DefinitionSilver is a metal element whose chemical symbol is Ag and atomic designation is 47. It is a valuable metal, but rather soft and extremely malleable. Silver has been prized since the beginning of time as a metal for jewelry and fine eating utensils and goblets. You can find silver resources in many countries of the world, but when you think of silver it is often Mexican silver you are dreaming of purchasing.
Mexico is one of the world’s leading producers of silver and when thinking of silver jewelry its often the ornate and expertly crafted jewelry from Mexican artisans. Taxco is the city of silver that is most connected to exceptional silver jewelry and art objects. In the 1700s opulent silver deposits were again discovered around the Taxco and today visitors from all over the world come to Taxco for handmade silver jewelry.
Standards of silver vary, but Mexican silver is generally 92.5 percent pure. Purity varies from .925 to .999 and is often imprinted with purity symbols. Silver jewelry is often stamped “Mexican silver” or can also be stamped with an eagle along with a number indicating the state where the silver was mined and formed.
Uses of SilverTaxco silver is has been used for jewelry and other decorative items for thousands of years and sterling silver jewelry is very popular in rings and bracelets. Handmade silver jewelry abounds in the marketplaces of Taxco and surrounding villages. Eating utensils were originally made from Mexican silver hence the name, “silverware.” Taxco silver was also formed into bars and made into coins for use as currency around the world and more recently silver is used as electrical conductors in many industries.
Determining Mexican silver marksAll Mexican silver jewelry is marked and these marks can be found on the screw of an earring, the inside of fine silver jewelry or on the clasp of a bracelet or necklace. The mark determines the year when the jewelry was crafted. If jewelry is marked Mexico Silver or Mexico Plata it is a jewelry piece made after 1960. Fine handmade silver jewelry from Mexico will also indicate the silver content, the area of origin, and the silversmith. For example .925 is the content, TC-902 is the City of Taxco and C is the first initial of the last name of the silversmith. 902 is a silversmith designation.
If you are seeking to collect Mexican silver jewelry, you can educate yourself about your silver piece if you learn the marks. You may choose to purchase a jewelry collection that has only one number combination. That would give you the genealogy of your jewelry piece. This could become a fascinating new hobby for you; determining the origin of you fine handmade silver jewelry.
Geseell Grant - Geseell@avilasterling.com