1. Silver was one of the first five metals to be discovered, and silver objects have been found dating as far back as 4000 BC. Silver was also the first metal to be used as currency.
2. The chemical symbol for silver, Ag, comes from the Latin word for silver, argentum, which in turn derives from the Sanskit word argunas, which mean shining. The word jewellery comes from jewel, from the old French 'jouel', which in turn comes from the latin 'jocale', which means ‘plaything’ - so if you make silver jewellery you are a maker of shining playthings!
3. A quick, easy and cheap way of testing whether a piece of silver really is silver is to use an ice cube! Place your piece of ice directly on to a room-temperature piece of silver and watch it carefully. The ice will begin to melt immediately, as if it has been placed on something hot, rather than as if it it was placed on something that was just room temperature. This is due to the wonderful heat-conductivity of silver.
4. The price of silver presently is less than that of gold, which is probably the main reason why most of us here work with silver more than gold. However, in ancient Egypt silver was valued more highly than gold, probably because they had a much better supply of gold. The silver items found were usually thinner than the extravagant heavy gold jewellery.