Silver – Day 11 of the Mineral Advent Calendar

This holiday season, why not get a mineral every day instead of chocolate? Today’s mineral is Silver find out more about it below..

Back on the vintage theme, if you decorated your tree you probably used tinsel, but instead of the multi-coloured garlands we think of today, until fairly recently, tinsel was the thin strands of shiny material you would drape all over the branches like hair!

This metal tinsel was probably made from lead, but in the 1600's tinsel was made from actual silver! This image is from Motherboard.

This metal tinsel was probably made from lead, but in the 1600’s tinsel was made from actual silver! This image is from Motherboard (originally from Ebay, but the listing has gone).

Using tinsel to decorate has been something that we have been doing for hundreds of years, but instead of the plastic types we think of today, tinsel used to be made of thin metal strips – and back in the 1600’s when tinsel was first used, it used to be made of actual silver (obviously this wasn’t decoration for the masses). And you can see, why – it’s very tinsel-ly just naturally. Though I imagine it tarnished pretty fast!

This silver is very tinsel-like. The photo was taken by Ian Jones.

This silver is very tinsel-like. The photo was taken by Ian Jones.

 Silver:

Chemical formula: Ag
Colour: Er, silver?!
System: Isometric
Hardness (Mohs): 2½ – 3
Can you find it in the UK? Yes

Locations for Silver in the UK from the MinDat Website - again visit the website for much more detailed information.

Locations for Silver in the UK from the MinDat Website – again visit the website for much more detailed information.

You can find Silver in the UK, though usually in very small amounts. It tarnishes out to a black-grey and is often found in places where other commercial minerals (like lead) have been mined, for instance in Cornwall, Wales or Cumbria.

For more information about Silver please visit the MinDat website.

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2 thoughts on “Silver – Day 11 of the Mineral Advent Calendar

  1. Pingback: Galena – Day 22 of the Mineral Advent Calendar | My Patchwork Planet

  2. Pingback: Gold – Day 24 of the Mineral Advent Calendar | My Patchwork Planet

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