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Antique Sterling Silver-Collecting & Investing

Silver coins

While everyone else is running around trying to invest in the “next big thing”, there have been a select few investment which have always stood the test of time. One of these is silver.

Prior to the fiat currency system which many governments now employ, gold and silver were used as an exchange medium for thousands of years. It’s not hard to understand why. Both gold and silver can be adapted for a wide variety of purposes. For example, silver is the highest conducting metal known. It can also be molded into jewelry and weapons. This meant that when you had a large stockpile of silver, you could actually use it for something. Then, if you needed to trade for something else of value, you could either melt the item down or trade it as it was.

Many of these items made from silver in the past we now call “silver antiques”. The word “antique” means that it was made somewhere in antiquity, or a long time ago. There are many different antique silver items you might buy. Silver tea sets, silver necklaces, silver earrings, silver bracelets, silverware, and silver weapons are just a few examples.

The great thing about buying these items is that you actually get to enjoy the item while it gains value for you. You might display the silver antique in your home or you might use your silverware utensils on special occasions with special guests.

Silver antiques gain in value for two reasons. First, it is an antique. There will always be a demand and nostalgia for artifacts that were made many years ago. If you’ve ever watched “The Antique Road Show”, then you are well aware of how expensive rare antiques can be. The second reason is that silver generally rises in value over time. With this double-whammy, silver antiques are undoubtedly one of the best investments you could possibly make.

So before you put all your money in the newest technology company that might go bankrupt tomorrow, consider one of the oldest and safest investments in the world.

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Silver antique jewellery

Silver antiques

Silver may currently be thought of as the ‘poor cousin’ of gold and platinum, especially in regards to jewelry, but that has not always been the case. In fact, antique silver jewelry is often more prized than its gold counterparts are. To fully understand the value of sliver rings, look at the history of the meta l, and its role in jewelry.

Silver is known to have been mined since 4000 B.C. and been used to make jewelry almost as long. The shape of the ring itself – an unbroken circle – is a recognized symbol of prosperity and life. The luster of the sliver is often compared to moonlight, especially as it reflects upon still waters. Because of the comparison to moonlight, silver is associated with witchcraft and paganism in early history.

Pagan priestesses often wore silver rings, frequently on multiple fingers. The circle shape of the ring mimics the cyclical nature of life itself, an important point to early Pagans. Silver jewelry was also used as a sign of class and prestige.

As years went by, jewelers began to carve designs into the rings. Customers were able to place specific requests for intricate patterns, symbols or names for their rings. This way the wearer could show affiliation to a particular group, pay homage to a deity or have a physical representation of their feelings for another person. Rings are still used this way today.

During the 1300’s gemstones became a popular addition to rings. This added another element for jewelry designers, and gave clients even more ways to personalize their jewelry. However, silver rings were not always for show.

Rings with certain carvings, and often the addition of various gemstones were thought to give the rings certain magical powers. These powers were generally thought to be talismans to protect against evil forces and negative energies. Parents would hang rings over their babies’ cribs to protect them from harm.

Some rings had different engravings, ones that were more positive. These rings were believed to enhance courage, concentration, or to help the wearer achieve their goals. Interestingly, this jewelry was often passed down from mother to daughter through the generations – even if the jewelry originated with the father. This passing of jewelry was thought to keep the magic within the ring alive for future generations.

While the magic and power may not be widely believed in now, families still pass down their jewelry through the generations. These family heirlooms now carry memories and stories with them. In their own way, these memories and stories are their own form of magic.

Victorian England had a distinct impact on jewelry design, as did the Art Nouveau and Art Deco periods. The Victorians, who believed in the idea of the more elaborate the better, introduced intricate filigree. Filigree with gemstones, or filigree by itself is highly sought after in the antique jewelry market. Art Nouveau brought elements of flora and fauna into jewelry design while geometric and industrial symbols characterize the Art Deco period. The design of the ring definitely helps to determine the age of the ring.

Silver does readily show its age. In fact, many people try to avoid silver even if they like it simply because of the fact that it tarnishes. However, it is not actually the silver that tarnishes, but really an oxidation of the impurities within the silver. For this reason, it is best to look for the purest silver when shopping for silver jewelry.

An international standard is now in effect, which has helped regulate the quality of silver available. Most silver is now marked with a “925” to indicate that it is 92.5% pure. The remaining content is often nickel, copper or zinc. This additional content helps to make the silver more durable than pure silver while maintaining the original beauty of the metal.

When shopping for an antique silver ring, look for something that truly appeals to you. Jewelry should evoke a gut reaction, one that lets you know that this is the piece for you. An antique ring means you are getting a piece of history. This history has a story attached to it. Even if you never find out the story of your ring, it creates a good starting point for your own story to begin.

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Introductory Guide To Victorian Silver Antiques

Victorian silver

An Introductory Guide About Victorian Silver Antiques

Victorian-era silver antiques are fun to collect because many manufactures produced a wide assortment of items to fit the needs and budgets of almost everyone who lived in the U.K. during that time. As a result, it is lots of fun to learn about Victorian-era silver antiques.

To get you started, here is an introductory guide about Victorian silver antiques. The first part of the guide gives readers a rough idea of what types of silver objects were produced during the Victorian Era. The second part of the guide gives readers an idea about some of the famous hallmarks that can help today’s collectors identify different pieces. Finally, the guide also gives readers an idea of what sorts of pieces make good long-term investments.

Hopefully, readers can use this guide as a springboard to start off their own quests to learn more about these fascinating pieces of British history!

The Victorian Era features many silver objects that were practical to use as well as fun to look at.
As you may know, the Victorian Era brought great social and technological changes to the United Kingdom. People can learn a lot about these changes by studying some of the silver objects that were created during this time.

With this idea in mind, here is a brief look at some of the most popular silver items that were manufactured in the U.K. during the Victorian Era:
Household objects such as mirrors, hair brushes, tea pots, punch bowls and flatware feature simple but beautiful designs.

These objects were usually made out of sterling silver or sometimes silver plate. They featured lovely patterns and ample proportions to create very simple but pretty objects that were useful. Today’s collectors can enjoy owning these items by looking for items from the Robert Wallace and Son Company, the Daniel & John Wellby Company and others.
Don’t forget to also look for other items such as silver boxes, jewelry belt buckles and other knick-knacks.

The Victorian Era also ushered in a time where manufacturers could create silver items that served as fobs. These items were fun to look at but didn’t really serve a practical purpose. Today’s collectors can have fun collecting silver items such as boxes, ornamental belt buckles, thimbles and other knick-knacks that feature richly ornate designs, free-flowing curves and a wide assortment of sizes and shapes. These items were usually made by many smaller manufacturers out of either sterling silver or silver plate.

The Victorian Era also features many hallmarks that can help collectors identify certain pieces from makers.

Hallmarks are tiny symbols that have been punched into an object made out of a precious metal. They were used to tell people where the object was made, who made it, and how much precious metal content is in the piece.

Here is a brief look at some of the most important hallmarks that most Victorian-era sterling silver pieces have on them:

The Lion Passant.
It was used to mark sterling silver objects in England during the Victorian era.

The Lion Rampant.
Lion walking on its hind legs defending itself. It was used for marking sterling silver in Scotland during the Victorian Era.

The Crowned Harp.
This symbol was used in Ireland to tell people that the object was made out of sterling silver.

Pictures were also used as hallmarks in the Victorian era to identify towns where pieces were made. For example, a Leopard’s head was punched into objects that were made in London while an anchor was punched into objects made in Birmingham. Furthermore, objects made in Edinburgh typically had a picture of a castle stamped into them. There are other pictures for other cities. These hallmarks can be looked up online or in books that are devoted to the subject.

Finally most Victorian-era hallmarks include a lettering system to date pieces. Victorian-style letter hallmarks will feature capital letters from the Roman alphabet and feature slightly different sized letters and different curvature to the letters. An easy way to remember the order that these letters appear is to remember that later Victorian-era pieces have larger date hallmarks than earlier pieces.

The best Victorian-era silver antiques to invest in are pieces made out of sterling silver in top condition. This is true because they appeal to many more collectors than silver-plated pieces or pieces that have scratches or dings on them. This is especially true for jewelry items and for household items such as tea sets and flatware because small scratches tend to make these pieces look unattractive to most buyers. As a result, try to find and purchase only top-quality Victorian-era silver antiques that are made out of sterling silver for investment purposes. These items will always be in demand by savvy collectors who appreciate the beauty and rarity of these pieces. They might be a bit more costly than run-of -the mill silver plate pieces but their long-term investment value makes them a better choice for collectors who want to invest in items that look wonderful and have an interesting history attached to them.