A silver cup circa 2000 BC
As early as 3100 BC, ambassadors from
Crete brought silver vessels as gifts to the Egyptian king. Throughout
the millennia, silver has been highly prized for its beauty, malleability,
non-corrosive nature, conductivity, and its bactericidal properties.
Today, about a third of the world’s production of silver
goes toward the making of tableware and jewelry.
Silver bullion is almost invariably 99.9% pure but, because the
resultant material is far too soft for everyday use, sterling
silver—the silver you see most often—is composed of
92.5% silver and 7.5% other metals. The term “sterling”
traces its root to the 12th century when five towns in eastern
Germany banded together to from the Hanseatic League in order
to engage in more substantial commerce with England. The league
paid for English cattle and grain with its own silver coins called
Easterlings. Historians believe that under the reign of King Henry
II, Britain used the highly-dependable Easterling as the basis
for standardizing the isle's coinage. Over time, the name has
been simply shortened to sterling and still refers both to the
English monetary system and silver that is by law 92.5% pure.
The United States minted silver coins until 1964;
at that point, the silver itself became more valuable
than the face value of the coin.
Though Grissom’s specializes in gold and platinum jewelry,
our expert casters can also serve all of your silver needs.