General Sterling Silver Information
Sterling Silver is an alloy of silver containing 92.5% pure silver and 7.5% other metals, usually copper. The sterling silver standard has a minimum millesimal fineness of 925. Because pure silver is so soft, it should only be used when malleability is required, such as in handcrafted jewelry featuring weaving and other intricate designs. High-end Silver jewelry is often.
The word "sterling" is the quality mark for the best in silver. The word is Middle English, probably Anglo-Saxon. The origin of the term dates back to the 12th century when five free towns banded together in the Eastern part of Germany calling themselves the Hanseatic League. They were free to make their own laws and issue their own currency. When trading with British merchants, they paid for the British products with silver coins. These coins attracted the attention of the Britisher for their consistency of metal and dependability of weights and were, therefore, referred to as the coins of the Easterling's. In due time, after the British adopted the characteristics of these coins, the metal and the coin became known as sterling. Down to the present day this term has stood for the test of fineness and quality.
Silver is widely diffused but is rarely found in the native state. It is originally as widespread as gold, occurring in nearly all of the volcanic rocks. Whereas gold remains unaltered by the action of the elements and is often carried long distances from its place of origin, silver, on the contrary, is only to be found in the rocks where it originated.
Pure silver has a brilliant white color and is the whitest of all metals. None surpasses it in luster, and in hardness it ranges between pure gold and pure copper. It is more fusible than copper or gold, melting at a bright heat or at 1761 degrees F. It is commonly used for the purpose of alloying gold in its pure state, bit if too much be added it makes the gold pale.
It is almost as plastic as pure gold is too soft to make durable objects that require lightness and stability of form. This defect is overcome by alloying it with a little copper.
As far as Vedic Astrology goes, Venus is represented by Silver, and is the metal for Taurus and Libra birth signs. In Numerology, Silver is related to the number 4. Western Astrology associates Silver with Cancer and Aquarius birth signs. Silver is considered a water element, and it's symbolic for those individuals that are celebrating their 25th Wedding Anniversary.
The Healing Power of Silver
Because Silver has conductive abilities, New Age healers believe that it can conduct the body's energy, and it can remove negative energy from the body by channeling the positive energy of other minerals into a patient. The minerals used for this process, along with Silver, include Turquoise, Agate, Jet, Moonstone, Lodestone, and cooler-colored gems. To aid a person with poor eyesight, lodestone set in Silver is worn as a silver pendant.
Silver is said to be the mirror of the soul. Silver is believed to benefit circulation, help lungs and throat, and detoxify the blood, to aid in the treatment of degenerative brain diseases, balancing of hormones and chemicals and improvement of nerve impulse transmission. They also use it for treating hepatitis and detoxifying the body. New Age healers have taken silver's conductive abilities and translated that into the belief that it can conduct the body's energy. They believe it can remove negative energy from the body and channel the positive energy of other minerals into the patient. The minerals they use with Silver include Turquoise, Agate, Jet, Moonstone and Lodestone or cooler-colored gems. Lodestone set in silver is said to aid in eyesight.
Throughout the ages, silver jewelry has been associated with magical powers; believed to promote healing, bring good luck and for warding off evil spirits to the wearer. While these beliefs are not part of mainstream thinking today, some people still hold them true. Silver is said to work best as a communicator, benefit circulation, help lungs and throat, and detoxify the blood. Also said to help the body naturally correct hormonal and/or chemical imbalances, and to help the brain work easier owing to silver improving the transmission of nerve impulses. Silver has germicidal effects and kills many lower organisms effectively without harm to higher animals.
- In olden days, people used silver to de-contaminate water because it kills germs.
- It's widely accepted that silver is a good natural antibiotic; it's even used in a lot of bandaids.
- Silver is considered as an antibacterial — but it might do more. Scientists are now testing silver on diseases like malaria and leprosy with encouraging results.
Silver is a major conductor and communicator. Aids speech and public speaking eloquence. Enhances patience and perseverance. Silver has the ability to energize other stones during the new and full moons. Draws negative energy out from the body and replaces it with positive energy.
Myths about Silver
Legends of Jewels, Quartz Mythology, Myths about crystals and myths about jewelry; Some of those ancient myths and legends have come down intact through the centuries. Others have evolved and mutated as result of the input of other cultures as they came into contact with one another. We have done our best to dig up the mythology of crystals, minerals rocks and semi-precious stones from ancient stories and organize them by their associated mineral, gemstone, crystal or metal. From the holy silver elephant of Buddhist and Vedic Astrology and other silver myths to the legends, myths and folklore of the Middle East. The information provided here by Pippin Bass Jewelry is not intended to provide spiritual advice or spiritual guidance.
The ancient mythology beliefs, crystal mythology, and references to crystals, minerals, metals, semi-precious stones and rocks in Greek, Roman, Native American, and Egyptian Mythology are many. There are also Mineral Legends, mining folklore, heroes in mining, myths about jewelry, stories of buried treasure, Vedic Myths, and more.
Egyptian myths refer to silver artifacts, coins and amulets and ascribe different powers and significance.
Greek & Roman Myths
The Silver Age was the second age of the Olympians; the Golden Age was the first. They considered this a less noble age. In the Silver Age, man began to develop civilization. Other references to silver include: Apollo’s Silver bow and the doors of his palace on Mount Olympus, whose doors were Silver, and his sister Artemis’ silver arrows; the Silver columns that held up the grotto where the river Styx was; and in many minor references such as the Silver string used to tie the Ulysses’ leather bag where he kept the winds.
Asgard is the home of the Norse gods. This magical place, accessible only by crossing the Rainbow Bridge, is full of the Gold and Silver palaces of the gods.
Nuada of the Silver Hand was a man who lost his hand in battle, then received a silver hand from the Dian Cecht, the Irish god of healing.
Facts about Silver
Silver can be hammered into sheets so thin that it would take 100,000 of them to stack an inch high. It can be drawn into a wire finer than a human hair. It is this ductility (or ability to be formed) that makes silver the wonderful art form that it is...
Did you know that Silver is slightly harder than gold? or that the word silver originated from Anglo-Saxon Seolfor or siolfur; meaning 'silver', and Latin argentum meaning 'silver'? or that beyond jewelry and silverware, silver is also used in Silver is used in photography, dental compounds, solder, brazing, electrical contacts, batteries, mirrors, and printed circuits? There are many interesting facts about silver and you can read some selected ones below:
- Silver can be hammered into sheets so thin that it would take 100,000 of them to stack an inch high.
- It can be drawn into a wire finer than a human hair.
- Silver can be shaped by hammering, spinning, or drawing - it can be decorated with etching, chasing, or engraving - sterling silver is the queen of metals. There is no substitute.
- Through the centuries, the silversmith or goldsmith has, by a process of elimination, become the most highly skilled craftsman in the world today.
- In every generation the "Master Smith" would select from his apprentices those best qualified for training necessary to make a jeweler orSilversmith. The less skilled craftsmen stayed in the "minor leagues" and became blacksmiths or bronze workers.
- Silver, as we know it today, dates from the 16th and 17th Century. Prior to that time silver was available only to the extremely wealthy nobility - or to the church.
- During the 17th Century there arose a new wealthy merchant class.
- The "Gadroon" motif so prevalent in Georgian silver is obviously derived from a rope which was a decorative treatment used on the crude wooden tables and chairs which a sea captain might have. When the time came that his wealth permitted him to have furniture made especially for himself, he oftentimes had the rope or "Gadroon" border carved into the furniture. Later, when silver was made to adorn his tables, the same rope motif was used.
- Prior to the 18th Century, silver was found primarily in the homes of the nobles or in the possession of churches in the form of chalices, crosses and altar appointments. At that time, most silversmiths were subsidized by either one of the royal households or by some local Bishop. The new wealthy middle-class permitted a number of silversmiths to support themselves as independent craftsman. In the early 1700's, the social revolution and the economic development on which it was based, made the silver craftsman an important man in his town.
- Jack Shepherd was not a famous early English silversmith as is sometimes supposed, but rather was a bandit and highwayman who was hanged when he was 21 years old.
- At this very time, (about 1701) footed silver came into vogue - both in gravy boats, salts and peppers, bowls, coffee pots, etc. Folks jokingly said that they had legs so they could run away like Jack Shepherd. This name has stuck to this very day.
- It is interesting to note how tradition has influenced design in the tea service.
- When coffee was first introduced into England by the traders returning from Central and South America, there was no vessel in the home from which it could normally be served. It was therefore served from a tankard, but it is easy to understand how this made for difficulty pouring.
- The first silver teapots were fashioned after these low round china pots.
- Prior to 1847, only the wealthy were able to afford table silver. The story goes that Sheffield was discovered by a silversmith named Bulsover who worked in Sheffield in the middle 1700's. In mending a buckle he had occasion to place a piece of copper behind a piece of sterling silver in order to reinforce a break, and when it was red hot he had occasion to tighten the vise which fused the two red hot metals together.
- This Sheffield plate opened a whole new market for silver with people who had the desire but not the pocketbooks for fine sterling. This ware was made for about 100 years until replaced by electro-plate. Little true Sheffield exists outside museums.
- The date 1847 stands as a landmark in the silver industry. The Rogers Bros., (William, Asa and Simeon) whose names are synonymous with fine silverplate, not only had spent several years in experimenting and in preparing for the making of silverplate but for many years, previous to any knowledge of electro-plating, they had acquired a vast amount of experience in the making of coin silver such as spoons and forks , an experience that was to have a tremendous influence in assuring success for this new industry.
- Articles of sterling silver are solid silver through and through. Sterling is 925 parts out of a thousand pure. We have a federal law which requires that all silver stamped "sterling" must be 925 parts of pure silver in every thousand parts of metal. The additional 75 parts out of a thousand are to add stiffness and durability as pure silver is quite soft.
- The word "sterling" has been used to mean high-quality silver since the 1200's. At that time, the coins of England had decreased in value and contained only a little silver.
- The only European coins that contained large proportions of silver, were those made by the merchants of the Hanseatic League, a group of trading cities in Northern Germany.
- These coins were called "Easterlings" to distinguish them from the low-silver alloy coins of England.
- English speech contracted "Easterling" to "Sterling".
- There is one other type of silver with which many of you will be familiar . . . coin silver.
- Fine old coin silver spoons were actually hammered from individual coins prior to that time in colonial days when silver was mined in the American colonies. In the early days, you actually took a bag of coins to the silversmith and rather than melt and roll out fresh metal he merely started hammering from the coins. Many of these spoons were made from two separate coins, one for the bowl and the other from the handle, and it is possible to see on the back that two pieces were actually joined together. :# Sterling tableware is divided into two categories called flatware and hollowware.
- Sterling is the most hygienic metal known to man. It has actual germ killing properties. It is also the most durable art form and the most economical purchase that can be made for the home. Sterling silver grows more beautiful with the passing years, never wears out, and can be passed along as part of a heritage that grows stronger with passing generations.
Silver in Medicine
Silver has been used in the health field since, well, for as long as there has been a health field. It was used in times of antiquity for fighting germs and healing tissue, and those uses have continued to this day. It has been undergoing a rapid resurgence in use...
Why Do we Use the Term 'Silver Bullet'? The term "silver bullet" has been around for a long time and has been much used in medicine but did not originate in medicine. A silver bullet is commonly referred to as a magical solution to any vexing problem.
Ancient Medicinal Uses of Silver
The properties of silver have been known for millennia. In ancient civilizations, the wealthy would store their water in silver vessels to keep bacteria from growing. The ancient Greeks discovered the health benefits of silver when they noted that in battle the upper class that had silver canteens never got dysentery, but the troops often did. In huge doses of non-ionic silver for extended periods it may produce Argyria, a bluing of the skin, which is harmless cosmetic problem. This is how European aristocracy got their blue-blood titles - they used silver goblets, plates, food storage containers and ingested silver particles. However, it saved them from most disastrous epidemics of the Middle Ages.
American Settlers Used Silver as Medicine
American settlers would put a silver dollar in milk containers to delay its spoilage. In Australia it is still common for settlers to suspend a piece of silverware in their water tanks to retard spoilage. As early as 1834, a German obstetrician named F. Crede, administered 1% silver nitrate to the eyes of newborn infants, almost eliminating the incidence of blindness caused by disease in newborns. It was not until the late 1800's that Western scientists began to prove what had been known in Eastern medicine for thousands of years... that silver was a proven germfighter!
Use of Silver in Medicine has Evolved over Centuries
During the past 2000 years, many civilizations have recognized the properties of silver in preventing diseases. For instance, the Romans used silver nitrate therapeutically, and the hermetic and alchemical writings of Paracelsus speak of the virtues of silver as a healing substance. At the turn of the century, Dr. William Halstead, one of the founding fathers of modern surgery, advocated the use of silver foil dressings for wounds. These dressings were used extensively until just after World War II, and were listed in the Physician’s Desk Reference until 1955, when the use of antibiotics became widespread.
Origins of Silver
The area of Anatolia (modern Turkey) is considered the first major source of mined silver, having provided the resource to craftsman throughout Asia Minor. Silver from the Anatolian region largely served as the source of silver for the Western cultures flourishing in the Near East, Crete, and Greece. Silver craftsmanship was centered largely in Asia Minor and Greek Islands, along with areas of mainland Greece dominated by the Mycenaean culture. Asia Minor provided most of the supply for the flourishing silver market.
Sterling silver may have been known first as "Easterling Silver". The term "Easterling Silver" was used to refer to the grade of silver that had originally been used as the local currency in an area of Germany, known as "The Easterling". This "Easterling" consisted of five towns in the eastern part of Germany which banded together in the 12th century under the name of the Hanseatic League. The Hanseatic League proceeded to engage in considerable commerce with England. In payment for English cattle and grain, the League used their local currency. This currency was in the form of 92.5% silver coins. England soon learned that these coins, which they referred to as "the coins of the Easterlings", were of a reliably high quality and hardness.
The Chinese were reluctant to disturb the Earth's spirits by mining and removing precious metals but used silver and gold when they were available through trade with the West. This occurred during the Tang dynasty and continuously from about 1600. The Chinese used silver for cups, bowls and dishes.
Ancient Precious White Metal
This white metal has had an illustrious history, at times being more highly valued than gold. Long used as a medium of exchange, its name is synonymous with money. Today, silver has found many new uses including photography, batteries, auto glass defogger, magnetic strips, etc. Its most outstanding feature is its luster. Silver will take a higher polish than any other metal. It has the singular drawback that it tarnishes. Metal smiths often use this feature to highlight certain design elements. Modern chemicals easily remove tarnish, but the fact remains that silver needs more care than the other precious metals.
Silver is more abundant and much less expensive than gold or platinum. This has a lot to do with its popularity. Some jewelry styles, like the Native American, rely strictly on silver. Silver is more difficult to work than gold, because it conducts heat so well. Beginners often learn soldering on this less expensive metal. When they graduate to gold, they find it easier to control the heat.
Silver Jewelry Care
As in any jewelry including gold, platinum jewelry studded with diamonds or precious colored stones, we recommend that you check your jewelry every 6 months Prongs can wear thin and let stones fall out. Chains and Pearl Strands weaken with wear...
Sterling silver is an alloy of silver containing 92.5% pure silver and 7.5% other metals, usually copper. Sterling silver is the standard for charming beautiful white cool luster of silver and is the standard for high quality silver jewelry. The beautiful white metal of silver has had an illustrious history, at times being more highly valued than gold. Long used as a medium of exchange.
The first known symbol drawn by children on rock walls are circles, which are followed by crosses. Revered as one of the most ancient human symbols, the cross is used by many religions, most notably Christianity. It represents the division of the world into four elements, which are solid/earth, liquid/water, gas/air, and plasma/fire, or cardinal points, which is the geographic orientation of the Earth: north, south, east, and west. The silver cross also represents the union of the concepts of divinity, the vertical line, and the world, the horizontal line. The Latin cross or crux is the most common symbol of Christianity.
A common symbol of Christianity, the silver cross can be handmade or sand cast. Sand mold casting or a sand casting is a cast part produced by forming a mold from a sand mixture and pouring a molten liquid metal into the cavity in the mold. When the mold cools, the metal solidifies, and the casting is separated from the mold. The silver cross can be etched, stamped, or inlaid with turquoise, coral, malachite, mother of pearl, jet and other semi-precious stones.