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Is Silver the new Gold?

Gold has traditionally been associated with wealth, power and status but it is expensive and over recent years the price has increased. Silver has frequently been viewed as a cheaper precious metal and not quite as "special" as gold but recently it has experienced an increase in popularity and sales of silver have increased with silver prices rising by about 11% so far in 2023, so is silver the new gold?

Both gold and silver are precious metals and they are both loved by people around the world. The choice between silver or gold is based on many things such as a persons skin tone, clothing and budget. For me, I wear silver as I feel it suits me better than gold.

Why is silver cheaper?

Silver used to be used as a bartering item and in the first Egyptian Dynasty the Menes Code established that one part of gold is is equal to two and one half parts of silver in value. The Roman Empire later set this ratio to 12:1 so gold has always been seen to be more valuable. This is generally to do with the rarity of gold vs silver.

Estimates from the World Gold Council say that more than 1.9 million tons of silver has been mined throughout history, against only slightly more than 215,000 tons of gold. Moreover, experts estimate more than 580,000 tons of silver ore still untouched on the crust of the Earth, while only a tenth of that remains of gold. Because a greater supply exists, that translates to the difference in price between the two metals.

The other contributing factor to silver being cheaper is simply down to a matter of perspective. Societies value silver less than gold and quite simply it has always been viewed as a cheaper commodity.

Sadly, though, there is not an endless supply of silver. Silver is not only used in jewelery but also in items such as microchips and microwaves, batteries and solar panels. Silver mines are struggling to keep up with demand but it turns out that a horrifying amount of silver is actually ending up in landfill.

This is where recycled silver comes in. Recycled silver is silver that has previously been used, this could be in jewellery or in tech such as phones or cameras. Currently only 18% of the world silver is recycled. Mining silver is still a thing to obtain new silver to enter into circulation but this process releases a lot of carbon dioxide and is damaging to the environment.

Recycled silver is still classified as sterling silver (925) or fine silver (999). Sterling silver is 92.5% silver with 7.5% alloy usually copper. Fine silver is 99.9% silver. Sterling is usually preferred as it is harder and more durable than fine silver. The benefits of using recycled silver are as follows:

1) durability

2) reduction in CO2 emissions

3) less negative impact on the planet

4) reduce waste

5) high quality

All of my silver is recycled silver. This includes the silver metal clay I used as this is obtained from the waste products of various industries and made into the clay. Silver metal clay in hallmarkable 99.9% fine silver once fired. All of my silver wire and sheet silver comes from Cooksongold and information on their recycled range can be found here:

Silver, therefore, need not be viewed as the "poor relative" to gold but as a beautiful alternative to gold or other options such as white gold or platinum. Don't think that you are buying cheap when you are buying silver. When you buy from me you are helping a little to protect our planet and to wear a very affordable, beautiful piece of jewellery that will last for a very long time.

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