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A Brief History of Sterling Silver Jewelry

Table of Contents

an ancient egyptian woman wearing sterling silver jewelry. history of sterling silver jewelry making.

Sterling silver has been used in jewelry making for centuries, dating back to ancient civilizations. In this article, we’ll take a look at the history of sterling silver jewelry including its popularity throughout the ages and the different styles that have emerged over time. Lets explore how our ancestors used silver before modern time.

Compound of Sterling Silver?

Before start our journey of the history of sterling silver lets define and learn what is sterling silver. It is an alloy made up of 92.5% pure silver and 7.5% of other metals such as copper which adds strength and durability to the silver. 92.5% ratio is the reason why sterling silver is also called 925 silver. The reason of making an alloy instead of using pure silver is that pure silver is a soft metal that is not ideal for use in jewelry as it is too malleable and can easily be scratched or damaged. By alloying silver with copper the resulting metal becomes much harder and more durable, making it suitable for use in a variety of applications.

Importance of Sterling Silver in Jewelry Making

As ı mentioned earlier sterling silver is highly malleable and can be easily shaped and molded into a variety of styles and designs. This makes it a popular choice for jewelry designers throughout the history.

925 Silver also has a shiny and a beautiful appearance that is highly desirable in jewelry. It has a classic and timeless look making it versatile and suitable for a range of occasions.

Another important reason why silver used for jewelry is its durability.

Sterling silver is a popular and affordable alternative to other precious metals such as gold or platinum. It has a similar appearance and shine, but at a lower cost, making it accessible to a wider range of consumers.

As a result of all the circumstances above silver is used for jewelry making for ages.

Early Uses of Silver in Jewelry and Adornment

The earliest uses of silver in jewelry can be traced back to ancient Egypt where silver was believed to have mystical and healing powers and was often used to create amulets and talismans which were worn as protection against evil spirits.

Silver was also popular among ancient Greeks and Romans who used it to create intricate jewelry pieces including earrings, necklaces, and bracelets. In ancient Rome silver was often worn as a symbol of wealth and status, and was frequently used in the creation of luxury goods.

Silver was highly prized in ancient China as well where it was used to create decorative objects and luxury goods. It was believed to have healing properties and was associated with the moon and water.

Silver played a central role in the Inca Empire’s economy and religion. It was used as currency and was highly prized for its reflective properties which were thought to represent the sun. Silver was also used in the creation of religious objects and was associated with the god Viracocha

Silver’s significance in ancient cultures was multifaceted, ranging from its use in religious objects and luxury goods to its association with mystical and healing properties. Its versatility and beauty made it a highly valued material in many different contexts and it has remained a beloved material in jewelry and decorative arts throughout history.

Silver Jewelry in Medieval Europe

Sterling silver was widely used in the creation of religious objects during the Middle Ages. The Catholic Church in particular used silver extensively in the creation of chalices, candelabras, and other sacred objects. During medieval time sterling silver was prized for its purity and shine, which made it a suitable material for religious use.

Sterling silver was also used in the creation of royal regalia during the Middle Ages. The silver used for making crowns, scepters, and other objects which were a symbol of wealth and power. It was a durable material that could withstand the wear out of daily use which made it ideal for use in these types of objects.

Emergence of Sterling Silver as a Popular Jewelry Material

The discovery of new silver mines in the America during the 16th century led to a significant increase silver jewelry in Europe. This led to a decrease in the price of silver which made it more affordable to a wider range of people.

Advances in jewelry making technology such as the invention of the screw press allowed for the mass production of silver jewelry. This made it easier and more affordable to produce silver jewelry in larger quantities which in turn made it more widely available. People of this period usually show their love for their spouses by gifting them jewelry pieces especially men to their wifes.

The Renaissance was a time of great artistic and cultural development and silver jewelry was an important aspect of fashion during this period. The popularity of silver jewelry was influenced by the fashion trends of the time which emphasized elegance, simplicity, and refinement.

The Renaissance was also a time of great patronage of the arts and wealthy patrons often commissioned artists and jewelers to create exquisite pieces of jewelry. As always jewelry lovers wants to buy perfect piece for them and throughout the history and modern days what to look for sterling silver jewelry hasn’t changed.

This is the brief history of sterling silver jewelry making. I hope you enjoy it and stay tuned for more to come.

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