Etymology
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livre (n.)

former French money, 1550s, from French livre "pound," in Old French in both the weight and money senses (10c.), from Latin libra "pound (unit of weight);" see Libra. The monetary sense in Latin was in the derived word libella "small silver coin." Superseded by the franc.

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touchstone (n.)

late 15c., from touch (v.) in the Middle English sense "to test" (metal) + stone (n.). Fine-grained black quartz, used for testing the quality of gold and silver alloys by the color of the streak made by rubbing them on it. Also see basalt. Figurative sense is from 1530s.

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test (v.)

1748, "to examine the correctness of," from test (n.), on the notion of "put to the proof." Earlier "assay gold or silver" in a test (c. 1600). Meaning "to administer a test" is from 1939; sense of "undergo a test" is from 1934. Related: Tested; testing.

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melter (n.)

1530s, "one who melts," especially "the official who superintends the melting of gold and silver for coin in a mint," agent noun from melt (v.). By 1883 as "a furnace, pot, or crucible used for melting."

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daguerreotype (n.)

"picture taken with an early photographic process involving silver plates, iodine, and vapor of mercury," 1839, from French daguerreotype, coined from the name of the inventor, Louis J.M. Daguerre (1789-1851) + -type (see type (n.)). As a verb from 1839. Related: Daguerreotypist.

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mithril (n.)

1954, an invented word by English author J.R.R. Tolkien in his Elvish language for a hard, light, precious silver metal. It first appears in "Fellowship of the Ring;" it was not in the original "The Hobbit" (1937), but was added in the revisions in the third edition (1966).

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lithium (n.)

silver-white metallic element, 1818, with element ending -ium + lithia, Modern Latin name given by Swedish chemist Jöns Jacob Berzelius (1779-1848) to the earth from which it was extracted, from Greek lithos "stone" (see litho-). The name indicates its mineral origin and distinguishes it from two previously known alkalis of vegetable origin.

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electrum (n.)

"alloy of gold and up to 40% silver," late 14c. (in Old English elehtre), from Latin electrum "alloy of gold and silver," also "amber" (see electric). So called probably for its pale yellow color. "A word used by Greek and Latin authors in various meanings at various times" [Century Dictionary"]. In Greek, usually of amber but also of pure gold. The Romans used it of amber but also of the alloy. The sense of "amber" also occasionally is found in English. "At all times, and especially among the Latin writers, there is more or less uncertainty in regard to the meaning of this word" ["Century Dictionary"].

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franc (n.)

French coin, late 14c., frank, from French franc; a name said to have been given because Medieval Latin Francorum Rex, "King of the Franks" (see Frank), was inscribed on gold coins first made during the reign of Jean le Bon (1350-64). Used of different gold and silver coins over the years; as the name of an official monetary unit of France from 1795.

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tombstone (n.)

1560s, originally the flat stone atop a grave (or the lid of a stone coffin); from tomb + stone (n.). Meaning "gravestone, headstone" is attested from 1711. The city in Arizona, U.S., said to have been named by prospector Ed Schieffelin, who found silver there in 1877 after being told all he would find there was his tombstone.

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