Silver has been valued and used in jewelry for over 6,000 years, with the first recorded silver mines cropping up in 4000 BC in Anatolia, modern-day Turkey. By 3000 BC the effort to mine silver had spread worldwide as it’s value continued to expand. As time continued, Greece soon rose to prominence as one of the main producers of silver. This lasted for dozens of centuries until silver deposits in Spain thrust them into the spotlight.
However, this crown was soon passed once more with the continued expansion of European colonialism and silver mining in Mexico and Peru. With more than three-quarters of all silver being mined from these two countries, they remain into today the top producers of silver.
A Status Symbol
Silver has long been lauded for its ability to enhance the natural beauty of gems and precious stones, such as diamonds, and jewelers across the globe continue to utilize silver in the creation of incredible pieces.
Historically, silver rings and silver necklaces would be used as status symbols, worn by men and women of power. However, today silver is worn by almost everyone and it has become a popular metal for engagement rings and wedding bands. Symbolizing sophistication, romance, and elegance, the silver we wear today carries on a rich tradition of jewelry making that stretches back thousands of years.
Jewelers today use silver for both collection and custom jewelry pieces. The silver we are most familiar with comes highly polished and is designed to reflect light for maximum shine and brilliance. However, silver is also available in a number of other finishes such as rhodium. Rhodium finishes are created by dipping silver into rhodium giving it a bright finish that won’t tarnish.
Other finishes available for silver can include:
- Gold Finishing : Gold plating can be electroplated onto silver, or a gold layer can be soldered onto a piece. Both give a golden finish to otherwise plain silver.
- Palladium and Ruthenium : both of these materials can be laid onto a silver item to for a pattern. Ruthenium can also help prevent scratching and discoloration.
- Brush Finishing : this type of texturing finish uses high-speed brushes to create tiny pits in the surface of the silver, however, no scratches can be visibly seen.
- Chemically Etched Finishing : Similar to brush finishes, chemical etching is used to form a matte finish that is excellent for adding dimension and texture.
Silver is incredibly versatile and makes a great base for most custom jewelry pieces. With many different finishes and combinations, it’s not hard to see why silver remains one of the most popular metals for jewelry.
A Long Tradition
Silver has long been used throughout the world as both a currency and a symbol of status. Today we build on this tradition by gifting those we care for with silver jewelry pieces, meticulously crafted by jewelers, to show our admiration and love.
If you’re looking for an engagement ring, wedding band, or anniversary gift, consider investing in a silver piece that will stand the test of time and convey just how much that special someone means to you. Illustrious and complimentary, silver can be paired with any precious stone, and created with various patterns and finishes. The hardest decision you’ll have to make is choosing between all of the gorgeous pieces available.