- Silver *coins are mentioned in many different contexts. It is not clear how much intrinsic power ascribed to the metal itself - some, no doubt, since there is evidence that in Suffolk around 1850 people with fits would beg twelve small silver items such as broken spoons or buckles, to melt into a curative *ring, and in some of the stories where a *hare (really a witch) is shot with a silver bullet, this is said to be made from a button. However, silver objects were not regularly thought powerful in the way that domestic *iron objects were.A silver sixpence is frequently mentioned: as a gift to a new *baby; as a gift left by *fairies for diligent servant girls, or for children shedding a *tooth; as a lucky *charm, especially in a bride's shoe; as a countercharm against witchcraft when churning *milk. A particular healing power was ascribed to rings made from a silver coin which had been put into the collection in church (so-called 'sacrament money'), usually a shilling or half a crown; to get it, the sufferer had to beg a penny apiece from twelve (or 30) different people, usually with the further condition that they must be unmarried, and of the sex opposite to the sufferer's, and then exchange them for the 'sacrament money'. They were supposed to cure fits. Sometimes, it was thought sufficient to beg five, *seven, or *nine sixpenny or threepenny pieces from persons of the opposite sex, and make the ring of them. Opie and Tatem, 1989: 327-8, 357-8.
A Dictionary of English folklore. Jacqueline Simpson & Steve Roud. 2014.