The soul-nourishing aspect of travel might drive my travel bucket list, but the practical matter of sourcing materials for Jada Jo brings me back to certain places. While I'm always open to finding treasures in new locales, I consistently find certain gemstones and materials in tried and true locations. Sterling silver plays a role in many of the pieces I craft for Jada Jo jewelry.
Understanding sterling silver
Pure silver contains 99.9% silver, which looks lovely but is extremely soft. Jewelry crafted from pure silver bends and loses shape quickly, which renders your beautiful pieces useless soon after you begin to wear them.
Pure silver and sterling silver are both beautiful materials, but sterling silver makes a much better jewelry material. Sterling silver, on the other hand, is an alloy, which means it combines pure silver with another metal (usually copper or zinc). The best sterling silver is 9.25 silver, meaning the alloy contains 92.5% silver and 7.5% another metal. To confirm you're purchasing this quality of sterling silver, look for a 925 stamp on the metal.
Where to find high quality sterling silver
To this day I think Taxco, Mexico is the best place to buy sterling silver. Often called Mexico's Silver Capital, the city has a long history with silver. At one time, the people living around Taxco used silver to pay tribute to their Aztec gods. In the 1700's, Don Jose de la Borda came to the area, made a lot of money from mining silver, and commissioned the baroque Santa Prisca Church in Taxco.
William Spratling brought new life to the silver industry in Taxco, when he opened a silver workshop featuring silver designs inspired by pre-Hispanic art. Now, artisans sell their pieces in Taxco, and you can also purchase sterling silver to craft into your own designs.
Another benefit of sourcing silver from Taxco
An added benefit of Taxco is how super charming it is. Though you can easily visit the city as a day trip from Mexico city, spending time there will showcase the quieter moments Taxco offers. Visit the small cafes and bars and stay at least one night to truly experience the city.
Do you like purchasing jewelry during your travels?