Egyptian Grave Robbers
The Egyptians were crippling their own economy when they buried quantities of gold and silver with their dead leaders for, presumably, their leaders’ use in afterlife. Grave robbers, whatever their motives, served to keep the wheels of Egyptian society turning by restoring the gold and silver to circulation.
Isaac Asimov’s Book of Facts, 1979.
Among the most popular Christmas decorations - along with holly or mistletoe - are the pine cones, which are used in their natural state, or are painted in bright colors, or in silver or gold. There is an interesting German legend which explains the origin of the pine cone, widely used at Christmastime. It tells of a poor woman climbing a mountain to pick up pine cones for fuel. She was approached by an elf who told her to “take only the pine cones under this tree.” The good woman picked up the cones indicated and when she arrived home she found that they had all turned to pure silver. Thus, the silver pine cone which we all know today.
- Sunshine Magazine. The Toastmaster’s Treasure Chest by Herbert V. Prochonow, 1979.
“A swarm of bees in May
Is worth a load of hay;
A swarm of bees in June
Is worth a silver spoon;
A swarm of bees in July
Is not worth a fly.”
– Old Rhyme. The Oxford Dictionary of Quotations, 1941.
Steel wheat penny at Central Jersey Rare Coins Blog.
Cut Half-Penny and Farthing at UK Detector Finds Database.
A field said to have been bought with thirty pieces of silver given to Judas for betraying Christ.
Harper’s Book of Facts, 1905.
The ratio between gold and silver as legal tender. It was at that time an important political topic, particularly in the United States.
The Adventure of the Bruce-Partington Plans. The Annotated Sherlock Holmes by William S. Baring-Gould, 1972.
Seven Heavenly Objects & Metals
The alchemists of the Middle Ages noticed that there were seven planets and seven metals. They matched up heavenly objects and metals:
- sun & gold
- moon & silver
- Venus & copper
- Mars & iron
- Saturn & lead
- Mercury & quicksilver
- Jupiter & tin
Words from the Myths by Isaac Asimov, 1969.
Trial of the Pyx
"The Trial of the Pyx" occurs every five years in England. It is simply the testing of the amount of gold and silver used in the coins issued from the mint.
Curious Questions by Sara H. Killikelly, 1889.
Silver Ink-Stone Box at Cultural China.
Lettering in gold and silver ink, a practice originating with the ancient Greeks.
Descriptionary by Marc McCutcheon, 1992.
Two Mermaids ring on Etsy.
It may be remarked in passing that the name “ginkgo" is not a genuine Chinese word, even if it sounds like one. Doctor Kaempfer knew that the Chinese word gin means "silver," and he thought that ginkgo meant "silver apricot," a name which might well be given to the seed of the tree. But there is no such word in Chinese; in fact the Chinese poets of the Middle Ages used the rather unpoetical name of "duck’s foot tree."
Dragons in Amber by Willy Ley, 1951.
“Brandy is lead in the morning, silver at noon, gold at night.”
– The Antiquity of Proverbs by Dwight Edwards Marvin, 1922.
The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien. Purchased in Hong Kong in 2002.