Silver has been known and used for thousands of years and was believed to have magical properties which could promote healing and bring good luck. In ancient times, silver was used for jewelry, ornaments, utensils, and as a substance that could be bartered for other goods and services. This belief that silver had an underlying “value” led eventually to its use as the basis for monetary systems such as that of the Roman Empire and as a means of paying for international trade.
The discovery during the 18th and 19th centuries of large
silver deposits in the New World, however, resulted in the conversion of
most monetary systems to the gold standard.
Despite the loss of its status as the basis for the world’s monetary systems, the belief in the value of silver remained. Until the Industrial Revolution only the elite were allowed to wear silver jewelry.
In 1990, silver was
produced by at least 55 countries. Mexico was the largest silver
producing country, followed by the United States, Peru, the former
U.S.S.R., Canada, and Australia.
Silver is the most reflective and affordable of the precious metals. Its lower price permits bold, innovative looks. Sterling silver jewelry often is fashioned by top designers and can range in price from $100 to thousands of dollars.
Sterling silver is the standard of quality for articles containing 92.5% silver and 7.5% copper.
General –Sterling Silver;
American – 925;
European – 935;
French – 800;
Russian- 88 or 84.