Latins called it and knew it as “ARGENTUM“, and ancient Greeks as “ARGOS“, which means shining, bright, brilliant.
It was mentioned in the Book of Genesis, and the analysis of archaeological finds from Asia Minor proves that, in the IV millennium BC, people were able to separate it from its minerals.
White metal, the second most precious metal after the gold at the time, alchemists called it “LUNA” because they believed it was made of the same material of the moon, and that it received perpetual influences from the planet that made it able of healing and preventing illnesses. This metal was also associated with lunar and feminine deities in many Theologies prior to that age.
Nowadays it is known as “ARGENTO” in Romance languages or “SILVER” in Anglo-Saxon ones.
Silver, however, has been always used and known not only for jewellery production, but also for its medical and therapeutical properties.
Ancient Romans treated wounds with silver, and documented its healing powers.
Persians already used it too; the troops of Ciro the Great transported water in pots containing silver spheres to protect drinking water, and to preserve its potability during their transfers.
In the following centuries people used to eat using silver kitchenware and cutlery because they knew its antibacterial power and its disinfectant effect. Silver ciboria and chalices have always been used in religious rites; silver’s bactericidal effect preserved the health of officiants and parishioners.
It has been a common use in many countries for centuries, to give the newborn baby a silver spoon.
At the beginning of 1900 silver has been widely employed in curing infective diseases like tuberculosis .
Today silver is not only employed in the biomedical field, but also in swimming pool filtration systems, to make antibacterial clothing, scientific equipments, etc…
Silver has therefore therapeutical and also antistatic properties: in fact it can dissipate electric charges thanks to its high electric conductivity.
Its antimicrobial ability is very strong, even in extremely small quantities; it has an inhibitory effect on the action of fundamental enzymes, important in bacterial breathing processes, and thus it blocks the production of energy by microorganisms.