If you’re giving a gift of a silver ring to someone special in your life, you can think of it as giving them the whole world as well as the stars, because every element on earth, including the silver the ring was made from, came from dying stars originally. And silver has made quite an impact on the world since about 4000 BC was it was first discovered.
Lustrous and malleable metals such as gold and silver have always been in high demand as much for their visual appeal as for their ability to be easily moulded into useful items.
Historical Value of Silver
Silver has also always been relatively scarce, and the rarer an element is, the more valuable it is. Most people think that silver has always placed second behind gold in both value and popularity. But silver has a few other properties that made it more popular and valuable than gold at different eras in history.
It was at one time the currency of the world. The Mycenaean people of ancient mainland Greece imported vast amounts of silver from what is now Armenia. They used it as a currency and helped accelerate trade all through the Mediterranean region. Silver became the standard currency for centuries.
But it was scarce in China. So it became the currency of choice for tea, silk, gunpowder and ceramics, and all the other goods China had to offer. All this trade was responsible for creating the famous “Silk Road” between the east and west. When the Spanish discovered silver mines in Peru and Mexico, they started trading it for silk from the Chinese.
Other Properties of Silver
Did you know that silver also has impressive anti-bacterial properties? The ancient seafaring Phoenicians used to keep their potable liquids in silver vessels because the liquids would stay pure and drinkable during long voyages.
In the 1700s, some babies were fed from silver spoons because silver was considered to be healthier. The practice even led to the phrase for the rich, “being born with a silver spoon in one’s mouth”. Silver is still used today to coat pieces of equipment used by hospitals to fight infections.
Silver is also the conductor of choice for electrical applications. It’s better than gold or copper, and the electronics industry is one of the major consumers of silver.
Establishing the 925 Silver Standard
We mentioned that silver was easily moulded into jewellery and other useful items. But a statute that was enacted in 1300 by King Edward the first was intended to create a standard for the composition of silver. It ended up creating a silver that also held up better and resisted dents and dings. This was the 92.5% pure silver standard, also known as 925 silver or sterling silver.
So when you’re browsing the MNML website looking for the perfect silver ring for that special someone, give a thought to the tremendous part silver played in the history of the world.