A negative permeability in a periodic array of pairs of thin silver strips is demonstrated experimentally for two distinct samples. The effect of the strip surface roughness on negative permeability is evaluated. The first sample, Sample A, is fabricated of thinner strips with a root mean square roughness of 7 nm, while Sample B is made of thicker strips with 3-nm roughness. The real part of permeability, μ ′ , is −1 at a wavelength of 770 nm in Sample A and −1.7 at 725 nm in Sample B. Relative to prototypes simulated with ideal strips, larger strip roughness acts to decrease μ ′ by a factor of 7.8 in Sample A versus a factor of 2.4 decrease for Sample B.