Silver is one of nature’s noble metals and one of the first metals to be widely used in ancient times. It is often associated with its historical use as a form of currency and as a general sign of wealth, particularly in the last few centuries. In fact, the widespread use of silver vessels and utensils by wealthy families gave rise to the term “blue bloods” as these families’ long term, high level ingestion of silver, along with limited exposure to sunlight, was thought to have led to their bluish-grey skin colour.
But even before these aristocratic associations, its lustrous sheen and silken feel gave it a godly, almost other worldly status. Many ancient cultures linked silver to healing, immortality and protection. In Ancient Egypt it was connected to the powerful goddess, Isis, and her magical abilities to protect and heal. In Ancient Greece it was connected to Artemis, who hunted with a silver bow and arrow and protected the vulnerable with her qualities of creativity, flexibility and intelligence. While in the Golden Triangle, tribespeople from Thailand, Burma and Laos believe silver offers protection against illness and misfortune by preventing the soul from leaving the body. For this reason, bangles and necklaces are placed on children at birth and upgraded over life. Their belief in the protection is so paramount, that they won’t even take off their silver jewellery in hospital.
Historically, silver's medicinal properties also gave it a slightly magical status. Almost unbelievably it has been used extensively in medicine for over six millennia to prevent microbial infections. In fact, silver has been credited as the original antibiotic and even today is used today in the form of silver nitrate to help heal wounds. Slightly more unorthodox use of silver was made in the 1600s when alchemists connected it to the brain and the moon, giving rise to the notion of the “lunatic”. Most radically, it was used in the treatment of epilepsy after a patient accidentally swallowed a coin and his seizures stopped. Needless to say this practice doesn't continue today!
Money, mysticism and medicine aside, silver is a beautiful material for modern jewellery which is why Brave Edith specialises in solid sterling silver and gold vermeil jewellery. Sterling silver is a combination of a minimum of 92.5% pure silver and a small proportion of zinc, copper or palladium. These latter metals are added to improve the hardness of the silver for durability purposes. Gold vermeil jewellery is the highest grade of gold-plated sterling silver. All Brave Edith gold vermeil items are plated with an extra thick hard layer of 2.5 microns, 14 carat gold enabling our plating to last longer. Additionally, the quality of all Brave Edith sterling silver and gold vermeil jewellery is guaranteed by the mark ‘925’.
It’s clear COVID-19 is not going away anytime soon, so the more we learn to live with it, the better. We are all getting used to keeping our distance and washing our hands regularly, however one thing that isn’t often talked about is keeping your jewellery clean.
Jewellery that is worn every day is wonderful for harbouring bacteria in its nooks and crannies. The good news is diamonds and precious metals are quite resilient and with the right attention to detail, are very easy to clean. Here are some tips on how to clean some of the most common everyday gold and silver jewellery.
When it comes to making a fashion statement, you should always dress in a way that makes you feel fantastic. It's also lovely to get compliments on how wonderful YOU look rather than on just the pieces you are wearing.
So how do you choose items that bring out your best features? When it comes to statement earrings, the best way to create an impact is to ensure that you choose earring styles that suit your face shape and features. Find out your face type and tips on earring styles to complement you.
Why choose precious metals? Many of us wear our favourite jewellery day in, day out. This means that it needs to be constructed of materials that will stand the test of time and will be comfortable to wear. Silver and gold are particularly prized for their durability as well as their hypoallergenic properties. While jewellery made from base metals such as brass may be cheaper, these metals are less durable and much more likely to create an allergy. That's why it's important to look out for hallmarks, or metal "fineness" or "quality" marks when buying jewellery.