The History Of Silver How A Precious Metal Came To Be Used In Jewelry, Candlesticks And Batteries

By | March 2, 2018

Georg jensen sterling

Silver is one of the world’s most brilliant metals.

There’s something about its luster that speaks to the deepest parts of our soul, inviting our innermost curiosity and rewarding the artist hidden within us all. Whether you want to sell your antique silver or obtain a few sterling candlesticks for your dining room, knowing about what this metal has to offer your life is the first step toward guaranteeing quality. Silver is a metal with a long and fascinating history that only continues to grow with every new day. It’s not just beautiful to behold, it can be applied to a number of day-to-day applications.

People will buy antique jewelry as gifts or silver plated tea sets to adorn their kitchen. Where does silver come from and how do we manage to find so many different uses for it? A glance at history can give you a deeper appreciation for the silver overlay and antique metals that have graced your kitchen time and time again. Characterized by its silky, brilliant sheen, silver has seen steady usage for many thousands of uses. The Middle Ages would spurn the production of silver to some of the highest amounts yet seen, only being furthered by major historical periods such as the Industrial Revolution and beyond.

Although scholars are still in heavy debate about the first instance of silver discovery and usage, there is some information that provides us a clearer picture as to when this metal soon took hold in human civilization. The very first evidence of silver mining dates all the way back to 3,000 B.C. in both Turkey and Greece, according to data provided by the Royal Society Of Chemistry. The 19th and 20th century saw silver items being marked with the characteristic title ‘sterling’, though some still used ‘925’ to denote quality.

The most notable aspect about silver is its beautiful luster. It’s so shiny that polished silver has been found to reflect as much as 95% of the visible light spectrum. You can find silver coins (though they are frequently mixed with other metals to become more durable). You can find silver used in batteries. You can even find silver used in some medical devices. Ask any person and you’ll likely have them comparing silver to something precious and expensive. While this isn’t entirely true, it is certainly a reputation that is well-earned.

Silver is frequently paired alongside gold. The two most precious metals used in alloys or high-end jewelry are silver and gold, with combinations bringing out the best of both worlds. Interestingly enough, the words for ‘silver’ and ‘money’ are the same in at least 14 different languages. Both silver and gold form in star explosions known as a supernova, with stars at least 10 times the size of our sun exploding in a supernova that produces these elements.

Such a fantastic origin can only beget fantastic materials. Today we see the silver overlay being used in currency, technology and everyday items. The silver overlay is a happy balance between the tenuous softness of the metal and the need to use as many materials as possible. Pure silver is actually too soft for products such as jewelry and tableware, so sterling silver is used as a proper substitute. An alloy of around 92% silver as well as 7% copper is the most common combination, though other metals can be used instead depending on the manufacturer.

When selling your silver jewelry or silver sterling vase it’s important to find a seller that’s deeply familiar with the metal. The worst thing that can happen is you lose money on your way to a proper sale, reducing the value of your product and creating a cycle that will affect others down the line. Silver dealers are experienced not just with silver, but gold, copper and any number of useful, precious metals. You’ve already taken extra care when deciding whether or not to sell your silver overlay tea set. Invest a little more time when finding a dealer and only success will follow.