From ancient history to present day, metalsmithing has found a central role in human society. Today’s welder holds the torch in a succession of tradespeople who forge and meld the wrought-iron grid of our culture. One ever-present arena of metal craft is the creation of objects like coins and medals for special occasions. From the imperial coinage of Rome to the Olympic Medals of today, certain works of metalsmithing have held a magical edge over the commonplace. Let’s take a look at how blacksmiths, goldsmiths, and operators of welding equipment across the ages have created their art. As the premier location to purchase welding supplies in Atlanta, GA, we thought our customers would enjoy the tour.
NATURAL METALS CORRESPOND TO THE NATURAL ORDER
As a professional welder, or student of the welding arts, you have learned the hard way how certain elements work with others. You’re not about to take an oxy torch to your thin piece of titanium any sooner than you’re going to burn through a heap of flux or turn your gas tungsten arc welder on some rusty iron. In the same way, metalsmiths in the medieval times found that selecting certain metals helped their practice of living in harmony with nature. In what can be called natural magic, the smith would make an implement like a sword out of iron or steel to correspond with the planet Mars, governing war, for example, while selecting a metal like silver corresponded to the Moon for creations more maternal and comforting, such as the fabled silver spoon to feed a wealthy child. Precious metals like gold were wielded by kings and emperors because they shone like the Sun, which every leader wants to feel inspired by.
MODERN METALSMITHS CHOOSE THEIR WEAPONS WISELY TOO
In the modern-day period, still nothing speaks to wealth quite like cold hard metals, such as platinum, gold, and silver, which today are finding a resurgence of value in a teetering world. At every major athletic tournament from Championship to Olympic Game, competitors are given prizes that correspond with the natural hierarchy of metals, too. Gold just feels right for the best, silver an honest consolation prize, and bronze – the alloy of copper and tin and sometimes zinc – feels, well, third place. The same kind of ranking is seen through coinage, from gold sovereigns to silver dollars and the more common copper pennies, to religious statuary where gold is often touted as the best bet for the sacred, too. We hope you’ve enjoyed this journey through history! For all the metallurgic supplies welders need in the Atlanta, GA region, just call Sidney Lee Welding Supply Co today.