From its origins in exploding supernovae to the intriguing history of sterling silver, there’s a reason why this precious metal has such an important place in our lives. Sterling silver is still the ideal gift for important life ceremonies like christenings, marriages, and anniversaries. Antique sterling silver gifts are cherished not only for their beauty but also the stories, known and unknown, that they carry with them.
A very short history of silver
Silver and gold begin their lives in outer space. When large stars, ten times the size of our sun, explode into supernovae at the end of their lives, these precious metals are among the products. Both silver and gold have been prized throughout history for their appearance and properties. According to the Royal Society of Chemistry, the earliest evidence of silver mining can be traced back to ancient Turkey and Greece, as long ago as 3000 BCE.
Silver was widely used as currency over the centuries and even today, fourteen languages use the same word for both silver and money. In the U.S., silver was used in colonial times, for money and for making jewelry and household items. In fact, Paul Revere, famous for his midnight ride during the Revolutionary War, was also a renowned silversmith. Until about the 1940s, sterling silver flatware was the norm in American households.
What is sterling silver?
One of the reason why silver is used for making jewelry and other valuable items is that it is so shiny. Pure silver reflects nearly all the light that falls on it. However, jewelry is not made from pure silver, which is actually too soft to hold a shape. Sterling silver is an alloy of 92.5% silver and 7.5% copper. Sterling silver is also known as 925 silver.
Items made of this material in the 19th and 20th centuries were frequently marked with the number 925 or the word Sterling. Sterling silver is less costly and more durable than other precious metals, making it a popular choice for jewelry and household items like flatware, candlesticks and other tableware. It is also used for some musical and surgical instruments.
Why antique silver gifts are valued
While silver is valued for its beauty, antique silver gifts have a mystique of their own. Each piece, whether it is a christening gift set with bowl and spoon, or a sterling silver tea set, has its own history. The stories behind the antique sterling candlesticks your best friend gave you for your wedding or the sterling silver baby cup your parents have kept safe for you through the years may be known or unknown, but they carry something of spirit of goodness and hope.
It’s the combination of beauty and mystery that makes antique silver such a suitable gift for important occasions in someone’s life. Whether it’s a christening, wedding or a twenty-fifth anniversary, antique sterling gifts mark the occasion with a sense of tradition and continuity. In their turn, gifts of antique jewelry or household items made of silver will become heirlooms that will be treasured down the generations.
Silver is prized not just for its monetary value but also for its beauty and the intangible mystery that surrounds antique sterling. Sterling silver gifts become keepsakes that will be handed on down the generations.Share This : by