This History of Mexican Sterling Silver

Published: 08th December 2011
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Jewelry enthusiasts, bracelet collectors, and fashionistas around the globe have Mexican sterling silver in their jewelry boxes. Mexican silver is a little known secret among jewelry aficionados, but this jewelry material is quickly gaining a lot of interest due to the rich history it has, along with the reputation for being high quality.

Sterling silver was first created in Taxco, Mexico. The creation of Mexican sterling silver has been traced to the days of Hernan Cortes, in the early 16th century. It was in Taxco, Mexico, that the conquistador staked his claim of the silver mines. People quickly bought the silver, and began using it to make jewelry and gifts. By the 17th century, Taxco's sterling silver had found its ways back to the high ranking royals of Spain, England, France, and Germany. Yet, the mining industry of Taxco had faded into obscurity by the 18th century.

It was Don Jose De La Borda who brought Taxco's rich silver back into the limelight. After discoving a vein of silver in the local rocks, he became very wealthy. As a way of showing gratitude to this stunning Mexican region, Don Jose used much of his money to fund schools, homes, gardens, and even the now-famous Santa Prisca Cathedral. The tradition of giving back to Taxco through the Mexican sterling silver industry continues to this very day.

By the 1920's, the US government had taken notice of the rich silver production that Taxco locals have always known. College professor William Spratling, upon arriving to Taxco, quickly began encouraging locals to develop their silversmithing abilities. Of course, the locals listened. This historically silvery town quickly gained a worldwide reputation for having some of the most high quality, intricate, and visually stunning silver jewelry.

During this time, many artisans from Taxco's locale quickly became famous for their wares throughout the world. In the world of Mexican sterling silver, names like Castillos and Chino Ruiz are still regarded with an extremely high level of respect. The demand for Chino Ruiz, Castillos, and other designer silversmith jewels continues to rise to this day. Some locals have mentioned rumors that major fashion designers have their own favorites when it comes to local silversmiths.

There are many names that are associated with the Mexican sterling silver industry, but few that come close in terms of reputation like that of William Spratling. Spratling's encouragement of Mexican sterling silver design has earned him a special place in Taxco. Though he, too, has passed on, his memory still remains alive in Taxco through statues, a museum, and many different memorials devoted to him. Some even call Spratling “The Father Of Mexican Sterling Silver.”

Since the locals who are in charge of the Mexican sterling silver industry take their culture very seriously, it comes as no surprise to anyone that a lot of the designs are made using traditional Mexican gems. Moonstone, Mexican amber, and even turquoise are commonly found in Mexican sterling silver designs. Adding a special amount of attention to detail, Mexican silver is almost always handmade.

Still, modern Mexican sterling silver runs the gamut from the traditional to the futuristic. It could be a traditional Mexican pendant, or it could be a sleek liquid silver necklace. It's nearly impossible to be unable to find anything from a Mexican sterling silver shop that won't fit your personal style.

It should come as no surprise to anyone that those who are aware of Taxco's history often will search for vintage pieces from one of the many golden ages of silver that the area has experienced. Vintage sterling silver from the 1920's, 1930's, and even 1940's is highly sought after by collectors around the world. Because of the rich historical value that Mexican sterling silver has, it comes as no surprise that many jewelers consider vintage silver from the Taxco region to be investment pieces.

Whether you buy it because of the elegant designs, or because of the rich history that Mexican sterling silver is associated with, the fact is that Taxco silver will be a purchase that you will not regret. It's beautiful, and it's the stuff of legend. After all, are there really that many places in the world which can boast a history of Mexican kings, European queens, and international fashion designers wearing local jewelry? The only place that we can think of that can honestly say it has been one of the silver Meccas of the globe for such a very long time is Mexico. You can find The Mexican Jewelry
on the internet and find high quality websites selling though their jewelry catalogs


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