54 posts in this topic

We need to talk about the silver plating on Vin's earring!

Somewhere between the moment Vin's mother drove this little bronze spike through Vin's sister into Vin's ear, and the moment we first see Vin in Book 1, this bronze earring became plated in "silver" (which must negate its Hemalurgic effects for reasons I'll explain) and then locked away inside of a box.

 

Even ignoring the larger implications of Silver throughout the Cosmere, and isolating our attention only at Scadrial's magic system... We know that silver on Scadrial has no known Allomantic, Feruchemical, or (most importantly) Hemalurgic properties at all.  If the earring were silver-plated before spiking through Vin's sister, then that silver would have nullified the spike's ability to behave as a hemalurgic spike and accept a hemalurgic charge.  In contrast, if the earring was silver-plated after receiving a hemalurgic charge, then the silver would have blocked the earring's effects on the wearer (much like Nightblood's sheath blocks his power).  If this bronze earring was plated in silver, then it's logical to infer that even if Vin wore it like that (fully silver-plated), then Ruin wouldn't have been able to reach her, nor would she have been able to tap into the extra seeker properties with which the spike was charged.  Interestingly enough, that silver plating was notably wearing away throughout Vin's story.

 

  • From Well of Ascension - Chapter 33: "Vin stood quietly. Absently, she pulled out her bronze earring—her mother’s earring—and worked it between her fingers, watching it reflect light. It had once been gilded with silver, but that had worn off in most places."
  • From Hero of Ages – Chapter 54: "Silver. Useless, unburnable silver. Like lead, it was one of the metals that provided no Allomantic powers at all. “An unpopular metal indeed . . .” Yomen said, nodding to the side. A servant approached Vin, bearing something on a small platter. Her mother’s earring. It was a dull thing, Allomantically, made of bronze with some silver plating. Much of the silver had worn off years ago, and the brownish bronze showed through, making the earring look to be the cheap bauble it was. “Which is why,” Yomen continued, “I am so curious as to why you would bother with an ornament such as this. I have had it tested. Silver on the outside, bronze on the inside. Why those metals?"

 

I figure that neither Reen nor Vin could've done this silver-plating to the bronze earring.  They wouldn't have been concerned in the least with having it silver-plated while they were poor and had a hard enough time staying [relatively] safe and fed.  I think someone who was cosmere-aware or, at the very least, was "Ruin-aware" was responsible for having the earring silver plated. I doubt Hoid would have done this, as well.  My imagination says that he would have sooner destroyed or stolen the earring if he really wanted to interfere with Ruin's plans.  Hoid wouldn't have preserved the earring so carefully.

 

The fact that the earring was neutralized/silver-plated rather than destroyed... and the fact that it was placed in a box and that box was kept rather than disposed of... well, I would guess Preservation was behind this silver-plating.  I think he did what he could to influence people and events around Vin to protect her while keeping in line with his own will to 'preserve' above all else.

  • From Hero of Ages – Sazed's final Epigraph (just before the epilogue):  "Vin was special. Preservation chose her from a very young age, as I have mentioned. I believe that he was grooming her to take his power... I believe that she must have drawn some of the mist into her when she was still a child, in those brief times when she wasn’t wearing the earring. Preservation had mostly gotten her to stop wearing it by the time Kelsier recruited her, though she put it back in for a moment before joining the crew. Then, she’d left it there at his suggestion."

If the earring had been placed while Vin was an infant and left in her ear, then it's a safe assumption that Ruin would have had her entire lifetime to work his influence... if, of course, it hadn't been for the presumed efforts of Preservation to buy her as much time as he could.

 

I asked Brandon Sanderson "Who was responsible for getting Vin's bronze earring plated in 'silver'?" and apparently that question was good enough to award me an RAFO card. :-) I will be framing it.  Don't judge me. :P

RAFO-Q_001.thumb.jpg.73634484b88745802316f46257c55947.jpg

RAFO_001.thumb.jpg.f1310c9ca86c2abb1e4b42892aa56549.jpg

 

Who plated Vin's bronze earring in "silver"?  When did they do it? Why?  Is the plating on Vin's earring really silver (or just perceived to be Silver by the Scadrians)? ...is it the same metal as Nightblood's sheath?  It seems to me that the silver plating on Vin's earring and Nightblood's famous "silver sheath" were essentially there to perform the same job.

 

What do you think?

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I think it was made with a silver plating and had started to wear away before it had been used Hemalurgically. 

If the bronze was already exposed, the silver wouldn't have been a problem. 

Vin and Reen were street rats, jumping from thieving crew to thieving crew. They'd never have been able to pay for something like this, and no one else would have taken the time. 

Era 1 is finished. We have the complete story of Vin. That world quite literally no longer exists in the form it did. Unless there is some reason to exhumed the bodies of Vin and Elend, I don't know how we'll ever see that earring again. 

I don't mean to be so negative towards this. I could be completely wrong. I just don't see it. 

Edited by Calderis
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Huh. Can't say I've seen anyone focus on the silver in her earring. My gut tells me this is all a bit... looking too deep for something that's not there. But you are not wrong, the silver would've had the effects you describe, and if there was truly nothing to the silver plating (as my gut tells me), then I can't possibly imagine why Brandon would RAFO it. So it does sound like there's something weird going on, even if it's as small as "we'll look into silver later in the series", but I can't put my finger on it at 2 AM...

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12 minutes ago, Argent said:

Huh. Can't say I've seen anyone focus on the silver in her earring. My gut tells me this is all a bit... looking too deep for something that's not there. But you are not wrong, the silver would've had the effects you describe, and if there was truly nothing to the silver plating (as my gut tells me), then I can't possibly imagine why Brandon would RAFO it. So it does sound like there's something weird going on, even if it's as small as "we'll look into silver later in the series", but I can't put my finger on it at 2 AM...

I am full honest here, for a second...just a second, I imagined the covering was mitigating the Decay, but it's a foolish idea.

The amount of Hemalurgic charge in that earring is one of the things that bother me more of Mistborn Era1....It's simply too powerful for its history

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20 minutes ago, Calderis said:

I think it was made with a silver playing and had started to wear away before it had been used Hemalurgically. 

If the bronze was already exposed, the silver wouldn't have been a problem. 

Vin and Reen were street rats, jumping from thieving crew to thieving crew. They'd never have been able to pay for something like this, and no one else would have taken the time. 

Era 1 is finished. We have the complete story of Vin. That world quite literally no longer exists in the form it did. Unless there is some reason to exhumed the bodies of Vin and Elend, I don't know how we'll ever see that earring again. 

I don't mean to be so negative towards this. I could be completely wrong. I just don't see it. 

Era 1 is technically over. Yes. I know it seems a small thing to have noticed.  But Brandon still has plenty to explain from Era 1 and plenty of ways he could go about doing so... as we've seen with Secret History and the clues uncovered about Era 1 during Era 2 and specifically at the end of Bands of Mourning.  We still have another book from Era 2 and, moreover, Era 3 from the Scadrians.   So far, the more obscure events of Era 1 have continued to be relevant whenever BS write from Scadrial.

To me, this is less about the just earring itself... but moreso, this is about the mysteries of Silver, its properties within the Cosmere, and (most importantly) who would be knowledgeable of such things.  Firstly, from just Scadrial... and secondly, possibly throughout the cosmere.

This is part of my larger investigation into Silver in the Cosmere.  Figuring out whoever did this could be a major clue.

 

I asked Brandon more specifics about Silver during the AU release and I got a very curious answer in response.

Silver-Q_000.thumb.jpg.aa8bd6a782f9013eb9bd79a1e1ae86ba.jpg

Silver_000.thumb.jpg.9c5678c439dafbd280875789fe24bb10.jpg

 

I asked "Nightblood's sheath and Silence's dagger are silver... Does silver have more secrets to reveal to us? Does it have some Cosmere-sized significance?"

He said "Nightblood's sheath is indeed of cosmere-sized significance... but it may not be actual silver."

 

Interesting wording, don't you think?

I am wanting to know everything I can about so-called "silver," so-called "aluminum," and especially the people in the Cosmere who seem to know more than others about their/its properties.

 

What metal is Nightblood's sheath made of?

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14 minutes ago, pharaoh9000 said:

What metal is Nightblood's sheath made of?

I personally think it's aluminum, because what else have we seen that could possibly contain Nightblood? 

As far as silver is concerned, I've gone off about this before. Silver is allomantically inert and by extension, shouldn't have any use in any of the three Metallic Arts. We have a tendency to think that metal is either allomantically useful, aluminum, or magically useless, and I think this is patently false. 

Brandon has said that metal is Cosmere significant in itself. Everything that we've seen in the Cosmere that can manipulate investiture is either a person, a Splinter... Or metal. Spren can take any shape when they manifest physically, but they have to be metal. Soulcasters are metal. And of course silver and shades. 

I don't think your question about silver is bad. I just don't think the plating on the earring was anything more than it seems. 

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Honestly, I think your on to something. It has always bothered me that silver is not an Allomantic metal. Gold, Copper, etc. all other metals are allomantic but not silver? Come on. I think there is a secret silver we still have to uncover.

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1 hour ago, blueshard said:

Honestly, I think your on to something. It has always bothered me that silver is not an Allomantic metal. Gold, Copper, etc. all other metals are allomantic but not silver? Come on. I think there is a secret silver we still have to uncover.

There were only 16 spots, a tons of metal are not Allomantic Metals. Platinum isn't an Allomantic Metal, Titanium is not an Allomantic Metal, Mercury is not an Allomantic metal and I could continue for a while.

You could not make the argument on "the other metals have powers, so the silver is a weird stuff".

By the way, Silver is already part of the Metallic arts as it's a component to craft Electrum, in this regard it is no different from Magnesium (that is a Durallumin's component but has not a role as pure metal into Metallic Arts)

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10 hours ago, pharaoh9000 said:

What metal is Nightblood's sheath made of?

That's the thing, we don't know. It is described as silvery in color, but that could make it silver, aluminum, or something else. There has been a strong precedent for it being made of aluminum (at least partially), as it is known to have investiture-dampening properties (Brandon has described it as "magically inert"), and it's the one I am rooting for. Honestly, the only time silver is weird is on Threndody. I know Brandon has confirmed that the silver there is actual silver (not mislabeled aluminum, like some people thought at the time), and that silver has a bigger role to play, but I honestly don't like those. From what we have seen, aluminum is the one to watch, not silver.

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2 minutes ago, Argent said:

That's the thing, we don't know. It is described as silvery in color, but that could make it silver, aluminum, or something else. There has been a strong precedent for it being made of aluminum (at least partially), as it is known to have investiture-dampening properties (Brandon has described it as "magically inert"), and it's the one I am rooting for. Honestly, the only time silver is weird is on Threndody. I know Brandon has confirmed that the silver there is actual silver (not mislabeled aluminum, like some people thought at the time), and that silver has a bigger role to play, but I honestly don't like those. From what we have seen, aluminum is the one to watch, not silver.

Hmm.  Interesting.  I've always thought of Aluminum as a poor man's Silver, much like to a mistborn Electrum would be a poor man's Atium.  I have a hunch about the role silver is playing in the cosmere, but obviously I could be wrong.   Is there a WoB that the Ralkalest of Sel is truly aluminum? ...or is that just the wiki or a popular belief?

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14 minutes ago, pharaoh9000 said:

Is there a WoB that the Ralkalest of Sel is truly aluminum? ...or is that just the wiki or a popular belief?

I feel like we know this for a fact, but I can't find the WoB.

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29 minutes ago, pharaoh9000 said:

Hmm.  Interesting.  I've always thought of Aluminum as a poor man's Silver, much like to a mistborn Electrum would be a poor man's Atium.  I have a hunch about the role silver is playing in the cosmere, but obviously I could be wrong.   Is there a WoB that the Ralkalest of Sel is truly aluminum? ...or is that just the wiki or a popular belief?

It's not explicit but this WoB says that in an implicit way.

Quote

ARGENT

On Nalthis, can aluminum prevent somebody from Returning? So if you kill somebody with aluminum and leave the weapon in them?

BRANDON SANDERSON

[Long pause]I don't think that's going to be enough. I think that…

QUESTION

Different way then?

BRANDON SANDERSON

Yeah there are totally ways. I don’t think that that’s going to be enough. There's a difference between being inert and blocking Investiture, and actually sucking out Investiture. If you stuck Nightblood inside of a corpse; there are certain things… if you had a larkin or whatever sitting there that ingests the Investiture as it was coming in, that would prevent [Returning]. I think with aluminum you would just have somebody that comes alive with a wound, so maybe... But I think it would just heal around [the aluminum] and you'd just have a spike in you, kind of like Hemalurgy—but not like Hemalurgy. It's inert, but you know what I mean.

QUESTION

Which suggests you can't actually Awaken aluminum.

BRANDON SANDERSON

No. It's not going to hold a charge.

KURKISTAN

I assume you can't Forge it, either.

BRANDON SANDERSON

No. In fact the unForgable metal-

ARGENT

Ralkalest?

BRANDON SANDERSON

There's an unForgeable metal mentioned.

KURKISTAN

Could we call it aluminum if we wanted to?

BRANDON SANDERSON

Let's just say that aluminum through most cultures was considered a mythological metal, and when people could actually find some, they considered it more valuable than gold, in our culture. So just sayin’...

 

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My problem with everyone disregarding the silver plating is that it doesn't make sense in-world to be there.

If silver is inert and considered worthless from an allomantic standpoint than it is likely worthless as a currency and for ornamentation. 

So I feel the following options must be true:

It was plated with a purpose

It predates Era 1's economy/magic understanding

It is from off-world

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It is cheap. Say, cheap enough for someone who lives as a thief, cheap enough it isn't stolen by the other thieves after a decade (approximately) of living with them, cheap enough Vin's mom could get it in the first place. Unless Vin's dad gave her mom it, it would have to be pretty cheap. Silver makes more sense than aluminum, which was literally almost nonexistant in society. Obligators got it from the insides of volcanoes. It's not something Vin would have been able to keep if she had been given it by a worldhopper.

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1 hour ago, Kaladin Zahel said:

If silver is inert and considered worthless from an allomantic standpoint than it is likely worthless as a currency and for ornamentation. 

Except its not. They still use silver for jewelry and the like. It's used in almost all the same ways it was historically here. Why would they use an Allomantic metal for ornamentation when it can be used allomantically? 

It's still valuable for the same reasons it's valuable here. 

Value is still tied to rarity, and copper and bronze are still less rare than silver. The value of bronze is probably higher than it should be relatively, simply because of it's allomantic properties, but silver is still valuable. 

A silver plated earring exists on Scadrial for the same reason it does here. It's cheaper than a solid silver earring. 

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On 9/23/2017 at 2:54 AM, Calderis said:

I think it was made with a silver plating and had started to wear away before it had been used Hemalurgically.

 

6 hours ago, Calderis said:

Except its not. They still use silver for jewelry and the like. It's used in almost all the same ways it was historically here. Why would they use an Allomantic metal for ornamentation when it can be used allomantically? 

It's still valuable for the same reasons it's valuable here. 

Value is still tied to rarity, and copper and bronze are still less rare than silver. The value of bronze is probably higher than it should be relatively, simply because of it's allomantic properties, but silver is still valuable. 

A silver plated earring exists on Scadrial for the same reason it does here. It's cheaper than a solid silver earring. 

At the time Vin was an infant, the earring must have been plain bronze with no silver plating.   Vin (in the quote posted) remembers that there used to be plating before it wore away in most places. She wouldn't remember plating that wore away in most places unless the plating was there (or mostly there) during her memorable lifetime.  There is almost no chance that the silver-plating was there and wearing away at the time the earring was used to pierce Vin's sister and obtain a hemalurgic charge...  or else Vin wouldn't remember that there used to be silver-plating on her earring.

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43 minutes ago, pharaoh9000 said:

 

At the time Vin was an infant, the earring must have been plain bronze with no silver plating.   Vin (in the quote posted) remembers that there used to be plating before it wore away in most places. She wouldn't remember plating that wore away in most places unless the plating was there (or mostly there) during her memorable lifetime.  There is almost no chance that the silver-plating was there and wearing away at the time the earring was used to pierce Vin's sister and obtain a hemalurgic charge...  or else Vin wouldn't remember that there used to be silver-plating on her earring.

Reen could be the one who tell her...By the way the Earring could have a ruined (pun intended) Silver plating at the Spiking time (the Bronze had to be exposed or it can't be used as spike)  and then it kept to ruin (I am the worst, I know) in the latter years.

Edited by Yata
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On 9/22/2017 at 11:54 PM, Calderis said:

I think it was made with a silver plating and had started to wear away before it had been used Hemalurgically. 

If the bronze was already exposed, the silver wouldn't have been a problem. 

Vin and Reen were street rats, jumping from thieving crew to thieving crew. They'd never have been able to pay for something like this, and no one else would have taken the time. 

Era 1 is finished. We have the complete story of Vin. That world quite literally no longer exists in the form it did. Unless there is some reason to exhumed the bodies of Vin and Elend, I don't know how we'll ever see that earring again. 

I don't mean to be so negative towards this. I could be completely wrong. I just don't see it. 

 

Didn't Wax receive the earring in SoS or Bom? Can't remember which one, but I remember him using his earring on Bleeder and they offered him Vin's earring to talk with Harmony. So, that earring is still in play. My biggest wonder about it was how did Vin's mom kill a baby with it and retrieve it out the other side? The thing was described as a small spike but it surely can't be big enough to kill even a baby without using iron or steel pushing and I'm pretty confident her mom didn't have either power.

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2 minutes ago, Harrycrapper said:

Didn't Wax receive the earring in SoS or Bom? Can't remember which one, but I remember him using his earring on Bleeder and they offered him Vin's earring to talk with Harmony. So, that earring is still in play. 

I don't remember it was never stated the Wax's Earring's Origin. The Pathism Earrings are usually made from old Inquisitors' spikes...Sure Wax's one could be different, but I don't believe it is stated somewhere.

4 minutes ago, Harrycrapper said:

 

My biggest wonder about it was how did Vin's mom kill a baby with it and retrieve it out the other side? The thing was described as a small spike but it surely can't be big enough to kill even a baby without using iron or steel pushing and I'm pretty confident her mom didn't have either power.

A couple of cm of Metal in the chest is more than enough to reach the heart is you push really hard....Much more to a target of an infant size, honestly I don't want to try to figure the murder's mechanics but I believe it's quite possible (unluckly)

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12 minutes ago, Yata said:

I don't remember it was never stated the Wax's Earring's Origin. The Pathism Earrings are usually made from old Inquisitors' spikes...Sure Wax's one could be different, but I don't believe it is stated somewhere.

A couple of cm of Metal in the chest is more than enough to reach the heart is you push really hard....Much more to a target of an infant size, honestly I don't want to try to figure the murder's mechanics but I believe it's quite possible (unluckly)

 

"“Then what kind of God is He? What good is a God like Him, Marasi? Tell me that.”
Marasi fidgeted, then she sighed and took the strange spike back. She dropped something else onto the table as she rose. A small earring, just a stud with the back bent over. “They sent this for you.” - Shadows of Self

Vin nodded, then paused, reaching up to her ear. “My earring,” she said. “I’ll have to stop wearing it.”
“Does it have a clip on the back?” Kelsier asked.
Vin shook her head. “It’s just a small stud, and the pin on the back bends down.” Mistborn: The Final Empire

 

Seemed pretty clear to me that they had given Wax the earring Vin had. 

 

 

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Nice signed books, @pharaoh9000. You fot any more? Silver-related or otherwise?

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19 hours ago, Pagerunner said:

Nice signed books, @pharaoh9000. You fot any more? Silver-related or otherwise?

Nope, not yet.  I do have more questions for Brandon about Ralkalest/Aluminum/Silver... and whatever the metal is that spren become when they become living shardblades/tools. The 'keyhole' to the Oathgate in WoR is said by Shallan to be "...made of the same stuff..."  I believe there is more to be uncovered about silver and the people within the cosmere who already know its secrets.

I really believe Silver to be the more perfect version of aluminum (so to speak).  Whereas aluminum is "investiture-dampening" as described above, I think silver is more like perfect "investiture-nullification" if you will.  Just like aluminum can be burned by a mistborn or misting... but silver cannot... regardless of how invested the user.  I doubt Ralkalest is aluminum, because it's referred to as "The unForgeable Metal"... which even in its name insists that it can't be manipulated at all with investiture.  Sounds like silver is a better candidate because on other worlds like Scadrial, aluminum can be manipulated with investiture when it is burned by a mistborn or aluminum misting.  (Hey, Brandon... Can a Mistborn burn Ralkalest?)

I know that there are some instances when modern scadrians use aluminum as shielding, but again... I have a hunch that in these cases, aluminum is just a poor man's silver.  Vin had a hemalurgic seeker spike adding to her own mistborn seeker abilities, thus she gained the ability to pierce copperclouds when she shouldn't have been able to.  It stands to reason, in my mind, that the same hemalurgic boost given to a Coinshot, for one example, would allow that coinshot to just barely steelpush an aluminum object.  (Hey, Brandon... Can a Coinshot steelpush pure silver?)

 

With each new book available for signing, I'll focus on more silver questions until Brandon shoots down all of my silver theories himself.

So I'll be... silver surfing... for quite a while yet. ;)

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3 hours ago, pharaoh9000 said:

Just like aluminum can be burned by a mistborn or misting... but silver cannot... regardless of how invested the user.

Where does it ever say this? 

Silver is allomantically inert. It has no allomantic effect. This should mean that like any other non-allomantix metal, it can be burned by a Mistborn and it will just make them sick. 

Quote

It stands to reason, in my mind, that the same hemalurgic boost given to a Coinshot, for one example, would allow that coinshot to just barely steelpush an aluminum object.  (Hey, Brandon... Can a Coinshot steelpush pure silver?)

This isn't the way it works. Aluminum is immune to investiture. No matter how strong an allomancer a Coinshot/Lurcher is, there will never be a line pointing to the metal. 

Atium doesn't even detect aluminum objects in its predictions. 

Edit: I mean, silver can be pushed and pulled. Silver has no effect in the Metallic Arts, but it's not immune like aluminum. 

Silver was common in TFE. The earring, and it's complete lack of attention by anyone proves that. 

If silver behaved like aluminum there would have been silver everywhere. Hazekillers would have silver swords and shields. Mistborn wouldn't have relied on glass weapons. 

Era 2 aluminum is used so widely specifically for its investiture immunity. If silver did the same thing, it would have been mentioned a long time ago as silver is naturally much much easier to get ahold of on Scadrial. 

Edited by Calderis
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@pharaoh9000 to quote myself from a previous post here:

On 23/9/2017 at 0:59 PM, Yata said:

There were only 16 spots, a tons of metal are not Allomantic Metals. Platinum isn't an Allomantic Metal, Titanium is not an Allomantic Metal, Mercury is not an Allomantic metal and I could continue for a while.

By the way, Silver is already part of the Metallic arts as it's a component to craft Electrum, in this regard it is no different from Magnesium (that is a Durallumin's component but has not a role as pure metal into Metallic Arts)

All those metals (Silver included) acts normally into Metallic Arts, they are pushable/pullable, ecc.... Only the Alluminium is inert to applied magic (can't be pushed/pulled, shileds from Emotional Allomancy, It doesn't generate temporal shadows and it stop a time bubble effect). Those weirdness with the Alluminium spreads also to almost every other Cosmere's magic.

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6 hours ago, Calderis said:

Era 2 aluminum is used so widely specifically for its investiture immunity. If silver did the same thing, it would have been mentioned a long time ago as silver is naturally much much easier to get ahold of on Scadrial.

That's actually a really good point there.

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