We’re going to come right out and say it: we think silver beats gold. It’s played second fiddle to its yellow-hued counterpart for a long while, but silver jewellery (or silver jewelry, to our friends across the pond) has been in vogue for thousands of years because of the metal’s fascinating, unique properties. Read on to see why silver deserves its place in the sun.
1. Silver is hypoallergenic
Banish bad jewellery rash with sterling silver jewellery, known to be hypoallergenic. Sterling silver is an alloy containing a minimum of 92.5% silver mixed with other metals, as it’s too soft in its purest form. Silver has antimicrobial properties, making it a sterling choice when it comes to safe and durable jewellery. This is backed by Phoenicians, who used to store liquids in silver bottles to avoid contamination.
2. Silver jewellery has a very (very, very) long history
Very, very long. Early silver jewellery dates back to the 4th millennium BC, in the region of modern-day Turkey. Bronze age silversmiths were quick to warm to this versatile and durable metal, and the fact that examples have survived to this day proves just how sturdy silver really is.
3. Silver has given us a lot of cool phrases and sayings
Silver bullet, silver spoon in your mouth, silver tongued, clouds with silver linings – all these phrases owe their origin to the quality, healing properties and rarity of the material. Silver tongued devils are so named because of the melodious sound of ringing silver, while being born with a silver spoon in your mouth once referred to health instead of wealth. We could go on.
4. Silver is responsible for old Hollywood and early photography
Because silver is highly reactive to light, it was used in early photography plates and is still used in high res photography to this day. Old Hollywood was made possible because of these early techniques, bringing stars and starlets to the appropriately named silver screen.*
*The flipside of silver being highly reactive to light is that it is particularly prone to tarnish – keep silver tarnish-free with a regular polish, and store it in a pouch or box.
5. Nothing rhymes with silver
Lots of things rhyme with gold, but nothing rhymes with silver. Go on, try it.
6. Designers can do a lot more with silver than gold
Silver is really malleable, because of the ratio of hardness and softness within the metal. Unlike gold, you can realise almost any kind of design if you use silver. That’s why Motley designers love creating pieces in silver that would be impossible to make in gold.
7. In some ways, silver is rarer than gold
Even though it’s almost 20 times more abundant in the Earth’s crust than gold, there’s a lot more gold available above ground than silver. It’s also much easier to find pure gold than it is to find pure silver. Make sure to bust out these silver stats when faced with an ardent gold devotee.
8. Lots of currencies (and even a country) are named after silver
The country? Argentina (dubbed the land of silver and named Terra Argentea by a Portugese explorer). The currencies? Dollars, pounds sterling, pesos, and rupees. Take that, gold.