Sterling Silver Jewelry History

The distinguished history of sterling silver jewelry spans from the Age of Monarchy and the crown jewelry of Europe’s kings and queens to the stunning creations that adorn and accessorize the celebrities and sports heroes of the 21st century. For centuries, the term “sterling silver” was used to refer to the 925 grade of silver. This grade contains 92.5% pure silver--a metal that would be too soft for durability were it not alloyed with copper or one of several other metals.

At various times in history sterling silver and other grades of silver have been used in a variety of ways:

  • Sterling silver jewelry, from rudimentary pieces centuries ago to the beautiful creations designed and offered by today.
  • Coins, valuable pieces of house ware and weaponry including pistols, swords and daggers.
  • Musical instruments and decorative pieces in a wide variety of artistic settings.

Sterling Silver Jewelry Throughout History

There has been occasional debate about the history of the phrase “sterling silver,” with respect to jewelry or other media. The town of Stirling, in Great Britain, is situated near some of that country’s richest native deposits of silver. A mint in the town produced coins using silver from these mines, and some believe that therein lays the derivation of the phrase.

However, those mines may not have been worked until the 18th century, and others claim to have found history of the use of the sterling silver designation centuries earlier. As with diamonds, gold and other precious materials, there have always been elements of mystery and romance in the history of sterling silver. When you give a gift of sterling silver jewelry, you share a bit of the mystery and romance with a friend or loved one.