Silver Coins

The word "silver" appears in Anglo-Saxon in various spellings, such as seolfor and siolfor. A similar form is seen throughout the Germanic languages (compare Old High German silabar and silbir). The chemical symbol Ag is from the Latin word for "silver", argentum (compare Ancient Greek ἄργυρος, árgyros), from the Proto-Indo-European root *h₂erǵ- (formerly reconstructed as *arǵ-), meaning "white" or "shining": this was the usual Proto-Indo-European word for the metal, whose reflexes are missing in Germanic and Balto-Slavic.

The Balto-Slavic words for silver are quite similar to the Germanic ones (e.g. Russian серебро [serebro], Polish srebro, Lithuanian sidabras) and they may have a common origin, although this is uncertain: some scholars have suggested the Akkadian sarpu "refined silver" as this origin, related to the word sarapu "to refine or smelt".