The 2007 Presidential Address set out to document many of the significant events associated with the main extractive industries in Scotland. Although not a metal, the author took the opportunity to mention early records that concerned coal mining since many members would relate to that industry. The presentation included references on gold, silver, lead, copper, nickel, chromium, manganese, aluminium and iron. At one time or another all these metals have been mined in Scotland. In many instances, the metallurgical process to extract the metal was described.
In addition, the presentation described several artefacts which contain the metals mentioned. Of particular note was the Monymusk Reliquary, which is arguably the most important piece in the entire collection of the Museum of Scotland. Mention was made of the Scottish Crown (in its present form), which was refashioned around 1540 with the circlet at the base made from 40 oz of Scottish gold. Silver was used to make the Alva Silver Communion Cups in 1767 and these are still in use today. Also, still in existence is the Alva Silver Ladle.
The presentation concluded that there was a strong tradition of an extractive industry in Scotland.
Richard A A Deveria BA CSci MIMMM - 10 October 2007
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