Silver is a metal commonly used to make jewellery. But why is this and what properties enable this metal to be used in the making of jewellery?
If you are visiting us on this website you may be interested to know some of the history and properties of the metal we use.
Argentum is the Latin word for Silver, hence the chemical symbol for silver is Ag. It is mined primarily in Peru, Mexico, Bolivia, Chile, China, Australia, Poland, and Serbia.
Silver is malleable, ductile, lustrous, resilient and comparatively soft. Malleable means it is easily hammered into shapes, its ductile property allows it to be pulled into thin wires, therefore lending itself to creating the intricate and varied shapes found in jewellery. As it is lustrous it appeals as a material for personal adornment and its resilience adds to its longevity .
Silver is comparatively rare and thus is classed as a precious metal. The Ancient Egyptians valued silver more than gold. The Saxons issued silver coins known as "sterlings", hence the name Sterling Silver is still used.
In 1516 a huge silver deposit was found in Bohemia. The coins produced from this silver were known as "thaler". In the 17th century the Dutch also adopted a similar name for silver coins , the "leeuwendaalder" or "daalder" for short. After the Dutch founded New Amsterdam in the Americas, they took their currency the "daalder" with them. New Amsterdam subsequently became New York and the "daalder" became the Dollar. Originally one U.S. dollar was worth 24.056grams of silver, now it is one of the most important currencies for international trade.
However the miracle metal that is silver is not only used as currency and for personal adornment. It has been used since the time of Alexander the Great, 300B.C. to purify water and NASA continues to use it for that purpose today. It is widely used in the electronics and photographic industries. Its medical uses are varied, you may find silver in your eye drops or within your wound dressings.
So next time you put on or purchase a piece of silver jewellery, spend a moment reflecting upon the wonderful, versatile, beautiful metal you have in your possession. Treat it with care and respect and it will last more than a lifetime.
And remember it is product than can very easily be recycled!
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