THE HALES TROPHY

 

THE BLUE RIBAND

 

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BLUE RIBAND TROPHY: Harold Hales commissioned the making of the magnificent 'Hales Trophy'.

 

 

 

 

 

The design of a trophy tells us a lot about the event it is being awarded for. One of the most elaborate and expensive trophies ever created is called the Hales Trophy, after the owner of a shipping company: Hales Brothers, the sole proprietor of which was 'Harold Keats Hales.'

 

The trophy is almost four feet tall, almost 100 pounds, made of solid silver, onyx and heavy gilt, showing Victory, Neptune and Amphitrite upholding a globe and topped by a figure called Speed urging a liner into the face of a figure called The Force of the Atlantic. An enameled blue ribbon surrounds the middle of the prize, and there are memorials to past record-holders, with Harold Hales's name at the base.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Hales Trophy stands on a basis of carved green onyx, with an enameled blue ribbon encircling the middle, and decorated with models of galleons, modern ocean liners and statues of Neptune and Amphitrite, god and goddess of the sea. It is surmounted by a figure depicting speed pushing a three-stacked (funneled) ocean liner against a figure symbolizing the forces of the Atlantic ocean. Prior to 1935 and Harold Hales, there was no formal trophy to celebrate the speed increases.

 

 

 

      

 

 

 

The cost of silver as the base material of the Hales Trophy is around $826 per kilo = 2.205 lbs. Meaning that the silver content alone would have been around $30,000 dollars at 2022 prices. Of course the item is beyond price, being unique, but the cost of the trophy's materials and the time of the skilled artisan, make it one of the most expensive in the world. The America's Cup is another example of a fairly sizeable trophy, though not as grand as the Blue Riband.

As of midnight December 20, 2021, the price of silver was trading at $22.3 U.S. dollars per troy ounce. On January 18, 1980, this precious metal was at its premium, hitting $49.45 per ounce, the highest silver price to date. Making the silver cost $66,500.

 

The price tag of the cup pales by comparison with the cost of mounting an attempt at taking the record.

 

 

 

An ingot of silver bullion

 

 

 

Silver has long been valued as a precious metal. Silver metal is used in many bullion coins, sometimes alongside gold: while it is more abundant than gold, it is much less abundant as a native metal. Its purity is typically measured on a per-mille basis; a 94%-pure alloy is described as "0.940 fine". As one of the seven metals of antiquity, silver has had an enduring role in most human cultures.

Other than in currency and as an investment medium, silver is used in jewellery, solar panels, water filtration, ornaments, high-value tableware and utensils (silverware), in electrical contacts and conductors, in specialized mirrors, as a catalyst in chemical reactions, and as a colorant in stained glass. Its compounds are used in photographic and X-ray film.

The element has the symbol Ag (from the Latin argentum, meaning: "shiny" or "white") and atomic number 47. It is a soft, white, lustrous metal, with the highest electrical and thermal conductivity, and reflectivity of any metal.

 

Silver was more expensive than gold in Egypt until around the fifteenth century BC.

When the Phoenicians first came to what is now Spain, they obtained so much silver that they could not fit it all on their ships, and as a result used silver to weight their anchors instead of lead.

In folklore, silver was commonly thought to have mystic powers: a bullet cast from silver is often supposed as the only weapon effective against a werewolf. From this idiom of a 'silver bullet' developed into figuratively referring to any simple solution that is highly effective or miraculous results, as in the widely discussed software engineering paper 'No Silver Bullet.'

 

 

 

 

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