How Was Silver Used in Ancient Times?

Silver has been used by humans for thousands of years, with evidence of its use dating back to ancient civilizations such as the Sumerians and Egyptians. But what did they use it for? In this article, we will take a look at some of the ways silver was used in ancient times.

The Use of Silver in Ancient Times

Jewelry and Decoration

One of the most common uses for silver in ancient times was for jewelry and decoration. Silver was highly valued for its beauty and rarity, and it was often used to create intricate designs in jewelry pieces such as necklaces, bracelets, and rings. The ancient Greeks, Romans, and Egyptians were particularly fond of silver jewelry and used it extensively in their designs.


Silver was also used as a form of currency in many ancient civilizations. It was highly valued due to its scarcity and durability, making it an ideal material for coins.

The Greeks were among the first to use silver coins as currency around 550 BC. Later on, the Roman Empire also began minting silver coins for trade.


Silver has long been recognized for its antimicrobial properties, making it a useful material in medicine. In ancient times, doctors would often use silver compounds to treat wounds or infections. The ancient Greeks used silver plates to cover wounds and prevent infection from spreading.


Silver tableware was once a symbol of wealth and status among the wealthy classes. Throughout history, nobles would often dine on silver plates with silver cutlery. The Romans were known for their elaborate dining rituals that included the use of silver tableware.

Religious Artifacts

Many religious artifacts were made from silver due to its association with purity and divinity. In ancient times, many temples were adorned with intricate silver ornaments and statues. The ancient Egyptians used silver to create their sacred vessels and offerings to the gods.


In conclusion, silver has been a valuable material throughout human history. Its beauty, rarity, and durability have made it a sought-after commodity for thousands of years. From jewelry to medicine, currency to tableware, and religious artifacts, the uses for silver in ancient times were varied and often highly prized.