Silver in Jewelry: A Little Known History
When you begin to think about precious metals, silver is likely at the top of the list as one that has withstood the test of time. It captivates with its beauty and is one option that seems to never really go out of style. Silver offers great looking aesthetics and many pieces utilizing this type of metal are offered at an affordable price. Over time, silver may even increase in value as the prices continue to go up.
Even though silver is found in film and electronics, since it is a great conductor and simple to shape, the history of silver use in jewelry is a story that is definitely worth telling.
The very first silver mines – of significance – were discovered in ancient Turkey around 4000 BC. The excitement of this discovery spread all around the world. At this point, the Chinese created a unique process for refining the newly found silver and more mines were discovered in Spain and Greece. Silver is considered to be one of the seven antiquity metals, since it was one of the first precious metals discovered.
When the Americas were discovered by the early explorers, global interest exploded due to the silver mines discovered in Peru and Mexico. Silver was always used by Native Americans, long before the explorers, due to its link to the land.
During the mid-part of the 19th century, sterling silver became even more popular to use in jewelry and this popularity grew further when the Art Nouveau movement began. While you may still think of gold as the ‘traditional’ metal for all types of jewelry, silver is actually one that is more widely used. It has been found in a number of fine items, such as the Diamond Riviere of Queen Mary. This piece included silver and gold with 34 diamonds and sold for more than 1.8 million dollars. The silver used with the diamonds allowed them to truly shine and sparkle, which is another reason it has always been considered such a popular choice.
Since its discovery, there is no point in time when silver was not in demand. In fact, while most of the hype surrounds the fluctuating prices of the gold market, there are times in history where the cost of silver was actually higher than gold.
As you can see, silver has a long and illustrious history of use all over the world. It is not new, nor is it going to disappear from use any time soon. While gold is able to be discovered in nugget form and used instantly, silver, on the other hand, always has to be refined. This refinement process is what provides the beautiful, gleaming look of the jewelry that is sold today.
Are you looking for high quality silver jewelry? If so, consider handmade items with silver accents. This is a great way to enjoy the beauty silver has to offer while being able to receive an affordable piece that complements your style and personality. There is no question that when purchasing a handmade piece of jewelry, you receive much more durability and a better value for your dollar, thus making the purchase a smart one.