Silver has always been considered as the metal for the lesser mortals if not gods. Way low in the glamour factor than its other brighter counterparts like platinum or radium, silver was not something the rich of the East fancied.
Jewellery in this part of the globe meant heavy gold ornaments studded with precious gems; the royals, the gentries and the commoners all preferred and opted for that. Other than the fact that for us gold is not only precious but auspicious as well, these precious metals have always been viewed as investments, which come in handy in tight financial situations. Thus gold has always been regarded as the nest egg while silver came nowhere close in terms of resale value. For many, these two metals cannot be weighed in the same scale in terms of its worth in salt.
Recent trends however, have seen a shift from this school of thought, and silver has risen dramatically in respectability ranks. It has become the more widely preferred metal for jewellery designers and jewellery users alike. Be it for its pale sheen or oxidised elegance, silver undeniably has a more universal appeal than gold.
As is the case with all substitute products, a rise in the price of one leads, almost invariably, to a rise in the demand of another; and gold and silver are no exception to this rule. The staggering increase in global gold prices has effectively set it outside the mass affordability range, and resultantly silver has been opted for as its replacement.
Today, when products from white metals have made their mark in international fashion scenes, ornaments from silver can compete with white gold or platinum. Silver has a number of advantages: it is brighter and shinier than platinum. This soft metal allows the designers more flexibility in terms of designs. Its smooth cold shade combines well with any precious and semi-precious stones. Silver ornaments complements all skin tones and perfectly match with any clothes be it a simple taant sari or jeans. Silver jewellery is affordable, trendy, lustrous and available in a huge variety of designs. These ornaments are elegant and have an intrinsic appeal that is difficult to ignore.
Silver, with its soft, white, lustrous shine, held firm to its position as second best option for consumers but is now steadily climbing the fame ladder. Fine silver is also regarded as a precious metal as it is nothing but silver with refined properties to make it more shiny and precious. Though the soaring gold prices has much to do with its recent popularity as the metal of choice for jewellery, the rise in demand for silver is also due to the fact that the women of today prefer to wear ornaments that are simple yet contemporary in style. So much so that stylish women prefer to wear heavy silver neck pieces to parties and weddings instead of the chunky gold jewellery.
In this age of feminism and emancipation, the modern woman has broken free from many a stereotype; an important one among them being her right to choose what she wears and the way she looks. The shift in preference from gold to silver widely serves as testament to a more liberal and forward-thinking mind. With quite the same confidence that she can pull off a vegetable dye or a Tangail taant in important circles, she no longer needs to have her beauty accentuated or her social standing defined by how much gold she owns. There is beauty in simplicity and simplicity lies in the understated intricacies of silver.
-- LS Desk
Photo: Sazzad Ibne Sayed
Special thanks to: Silversmith Gobindo Bashak in Pathrail, Tangail
Varieties of silver
Pure silver has 99.9 percent silver. This kind of silver is very soft and has a glossy finish. Because of its softness, it is extremely malleable. This is why it is used for crafting handmade silver jewellery like earrings, necklaces, bangles, etc. This type of silver is used to create jewellery having elaborate patterns which is not possible in jewellery made of other metals.
Sterling silver consists of 92.5 percent silver. It is very hard. It is an extremely popular type of silver that is used for creating jewellery, nowadays. Accessories made of sterling silver like chains, earrings, bracelets, rings, necklaces, bangles and so on are made with the help of different kinds of methods of embellishment like chasing, engraving, filigree and inlaying. Ornaments made of sterling silver has a '925' mark which proclaims authenticity of the metal.
German silver is also known as alpaca silver. It is an alloy made of a combination of zinc, nickel and copper. Jewellery made of this type of silver is known primarily for its resistance to corrosion, durability and toughness. These ornaments usually consist of adornments that are not worn on the body. The reason for this is that these items of jewellery contain nickel which causes allergies in certain people. Pendants, earrings and necklaces are the main varieties available in this specific type of jewellery.
Silver gemstones are ornaments made of silver but they are named so because they are studded with gemstones and form a separate class. Ornaments made of silver look charming, attractive and unique when gemstones are blended in. This results in an increase in their elegance as well as value. All types of ornaments are made under this type. A huge variety of gems and gemstones are made use of in order to create Silver gemstone jewellery. The gems that are commonly used are sapphire, emerald, pearl, topaz, ruby, amethyst and turquoise.
Oxidised silver jewellery is oxidised purposely in order to give it an austere, antique and dark look. Many people find it strange that the truth is that the oxidation defect gives silver ornaments and appearance that is attractive. Many people love to adorn themselves with silver oxidised jewellery as one can come up with unconventional and new designs in ornaments of this type. The different accessories that are created in silver oxidised jewellery are bracelets, ear rings, toe-rings, necklaces and rings.