Silver from Atlantis? - Part 2

Georg Gebhard, Jochen Schlueter and Ernst-Peter Uerpmann


Silver from Atlantis? - Part 2


Our first report stated a difference in the concentrations of trace elements for natural silver and the described dubious silver. Emphasized was the difference for the element mercury particularly, but without specifications.

Here we now present our analytical results. The analyses were carried out on a specimen from the Himmelsfürst Mine, Freiberg, Saxony (former collection of Krantz) and a dubious silver specimen.


Table 1: Atomic absorption spectroscopy (AAS) analyses of silver wires:


Natural Silver from Freiberg


Dubious Silver from ?










< 3

VDI 2268, Blatt 4




< 1.5

VDI 2268, Blatt 4




< 15

DIN EN ISO 11885




< 15

DIN EN ISO 11885





EN 1483








The Freiberg silver is within the normal range of natural silvers, while the dubious silver of unknown origin would fit into the category of refined silver of 99,99 %.

The highest differences are for the elements arsenic, lead and mercury. The natural silver contains over a hundred times more of these elements than the dubious silver, in which the elements are even below detection limits for As and Pb.

The extreme low concentrations of trace elements in the dubious silver corresponds with the previously proposed origin in a silver refinery. Under these conditions of high temperatures the volatile trace elements of the natural silver, as arsenic, lead and mercury, would evaporate and disappear into the environment.



On grounds of these results any collector may prove his silver from Saxony for authentity, if there are doubts due to the previously mentioned features for dubious silvers: Just go to a laboratory!  Any analytical laboratory in your neighbourhood should be able to analyse at least one of these elements, such as arsenic, lead or mercury with AAS. You will find such  laboratories at your next university or with industrial companies. You only need a few grams of silver, like a tiny wire.

If the analysis shows similar low trace element concentrations as shown in table 1 for the dubious silver, the silver in question obviously should be regarded as not to originate from Saxony.

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