Silver and gold have intriguing origins. These precious metals are both formed from supernovae, or star explosions. When these stars, which are approximately ten times the size of Earth’s sun, explode at the end of their lifetimes, silver and gold are produced.
Silver mining dates back thousands of years. The Royal Society of Chemistry reports that the first evidence of this was in Turkey and Greece circa 3000 B.C. It’s also interesting to note that there are a minimum of 14 different languages where the word, “silver” is the same as the word for “money.” Over the centuries, this medium of exchange has developed even further.
When silver is polished, it is able to reflect 95% of the visible light spectrum. Silver’s shine is just one of the many reasons why it is a popular metal for a variety of ornamental and functional objects. Along with gold, silver is one of the most popular precious metals used to create jewelry. Since these metals are soft, however, gold and silver alloys are used when creating jewelry.
Tableware is also too soft when composed of pure silver. Due to this, sterling candlesticks, sterling trays, sterling tea sets, and sterling vases are created from sterling silver. When creating this alloy, 92.5% silver along with 7.5% copper is used. In some instances, there are other types of metal that may be used.
Sterling silver items, such as sterling vases, from the 19th and 20th centuries were usually marked with the word, “Sterling.” These items may also have the number, “925,” engraved somewhere on their surface. These are two of the ways that antique silver can be recognized. Since some items may just have a silver overlay, it’s important to look for these markers to determine whether or not a sterling vase or another piece is authentic. There are, of course, experts that can determine an items authenticity by other means.
Do you have an antique silver collection? Then you may be searching for just the right piece to add to your display. Are you looking for something special for a friend or family member? There’s an excellent chance that you realize sterling silver items are considered to be traditional and valued gifts. Whether you need an anniversary, baby shower, birthday, or wedding gift, there are so many beautiful and useful items from which to choose.