Article by Shveta Singh
Silver, known for its shiny silver hue, is one of the three basic metals used for producing jewellery. Silver Jewellery has always been a popular choice with women. However, the acceptability and demand for silver jewellery as a fashion accessory has shot up considerably in the past decade.
The present popularity of silver jewellery can be attributed to the elegance and versatility associated with it. It is today accepted as a more contemporary jewellery option vis-à-vis the expensive and heavy traditional gold jewellery. In fact, on comparing one finds out that little has changed in the designs of gold jewellery over a period, whereas, fashion demands have created an environment where the trendiest designs are often created for costume and silver jewellery.
Most silver jewellery available as of date is crafted out of sterling silver. Sterling silver is an alloy containing almost 93% silver and 7% copper. The seven per cent alloy gives the silver hardness and durability. Without the alloy, the silver piece would be too soft to wear.
- Silver Jewellery Today
Today, a wide variety of stylish jewellery pieces are available in sterling silver ranging from plain silver to silver crafted with coloured gemstones. From a fashion perspective, sterling silver is mainly suitable for daytime wear. During winters, silver gels well if worn with black, blue and other dark colours. Yet in the summer, worn with pastels and lightweight clothing, silver looks cool and comfortable.
- Silver in History
Silver is one of the oldest found metals on earth. It has been extensively used in jewellery and utensils since the 4th millennium B.C. The first attempt to mine silver is said to be have been made around 3000 BC in the areas of Anatolia. A process, "cupellation" was found out to extract silver from silver ores around 2500BC.
Silver was used in ancient Italy and Greece for making personal ornaments, vessels, jewellery, arrows, weapons and coinage. It was used as currency in many civilizations. Silver coin as a currency was first introduced in the eastern Mediterranean in 550 B.C. The discovery of the American countries marked an important twist in the history of silver as the major silver mines in Mexico, Peru and Bolivia were found.
The term "Sterling Silver", emerged in England by the 13th century.
The pound sterling was used as currency in England from the 12th century until the middle of the 20th century.
During the same time, in the far east, Chinese silversmiths produced some of the most elegant and beautifully crafted silver jewellery some of which was exported to the Royalty of Russia.
Sterling silver, while no longer used in circulating currency anywhere in the world, is still used for flatware, jewellery and plates. Production facilities that use modern technology to supply fashionable silver articles to high fashion jewellery retailers have evolved as a result of growing demand.
- Caring Tips for Silver Jewellery
Sterling silver jewellery gets tarnished fairly quickly. Silver tarnish is caused by an oxidation reaction between silver, oxygen and sulfur. Over a period, sterling silver develops a dull finish that gives it an antique look. Overexposure builds up black oxidation in the fine details giving the jewellery piece a beautiful and unique look.
To minimize the oxidation process while storing silver jewellery, it should be stored in an airtight container lined with something soft. From time to time cleaning is required to maintain the silver shine. Common cleaning methods include:
o Using warm water and mild dish soap
o Using a soft toothbrush or cotton swab
o Frequent hand polishing with a soft cloth
o Toothpaste is a very effective tarnish remover but it should be cautiously used in the jewellery piece has gemstones in it
o Many commercially developed cleaners work well for removing silver tarnish. However, it is important to know the side effects of the cleaner before using it.
- Explore Silver Jewellery
Today, silver jewellery is available in attractive designs and patterns throughout the world. For avid silver jewellery fans, it is not just the design, but also the origin of the piece that matters. Indian, Thai, Native American, French designs in silver are a rage amongst women and have become accessible through several online shopping options available.
So...Wear Silver Jewellery and be in tune with the times.