages, silver was thought to deter or eliminate evil spirits and beings such as vampires and werewolves (hence the movie Silver Bullet).

Metaphysically, silver is the ‘metal of the moon’ and can have calming, balancing, and purifying effects. The belief of purification may stem from the fact that silver is antimicrobial as has been historically used to sterilize water and wine. Seasons Greetings!!