Meaning of Gold and Silver

Happy St. Patrick’s Day. Despite all the unprecedented things going on in the world right now, what, with lock downs, quarantines and virus watching, time still has a way of ticking on. And today happens to land on St. Patrick’s day (March 17th)… so you think I’d be doing some musing about Green, but I’ve changed my mind and have decided to focus on the pot of Gold at the end of the rainbow… and its metallic friend, hi ho Silver. I think we will save Green for next week. So, for all of you who are practicing social distancing and catching up on blog posts… welcome to the colouring party!

When I was younger, gold, silver, copper and all the other metallic colours came in a separate, “deluxe” crayon box… so you knew they were something special. All shiny and sparkly. Gold and Silver are no less special today. I decided to lump them together in our study, but there are some significant differences between the two colours. In some ways they are on opposite ends of the colour spectrum… gold on the “warm”, fiery yellow side and silver on the “cool” blue or grey, moonlit end of the colour wheel. Nonetheless, we are going to consider them together and under the general idea of precious metals.

Often associated with money, gold and silver “meanings” generally follow those connotations: wealth, flashy, proud, expensive. Reserved for the rich and used for choice occasions and events. Gold is often linked with Heaven and the “riches” that await us. Silver is a bit more “common”, although no less precious. Silver in more modern times is often associated with technology and the idea of sterile, mechanical worlds (and often the fear associated with that). Both precious metals are ancient forms of money. Silver was usually stamped with images, whereas gold was melted into shapes. In the King James version of the Bible, gold is mentioned 417 times, silver 320 times, and “money” 140 times. Obviously, God has a lot to say about these precious colours.

Let’s start with Gold. First mentioned in Genesis, gold is mentioned “in the land” as it’s elemental form. Exodus and much of the Old Testament goes on to describe the melting down of gold jewelry for golden idols, the ark of the covenant, the temple, the golden calf, the golden arches… oh, no, wait, that’s something completely different. The value in gold as an element seems to be in the fact that it can withstand purification and the process of “going through the fire”. It’s the pure, end product that is most valued. The perfection, if you will. It’s Heaven for believers. The final goal at the end. It’s what God originally intended for us.

Silver, on the other hand, is a little more “commonplace”. It’s the currency that was used in day to day transactions. Both Joseph and Jesus were “bought” with pieces of silver. Could we say that it represents our earthly lives? I read that there is no mention of silver in the Bible’s description of Heaven. I haven’t checked out that fact, so let me know in the comments if you know otherwise. Silver is said to be the redemptive colour of Truth. It’s how we are “bought” here on earth and all our natural tendencies. Once we acknowledge the truth that Jesus has redeemed us on the cross, we’ve been stamped as His. Like the emperor’s stamp in ancient forms of money. He becomes our ruler until we reach the golden gates. Then we become the one He designed for us from the very beginning.

Now, we have to remember that these are all “interpretive”, and the colours really have no magic formula or redemptive properties themselves. The prophet Haggai reminds us that all the silver and gold belongs to the Lord (Haggai 2:8), as does all the the things we hold precious in this world. It’s just interesting to muse about and see what connections we can make. Like this Fun Fact: an average 70 kg person’s blood contains 0.2mg of gold floating around in it. Apparently, it is beneficial for our joint health; and because it is a good conductor of electricity, gold helps our neurons fire — making for good brain connections. Silver, however, is not used by the body at all and is eliminated. Too much silver can actually be dangerous and with long term exposure to the element, turn your skin a blue-grey colour.

So. As the world ponders the developments currently unfolding in the COVID-19 pandemic, and we watch the stock markets fall, and many of us worry about health and our jobs as we reduce our social interactions and cancel large gatherings, I hope you are reminded that like gold, we are being refined for the other side. When our common, silver-lined comforts like toilet paper are being hoarded, it becomes toxic to us. Our minds should be focused on what we were made for before sin entered our world. That we look forward to the streets of gold and not simply on the exchange of silver pieces here on Earth. We have a Hope, beloveds, not simply a “silver lining” in uncertain times, but a true, solid, refined by fire, Hope in Christ. So stay Golden, my friends.


I’m excited to be hosting this colouring party here at mittonmusings.com! I can’t wait until we pull out the next colour from our box of crayons next week! Don’t want to miss the adventure?! Join us and receive the muses each week via email! Subscribe here.

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