Human association with metals goes a long way back in history. The ancient people viewed metals as mysterious materials found deep inside the earth and believed them to be full of spiritual powers and potential for creation as well as destruction.

Several ancient civilizations practiced the sciences of Alchemy and Astrology and related the different metals to specific planets. While Alchemy tries to understand the meaning of the metals and elements, Astrology is concerned with the interpretation of the zodiac and planets. The two were always considered to be related, and an understanding of one was thought to be helpful in understanding the other. As such, metallurgy and spiritual alchemy went hand in hand. The metals were believed to have a spiritual connection, and every metal carried a special significance. The alchemists believed that each element had a physical representation and philosophical meaning.

Metal Symbols and their meanings

Let us take a look at the symbolic meaning of the seven metals of Lead, Tin, Iron, Gold, Mercury, Copper and Silver, which are referred to as the ‘Metals of Antiquity’ as they are the metals around which different civilizations were founded.


lead-symbol.gif (661 bytes) Governed by the planet Saturn, Lead has dark connections and is related to death and transformation. This toxic metal represents impurities of the metals as well as the humans, and its burning is metaphoric with cleansing and removal of imperfections. It was associated with divination spells. Lead was one of the earliest metals known to man and was widely used by the ancient Romans, Egyptians, Greeks, and Chinese.

Lead Metal


tin-symbol.gif (699 bytes) Tin is representative of Jupiter. It embodies wisdom, logic, education, maturity, and knowledge and is believed to be the metal of the sages and scholars. It is associated with mediation, balance and a philosophical view of life. This metal is also connected to prosperity and wealth. The popularity of tin dates to the Bronze Age, with civilizations worldwide making extensive use of it.

Tin Metal


iron-symbol.gif (732 bytes) One of the most abundant elements in the universe, Iron, is dominated by the planet Mars. The Asian, African and European civilizations widely used the metal. Iron symbolizes male energy and is connected to physical power, aggression, growth, dependence, and protection. It promotes emotions such as lust, confidence, courage, strength, stamina, and resilience. It is considered the most ‘human’ metal and is distrusted by ethereal entities and spirits.

Iron Metal


gold-symbol.gif (1009 bytes) The celestial body represented by Gold is the Sun. The metal was highly valued by the ancient Egyptians, Irish, Romans, Asians, Africans, and Central Americans. It was believed to represent perfection and purity. Gold was often used as offerings for the gods, for ceremonial purposes and for the beautification of the chieftains’ courts. Most cultures across the world have seen this metal as a symbol of wealth, prosperity, authority, and charisma. It was supposed to aid in healing, protection, growth, and knowledge.

Gold Metal


mercury-symbol.gif (816 bytes) Associated with the planet of the same name, Mercury is an unusual metal that is liquid at room temperature. It is a toxic metal and is associated with death, mystery, and transformation. It is connected with divination and scrying. Mercury is also related to travel and movement, be it of a physical or spiritual nature. The metal was known to the ancient Romans, Greeks, Hindus, and Chinese. The alchemists considered it one of the three principal substances on Earth, along with salt and sulphur.

Mercury Metal


copper-symbol.gif (1150 bytes) The planet Venus rules copper. It is one of the oldest metals, and copper metallurgy has flourished in different cultures, including the Middle Eastern, Asian, European, Central & South American and Native American. Copper embodies the nurturing aspect of women and their youthfulness. It is associated with matters of love & lust and symbolizes characteristics like charisma, feminine beauty, artistic creativity, affection, caring, and balance. It is also considered a healing metal that teaches about living a fulfilling life.

Copper Metal


silver-symbol.gif (881 bytes) Silver is a real metal and is connected to the Moon. It is one of the most versatile metals, one of the three base metals in Alchemy. It is associated with philosophical traits of intuition, self-reflection, and inner wisdom. It is a feminine metal, a symbol of purity and is connected to the goddesses and spirits. Its energies include divination, healing, protection, emotion, love, wisdom, dreams, luck and wealth. It symbolizes attributes such as vision, clarity, awareness, focus, persistence and subtle strength.


Antimony Antimony is regarded as a cooperative metal because it works best when it is combined with another metal, notably lead, brass and bronze. It is actually a metalloid that does not react chemically as a metal but has a metal-like appearance & physical properties. It is a protective metal and teaches the values of transformation and adaptability. It teaches of wisdom and strength that can be gained from others and also given in return. Antimony represents the free spirit, wild nature or animal power dwelling within all humans. A person can benefit by wearing this symbol when feeling meek.