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Sergey Venezky
STORIES ON METALS

SILVER

LUNAR METAL

Alexander the great was forced to retreat. - "Sacred vessels" Kira. - Silver horseshoe. - The second oldest profession. - August profiles. - Tells the legend. - The ransom for a Prince Igor. - The treasure in a garbage pit. - Cunning Russian boyars. - Vice-Governor receives the order. - The mystery of the Nevyansk tower. - The family silver. - The service of count Orlov. The robbery failed. - In fond memory. - The"victim" of the cyclone. - Three record. - A mirror Shine. - Two silver spoons. - Thinner nowhere. - Under the sign of the moon. - History with geography. - The Queen prays pirate. - Night fun. - On the seabed. - Phipps collects "the harvest". - Find the diver. - Will the dolphins? - Sleep in the hand.

Gaining one victory after another, the army of Alexander the great uncontrollably moved East. Conquered Persia and Phoenicia, Egypt, and Babylon, Bactria and Sogdiana. In 327 BC by the Greeks invaded India. It seemed that there is no force that could stop the terrible army of the great commander. But suddenly among the Greek soldiers began severe gastrointestinal diseases. Starving and exhausted soldiers rebelled, demanding to return home. No matter how attracted the king the desire for new conquests, he was forced to turn back.

But here's what's interesting: the Greek commanders was sick many times less than ordinary soldiers, although I shared all the trials and hardships of camp life.

More than two millennia it took a rocket scientist to find the cause of this mysterious phenomenon: its essence is that the soldiers of the Greek army were drinking at the time of pewter goblets, and military leaders - from silver. Silver has the remarkable property of being dissolved in water, it kills inside of pathogenic bacteria, and to neutralize one liter of water, quite a few billions of dollars a gram of silver. That's why used silver cups army know was significantly less susceptible to diseases than ordinary soldiers.

Historian of the ancient world, Herodotus tells us that in the sixth century BCE, the Persian king Cyrus during his numerous trips kept drinking water in silver "sacred vessels". In Indian religious books also mention how obezzarajivate water, immersing in her red-hot silver. In many countries it was the custom at the dedication of wells to throw them in silver coins.

Perhaps the water activity of silver can be considered the oldest profession of the metal with which it is joined, and in our days: silver ions help to maintain a supply of drinking water for astronauts orbiting scientific stations "Salyut".

Sometimes at the whim of some influential persons of the silver had to do completely ridiculous things. So, is known for its profligacy of the Roman Emperor Nero did not find anything better than to Shoe silver horseshoes thousands of mules. But it was nothing more than an episode in the biography of metal. His second oldest profession - he dedicated his whole life was to be a measure of value, to serve as money.

The first silver coins appeared a few centuries before our era. In Ancient Rome, for example, as evidenced by Pliny the Elder, coins of silver denarii - began to be minted in 269 BC To the middle of the first century BC to the Roman denarii was usually depicted profiles emperors. The first of them this honor was awarded to Julius Caesar. Even the Emperor Quintile, which had 270 year to spend seventeen days in this high office, had to leave to posterity silver coins with his August countenance.

Over time, the stories on the coins produced in different countries, increasingly diverse and sometimes very curious. So, in 1528 in Bohemia were issued silver dollars, on which was depicted the savage, holding in one hand a club, and the other lamp. For what merits has got tribal on a silver coin?

According to legend, the wild inhabitant of the Bohemian mountains, knowing that people are looking for silver, came to him, lit the lamp and called them. Long people followed the savage, when his lamp went out, and he disappeared. Where this occurred, it was discovered a rich Deposit of silver.

In Russia its own silver coins came about in the IX-X centuries. Preserved srebrenik Russian Prince Vladimir. On one side they depicted the Prince, sitting on the throne ("table"), and the ancestral sign. The inscription on the coin reads: "Volodymyr on the table, and behold his silver."

In the XII and XIII centuries Russian coins disappeared from circulation. By this time United in Kievan Rus land newly broken up into separate principalities and chasing one for the whole country coins ceased. This time historians call coinless period. Money again began to serve silver bullion - UAH weighing 200 grams . The purchasing power of that currency units was very high: one hryvnia gave two hundred and squirrel skins. As for Prince Igor, caught in 1185 captured by the Cumans, who, as says an ancient chronicler, demanded a ransom of two thousand silver UAH.

Solid hryvnia was not always convenient for calculations because they had not only princes to buy, but to make less significant financial and trading operations. Needed more small "coin" - UAH began to cut in half. Thus was born the RUB.

UAH were cut in half. Thus was born the RUB.

The Mongol-Tatar yoke was also delayed the resumption of coinage Russian money. Were in circulation produced by the Golden Horde silver coin Dilema, or Deng (in Tatar "Deng" - ringing). Gradually the word "Deng" has passed into our language in "money".

Only in the middle of the XIV century, when the Russian people managed to weaken the Mongol-Tatar yoke, Russia began to mint its own coins. In 1534, during the reign of Elena Glinskaya, the mother of Ivan the terrible was created uniform for the entire Russian state monetary system. On a fine silver coin depicted a knight with a sword - coins was named micevych. Money is larger, silver, minted rider, armed with a spear. These coins were called the stele - hence the word "penny".

It is now difficult to get to the truth, but probably with the advent of the first money appeared first counterfeiters. During the excavation of one of the Viking settlements of the English archaeologists have found ancient Arabic coin, released one thousand years ago. In the list, finds the coin was listed as silver, but soon in this record had to make adjustments: analysis by x-rays showed that silver coin is made of copper and only covered with a thin layer of silver. We must pay tribute to the skill of ancient counterfeiter: the quality of their products was very high. There is no doubt that his contemporaries, whose exact methods of analysis, took elaborate fake money at face value.

Curious and similar finding, discovered by archaeologists during excavations near Tashkent: glop medieval settlement rested treasure of sixteen silver dirham, released in the early eleventh century in the state of Karakhanids. When coins are cleared, it turned out that they were made of copper and only slightly "powdered" silver. But historians know: who ruled in the period of the dynasty dirhams minted only from pure silver. Experts came to the conclusion that the coin is fake. It was unclear how they got into the garbage pit. Apparently, illegal fishing has become known to the authorities, and to get rid of the evidence, the ancient counterfeiter hid the coins at the time glop of his house. There they lay for nearly a thousand years.

By the seventeenth century is fake money made at the state scale. Went in 1654. Exhausting war with Poland, which was led by Russia, emptied the Treasury, and the need for money grew. Tsar Alexei Mikhailovich increased the already high taxes, but poor people have not been able to pay them. And then boyar Fedor Rtischev invented method, which, as he believed, could enrich the Treasury, and actually led to disastrous consequences.

At that time Russia was in circulation a silver money. Because of its silver then Russian state had no coins were made of... foreign coins. Usually used for this purpose Western hemostasia (they were minted in the Czech town of Jachymov), or, as they were called in Russia, "Evenki": they were hit by a Latin inscription and put Russian.

On the advice tisheva and other boyars king tried to benefit from the alterations. Efimik costs 50 cents, and the king ordered to put on it ruble sign. Along with this, it was decided to produce and smaller coins from cheap copper. To appreciate them was commanded as silver. Counting the Royal financiers, this reform promised to give the Treasury 4 million rubles income is several times more than what was given in the year all taxes! From these amounts, the king has scruises head, and he commanded to make new coins "hastily, day and night, with great zeal... that money soon make a lot".

Inflation in Russianthe Cheap money flooded into Russia. But in monetary circulation there are some laws that are not subject to even monarchs. If money is released more than they should, their purchasing power falls and, consequently, increase the prices of all goods. It happened in the Russian state. The common people very quickly felt the effects of the Imperial reform. Sharply increased the price of bread and other products, and in payment for goods merchants demanded only silver. But where it was to take, if it is in large numbers settled in the Royal vaults? The country began a hunger. The Cup of the people's patience was exhausted, and in 1662 in Moscow rebellion broke out - "Copper rebellion". The uprising was brutally suppressed by the king, but all the people achieved their goal: copper money was withdrawn from circulation and replaced by silver.

During the reign of Peter I the making of money was concentrated in the Moscow money courtyard, located in the area called China town. In 1711, the Senate has sentenced: silver money to do one Cash backyard that in China". Later, in 1724, by the decree of the king was established Mint in St. Petersburg. This enterprise - Leningrad mint operates today and has recently celebrated its dvuhsotshestidesjatju anniversary.

Peter made a concerted effort to expand production of gold and silver. But despite the results obtained, for a long time continued to purchase these precious metals abroad. Preserved some curious documents testifying to this. So, in 1734, the government instructed the Irkutsk Vice-Governor to buy in China a large amount of silver.

About the same time, miners akinfiy Demidova - representative of the powerful dynasty Urals mine owners managed to find deposits of silver ore. At the then prevailing state laws, silver ore, where and by whom it was found, were the property of the Imperial court. But Demidov did not want to leave new wealth. He began to mint their own coins, and no different from the Tsar. However, the difference was: Demidov money contained more silver than the state. Apparently, this is the only case in history when the fake money was more valuable than these.

According to the legend, in Nevyansk - patrimony Demidov was clandestine mint. Here in the basement of a high tower slaves chained to the walls day and night minted counterfeit money. It was a terrible prison, where no one could come to the mystery of the Nevyansk tower was not known to the government. But, in spite of that, information about it was leaked to the capital. At first these were only rumors, and even the Empress Anna Ivanovna did not venture to spoil relations with the uncrowned king of the Urals. However, they say that one day while playing with river cards win new silver coins, she suddenly asked him: "Your or my work, Nikitich?" He got up from the table, spread his hands and bowed his head with a smile, said: "We are all yours, mother Empress: and I am thine, and all mine is yours!".

But soon there was an event that put an end to secret mint. One of the Demidov masters, to escape the wrath of the owner, managed to escape from Nevyansk in St. Petersburg. As only found out about it Demidov, he sent the pursuit, with orders to catch up and kill the fugitive, and if they fail to do - jumping that there are forces in the capital and tell the Empress "good news" about the discovery of silver.

The fugitive was not caught - had to tell the "good news". In Nevyansk headed the Commission for reception silver resources. Two days before her arrival Akinfiy ordered to open the gates that separated the tower from the lake, and all were working there - the main witnesses Demidov crime - forever remained under water.

Silver has long been used in jewelry: he made tea and dinner sets, cups, glasses, powder boxes, snuff boxes and other luxury items. Great weakness to the products made of this metal is fed Russian and French aristocracy, for which the family silver was like a calling card, is evidence of noble origin and the wealth of its owners. A unique set belonged to count Orlov: it consisted of 3275 items, for the manufacture of which was spent about two tons of pure silver!

The silver iodide helps to fight sciclonehas Long been famous Novgorod master silver cases that have developed their unique school of carving and stamping silver. Made them cups, bowls, glasses contemporaries were impressed by the beauty of the pattern. Found records showing that at the end of the XVI century in Novgorod were about a hundred large masters, and krestenitis, senegacnik, kulecnikem (the so-called artisans in the form of manufactured products) there was no number. Surviving silverware Novgorod artists are exhibited in the Armory, the State historical Museum. The Russian Museum in Leningrad.

Sterling silver made a huge chandelier of the assumption Cathedral - one of the most remarkable monuments located on the territory of the Moscow Kremlin. The origin of it is. During the war of 1812, the precious metal was looted by French soldiers, but "for technical reasons" to remove it from Russia failed. Silver pushed the enemy, and to commemorate the victory over Napoleon Russian craftsmen produced this unique chandelier, consisting of several hundred artistic details.

The role of metal adorning the human life, silver is not lost in our days, but today it is a lot, perhaps more serious and important Affairs. Since in 1839, a French artist and inventor Daguerre developed a method of obtaining images on light-sensitive materials, silver is inextricably linked its fate with photography. A thin layer of silver bromide, printed on photographic film or paper, and is the protagonist in this process. Under the influence of light rays incident on the film, the silver bromide dissolves. Bromine being chemically associated with the layer gelatinous, and silver is deposited in the form of fine crystals, invisible, even under an ordinary microscope. The degree of decomposition of silver bromide depends on the power of lighting: the brighter, the more you will stand out silver. Further processing (development and fixation allows you to get on the film negative image, which is then in true form is transferred when printing on photo paper. No matter how improved for more than a century of existence of the photo, it is almost unthinkable until no silver and its compounds.

Interesting and useful work scientists found the silver iodide: with its help it is possible to successfully fight... tropical cyclones. But in what way? To reduce the destructive force of a cyclone, it needs to be stretched, i.e. to increase in diameter. To achieve this and helps iodide of silver, capable of condensing atmospheric moisture in the droplets of rain. Such experiments have been carried out. The first "suffered" in the 60-ies of the hurricane "bale". On his way through the planes put the veil of iodide-silver-suspended at a height of 10 and a length of 30 kilometers . Despite such impressive size for her "device" it took only a few quintals of silver iodide. Against the veil, nothing "suspect" cyclone turned it into "the tube" and swallowed. At the same time cloud wall around its Central part, called the "eye", disintegrated, prolepsis rain, and hurricane fell sharply. However, he did not "confused" and began to create a cloud wall, but a much larger diameter, and therefore, moving much slower than before. The destructive power "silvered" cyclone became much less.

No matter how interesting the activity of compounds of silver, physical properties and technical applications of the metal present, perhaps even more interest. The fact that silver is the record - holder among metals on three indicators: reflectivity, electrical conductivity and thermal conductivity. Thanks to the first of these properties is silver with the middle of the last century and still used in the manufacture of mirrors. The glass covered with a thin layer of this metal is not only an indispensable attribute of our everyday life, but also a tool for doctors, an important part of microscopes, telescopes and other optical instruments.

Silver is still used for the production of mirrors.

The unique ability of silver to conduct electrical current and heat make it virtually indispensable in many electrical and electronic devices. The wire from this metal can be found in a precise physical devices, it serves as the material for the terminals of the sensitive relay, silver solder, connect the essential elements of the various equipment. For this purpose the silver used by the ancient masters: in the tomb of Tutankhamen was discovered copper pipe, part of which is brazed with silver.

To emphasize the role of silver as a material for soldering critical parts, will tell about one of history associated with the first steps of local rocket. These problems were studied in those years group study of reactive motion (gird), which was headed by the then little-known young engineer of the JV. Korolev.

Since the beginning enthusiasts worked to belong to gird on a voluntary basis, they jokingly so deciphered the name of your "company": "a group of engineers working for nothing". M.N. Malanina Queen, the mother of the future academician, recalled that one day, coming home, the son asked, "Mommy, we have something silver?" Maria was very surprised this issue, because he knew that he is completely indifferent to money, and jewelry. "Why do you, son?" - "You see how it is... Soldering the motor is necessary, reactive. But only silver".

Maria left the room and soon returned with two silver spoons. "That's all we have in the house of silver" - with these words she gave spoons son. Award mother was his strong, from soul kiss.

In many automatic devices, space rockets and submarines, computers and nuclear facilities, communications and alarm systems certainly have the contacts. During his long service each of them works millions of times. To maintain such a huge load, the contacts must be durable, reliable in operation, corresponding to the number of electrical requirements. The material for the contacts is usually silver. Specialists have no claim to it: metal copes with this difficult role. Especially high quality shows silver, if to it to add rare earth elements. The service life of such contacts increases several times.

Another feature silver - amazing plasticity, it is possible to manufacture a transparent leaf thickness of only a quarter of a micron (i.e 0,00025 mm ), and a silver nugget, weighing 1 gram , can turn into the thinnest wire-cobweb length of about 2 kilometers!

Sterling silver is a beautiful white metal. Here's what he wrote about it in one of his books M.V. Lomonosov: "the Second highest metal called silver. This differs from gold more color and burden. His colour is so white that if the silver is very pure and only after the melt was poured, not polished, it seems afar off white as chalk."

Thanks to the bright Shine of silver ancient Assyrians called it the metal of the moon and considered sacred, like the Egyptians worshipped the yellow metal of the Sun - gold. Mark young moon silver mentioned in alchemical literature. Latin name of the element "Argentum" is derived from the derived from the Sanskrit language word meaning "white, bright".

Since we are talking about names, tell you about one not devoid of interest. Map has been a hint when choosing a name for a newly discovered chemical elements. Look at the periodic table you willing to confirm this germanium and France, europium and americium, scandium and California. There are many such examples, but the case when a major river and even the whole state was named in honor of metal, perhaps, unique. The metal, which was destined to get into the "story"turned out to be silver. This happened more than four and a half centuries ago under the following circumstances.

In the early sixteenth century Spanish Navigator Juan Diaz de Solis, floating along the coast of South America, discovered the mouth of a large river, which he had no false modesty gave his name. Twelve years later upstream of this river had a chance to sail captain Sebastian Cabot. He was amazed at the amount of silver, which his men robbed the locals who lived on the banks of the river. Cabot decided to call it La-i.e. silver (in Spanish "fee" - silver). Hence subsequently occurred and the name of the whole country. In the early nineteenth century, the dominion of Spain came to an end, and not to think about this sad period, the inhabitants of the country were lotensinbuy its name. So on maps appeared the word "Argentina".

There is another legend that silver also appears as "the godfather" at the birth of geographical names.

In 1577, from the shores of England departed the group of ships, commanded by newly baked Admiral Francis Drake. High naval rank was granted to him by Queen Elizabeth for his long and fruitful pirate activity. Yes, and the aim of the new sailing with the secret blessing of the Queen, was prey belonging to the Spanish cities of the Pacific coast of South America. Elizabeth and her distinguished nobleman, became the "shareholders" of the company by the violent seizure of values "Drake & Co. hoped to cash in with "the iron pirate, whose name was too well known to sailors of all countries.

For many months the squadron Drake plied the seas and oceans, in good faith, "working" for the good of the Queen. In numerous storms and battles Drake lost four ships out of five, but his flagship Golden hind" their daring and sudden raids were still a terror to the inhabitants of coastal cities. One evening when it was dark pirate appeared near Callao, where stood on the RAID about thirty Spanish ships. Courage Drake came to the fore: "the Golden hind" entered the Harbor and stood all night side by side with the enemy ships. Spanish sailors, pretty Chlebowski rum, midnight had fun on the decks and loudly talked about the ships that shortly before it left the port with a valuable cargo. One of them, according to the sailors, was literally full of treasures. Learning of this, Drake without delay weighed anchor and went in pursuit.

Common sense or greed? Drake made the right decision: dozens of tons of silver flew overboard...the pirate Ship, the Admiral is not by chance called "the Golden hind": a rare vessel could argue with him in speed. No wonder that soon off the coast of Ecuador Spanish Galleon was taken on Board. This is how future events one of the assistants Drake: "the next morning began the inspection and counting, which lasted for six days... We found precious stones, thirteen chests of silver coins, eighty pounds of gold, twenty-six barrels not minted silver... At the end of the sixth day we said goodbye and parted ways with the owner of the ship: he, somewhat lightweight, hurried in Panama, and we are in the open sea".

Visionary Drake knew that the "Golden deer" is yet a very long voyage. It is not excluded that the Spaniards will try to return captured by pirates wealth (which they, in turn, robbed the population of South America), and stroke overloaded valuable metal ship diminished. Common sense or greed? Drake made the right decision: dozens of tons of silver flew overboard. In memory of silver treasures, with which he had to leave, Admiral-pirate called the nearby island of La Card.

This case, of course, not only when the gold, silver and other valuables were found on the seabed. Over the centuries of seafaring thousands of ships suffered for various reasons of the crash and went to the abyss, sometimes taking untold wealth. They are old and do not give rest to the many seekers of treasures.

The first underwater treasure hunt, whose name has kept the story was William Phipps, who in the late seventeenth century, the task of the English king James 11 has mounted an expedition to take sea treasure of the Spanish Galleon that sank with a huge cargo of silver at a relatively small depth in the Bahamas. A carpenter by profession, Phipps built a diving bell - wooden barrel, encircled by iron hoops. In this primitive bathyscaphe he often sank to the bottom. But the main breadwinners treasures were sailors and hired the natives, from morning till evening dived near the reef, where rested the ship.

Exhausting work continued for many weeks, but underwater "crop" was fabulously wealthy. Deftly evading prosecution of pirates, Phipps, who was also a skilled sailor, safely brought two full silver ship to the shores of England.

Over the past three centuries there have been many attempts to seize underwater treasures, but the ocean reluctantly gives his prey. The twentieth century has provided the sunken treasure seekers new features: today's diver has a much better chance of success than divers in the past, which could only rely on their lungs. Fortunate were, for example, one American divers, who, incidentally, had not thought about the search for precious metals. In the summer of 1949, he worked in underwater filming on the coast of Florida. Once at the depth of twenty meters he saw the wreckage of some sort of vehicle. Carefully inspecting the vessel, swimmer found several guns, anchor and three heavy bar of elongated shape. He was not too lazy to raise them to the surface and was amply rewarded: the bars were bars of pure silver with well-preserved mark. Experts have determined that the mark belongs to an ancient silver mine in Panama, and found the enemy ship is one of the fourteen Spanish Galleons that were killed during the terrible hurricane blew in those places in the spring of 1715.

Good luck diverTechnical progress is not deprived of the attention and underwater fortune seekers. In addition to diving, to help them come magnetometers sensitive probes, sealed lights, special nozzles on the ship screws erode sand and bottom mud. Rumor has it that one of the foreign companies occupied trained dolphins, who, using his own sounder will bring swimmers and divers on the desired goal. In short, beware, the ocean! However, while he is in no hurry to part with their treasures for centuries resting on its bottom.

Silver treasures are often found on land. Not so long ago, for example, the treasure of a thousand Arab silver coins was found on the Swedish island of Gotland, and with a rather curious circumstances. Found it... rabbit - ordinary grey rabbit, who wished to find himself a hole in a small town Bars. During the "construction" on the animal suddenly struck by a hail of metal Kruglyak, and the poor fellow put a lot of effort to throw them away from Nora. They soon caught the eyes of archaeologists conducting excavations on the island. The coins were sent in Stockholm historical Museum, and the experts were able to discover the secret of this treasure.

Once in the old Gotland was one of the richest trading centers of Europe, which attracted merchants from many countries. Hundreds and thousands of silver coins passed from hand to hand, but sometimes accumulated at the most successful traders. Sometimes these wealth fell into the hands of the Vikings, who made trips to the island with not informative purposes. According to legend, the treasure found rabbit, was buried in the earth in those days one of the leaders of the Viking Staveren. And what is interesting: for many decades popular rumor claimed, though a century and a half ago tipsy Gotland peasant dreamed the devil who gave him a handful of silver coins allegedly treasure Staver and under the big secret is reported that five generations later people will find all the treasure hidden in a mighty Viking "rainy day".

Did this story has any basis in reality - it's hard to say. But be that as it may, it is through five generations in the same place, which appeared in the legend, the treasure was discovered. Not one thing is clear: why the hell decided to hide from the farmer such an important fact that the main role in this world is destined to play a rabbit.

 

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