History of Silver

Strength of Ancients, sacred element of Alchemy, salve of Healers ~ silver truly is a precious metal and the essence of our unique and powerful skincare.

From Apollo’s silver bow to NASA’s silver water-purifying space technology, silver is a constant throughout human history, ancient and modern, an enduring spiritual symbol and a life-preserving essential.

Silver has always been valuable to us, thought of as feminine in nature and considered to possess magical qualities. Its name derives from Old English ‘seolfor’ and its chemical symbol from the Latin ‘argentum’. The Incas referred to it as ‘tears of the Moon’ and ancient civilisations used it in gifts, jewellery and coins. Silver has its significant place in the chakra and ayurvedic systems of well-being and as early as 700 BC, Roman scholar Pliny the Elder wrote of silver preventing disease.

Before the advent of modern science, silver symbolised purity, clarity and strength and was used to purify drinking water and preserve health. The Romans dropped silver coins into water containers and used silver powders to treat wounds; from the Middle Ages tableware, utensils and cups made of silver were believed to offer protection from illness to those who could afford them. Perhaps this is why children of wealthy families were ‘born with a silver spoon in their mouth’.

In folklore, silver is on the side of good, as silver bullets slay werewolves and vampires and in our common phrases we use our ‘silver tongue’ and look for the ‘silver lining’.

The chronicles of silver’s medicinal use date from antiquity. Silver is an antimicrobial ~ effective as an anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and anti-parasitic treatment. Around 400 BC, Hippocrates taught of silver’s healing properties and silver compounds preventing infection. Modern science has documented silver’s antimicrobial capacity over the last two centuries, treating the common cold and ophthalmic problems, using colloidal silver in wound and burn dressings and employing it as an antiseptic disinfectant. The World Health Organisation uses colloidal silver in its water filters and recently colloidal silver has been confirmed in clinical studies to combat even antibiotic-resistant bacteria, such as MRSA.

Silver’s classical affinity with the Moon links it with the shining reflection of light and silver’s presence in sea-water keeps the natural connection close, as the Moon controls the oceans’ tides. There is an irresistible pull. It seems no coincidence that our imaginations led us to silver’s use in mirrors and even photography ~ we are a civilisation obsessed with reflecting images. Understanding as we do now that silver has the highest thermal conductivity of any metal and the highest electrical conductivity of any known element, may explain the instinctive awe it inspired in times gone by and today.