Silver Color Symbolism – What Does It Mean?

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Silver is a metallic gray color that occurs quite often in nature but usually tends to go unnoticed. It’s the color of silverfish, birch trees and the metal that gives it its name. Silver is a popular color for interior decorating due to the modern, sleek and elegant look it gives.

Let’s take a brief look at the history of this intriguing color, its pros and cons and what it means in different cultures around the world.

History of the Color Silver

Although the first ever documentation of silver mining took place in 3,000 BC, the word ‘silver’ was used as the name of the color silver as recently as 1481. Unlike gold, red, blue or green, it wasn’t a color commonly used in historical art. However, there were silver pigments created and used for the coloring of certain artefacts and some of these are still in use today.

Europe

The color ‘silver white’ was one of the oldest human-made pigments that’s used by modern artists. In the 18th century, silver white paints were used to repaint the floors and hulls of the Royal Navy ships since it helped to limit shipworm infestations and waterproofed the timber.  It was the only silver-white colored pigment used by Europeans for easel-painting up until the 19th century.

Egypt

The Ancient Egyptians used gold for certain precious items like Tutankhamen’s funerary mask but looking at other artefacts, it’s clear that they also used silver. While gold was considered to be the flesh of the gods, silver was the bones so it was quite often found in many religious artefacts.

The Egyptians used steatite (also known as soapstone) to make silver colored sculptures since other elite materials were either unavailable or unaffordable. Steatite was perfect since it could be carved intricately and fired, creating an object that couldn’t be created in any other medium.

Silver was usually considered more precious than gold in Ancient Egypt and the people became very skilled in making jewelry from the metal silver. The use of silver in jewelry began during this time and continued to the present day.

What Does the Color Silver Symbolize?

Silver coins

Silver is a refined and distinguished color, symbolizing wealth and success. Its properties are similar to that of gray, but it’s more lively, fun and playful. Silver also represents grace, sophistication, elegance and glamor. It’s also the color of the traditional 25th wedding anniversary gift, coveted for its brilliance and radiance.

  • Silver represents aging gracefully. The phrase ‘silver-haired’ traditionally means a distinguished person who’s aging gracefully. The phrase gray-hair, however, doesn’t have this connotation, instead signifying someone who is simply old.
  • Silver represents a mirror to souls. Some people believe that the color silver is the mirror to one’s soul, helping people to view themselves in the same way that as they are seen by others.
  • Silver symbolizes strength. Silver is symbolic of subtle strength and stability since it’s associated with the precious metal. The metal silver although malleable, can be made to be strong when combined with other metals.
  • Silver signifies cunning.  While silver has very admirable qualities, it also represents negative aspects such as lying, cheating or conniving. When we say someone has a ‘silver tongue’, it means that the person can speak in such a way to make others believe or do whatever he or she wants.
  • Silver is associated with healing. Since the metal silver is said to have antimicrobial properties, it has a strong association with healing and purity. Silver colored objects are generally perceived as being much cleaner than objects made of different materials.

Symbolism of Silver in Different Cultures

Since ancient times, silver as a metal has been used around the world. The symbolism associated with the metal also crosses over to the color.

  • In Europe, both the color and the metal are believed to destroy evil. This was because a silver bullet was said to be the only weapon that was effective against witches, werewolves and other types of monsters. Silver also represents excellent craftsmanship.
  • In Egypt, the metal silver was much rarer than gold and held a higher value. Due to this, the color too was considered valuable. The color represented the moon, stars and the sun rising at dawn.
  • The Greeks associate silver with the energy of the moon. It’s also the color of Artemis, the Greek goddess and symbolizes purity, clarity, focus, strength and feminine energy.
  • In India, like in Egypt and Greece, silver is believed to represent the moon and symbolizes motherhood. It’s also believed to help fight all negative emotions and improve one’s dreams.
  • In Chinese culture, silver is considered to be a part of the ‘white’ family of colors and is symbolic of wealth, cleanliness and purity. 
  • In Germany, silver is regarded as an elegant, sharp hue that signifies sophistication.

Personality Color Silver – What It Means

Girl wearing silver color dress

If your favorite color is silver, it may mean you’ve got a ‘silver personality’ or a ‘personality color silver’. According to color psychology, people who like certain colors are likely to possess similar characteristics. Take a look at the following list of character traits that most silver personalities tend to have in common.

  • People who love silver are creative and imaginative. They’re great at expressing themselves in writing and are attracted to one of the following: making speeches, writing novels and writing poetry.
  • They’re always open to trying new things and going for new opportunities that are presented to them.
  • They’re gentle, gracious and non-aggressive with strong morals and values.
  • While silver personalities can be loving and romantic, they keep a level head and don’t allow their hearts to take over in romantic matters.
  • Their greatest need is to find spiritual fulfilment and deep meaning in their lives. 
  • They have a good sense of responsibility and possess the ability to make wise decision quickly.
  • They can find it hard to make good decisions and usually end up sitting on the fence.
  • Silver personalities tend to be rather introspective. They’re usually preoccupied with their own world and sometimes tend to isolate themselves from others as they ponder and reflect about life.

Positive and Negative Aspects of Silver

As with any color, silver can affect your mind in both positive and negative ways. The color is said to draw the negative energy out of your body, replacing it with positive energy instead. It’s said that silver has the ability to restore stability and equilibrium to both your spiritual energy and feminine power. It’s a calm and soothing color with gentle, comforting qualities.

The downside of the color silver is that its colorless energy can result in negative feelings of indecision, coldness and the state of being non-committal. Too much of it can leave you feeling lonely, sad and depressed and you might feel the desire to isolate yourself from others.

Types of Silver Color

There are many variations of the color silver, some of which are more popular than others. Here’s a quick peek at the most common types of silver in use today.

  • Pale silver: this is a pale tone of the silver color found in Crayola crayons. A Crayola color since 1903, this type of silver is more like a warm gray with a slight tinge of orange and red.
  • Silver pink: this color is extensively used by interior designers all over the world. It’s also a popular color for weddings.
  • Silver sand: this color has a light greenish gray tinge to it and has been in use since 2001.
  • Silver chalice: this shade of silver is described as a light gray. It’s a soft, subdued color that’s perfect for painting bedrooms.
  • Roman silver: this is a bluish-gray tone of silver on the Resene Color List, that’s widely popular in New Zealand and Australia.
  • Old silver: Old Silver was specially formulated to resemble the appearance of tarnished silver with its greenish-gray hue.
  • Sonic silver: this is a dark gray version of silver that’s considered to be highly classy and is popularly used for vehicles.

The Use of Silver in Fashion and Jewelry

Nowadays, silver fabric is popular in the world of fashion and jewelry. In the past, silver was associated with rock stars, performers and socialites. Today, however, silver garments boast sophistication and independence.

Silver is a cool color. If you’re planning to wear a silver colored outfit, you might want to avoid pairing it with warm colors, since they can clash. Purple, blue or turquoise look great with silver clothing, but if you’re looking to add a little pop of color you can always try including something that will stand out, like red.  Silver stands out well against cool skin tones, complementing fair skin and blond hair. For warm skin tones, silver can look draining and clash against your skin.

Silver jewelry, in all its forms, continues to be highly popular. Because silver falls into the category of precious metals, it’s a prestigious choice but comes at a much lower price point than gold or platinum.

In Brief

The color silver remains a popular color used widely throughout the world. It continues to have a strong significance to those from different cultures and religions. In the world of fashion, silver continues to be a prominent metal in costume and fine jewelry as well as in clothing and accessories.

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