What is Taxco Silver? Why is Taxco Silver so special? Where is Taxco silver mined?
You might be asking lots of questions about Taxco Silver; wondering what makes this silver so special, and highly desired today. After all silver is silver, isn’t it?
About 100 miles south of Mexico City, is a quaint charming town, with winding, cobblestone streets, known as Taxco, Mexico.
Today, Taxco Mexico is a tourist attraction, visited by many worldwide travelers, and its main attraction is silver. Some of the most exceptional silver jewelry pieces in the world can be found in Taxco, Mexico. There isn’t another place in the world, that has the weight of silver in jewelry like Taxco silver.
The earliest mining of silver in Taxco, Mexico happened before 1500. The Aztecs decorated the Gods in silver. One of the most well-known Aztec emperors, Montezuma, was embellished in silver jewelry.
Silver had a plethora of applications. It was used in ceremonies, and rites of passage. It decorated statutes and buildings, and It adorned the body.
While some view decorating the body with precious metals, a relatively modern custom dating back a hundred years or so, the practice actually dates back to ancient times.
A review of early Mexican art shows piercings in ears, noses, and other body parts. Many of these piercings were decorated with silver, and this silver was from Taxco Mexico.
Between 1500 and 1700, silver mining in Taxco waned. There were more popular places in the world to mine silver.
That changed dramatically in 1717, when two brothers from France, rediscovered silver in Taxco Mexico. Their mining exploration and discovery created a jumpstart in the local economy, and silver in Taxco became popular once again.
Turquoise, Obsidian, and Jade were integrated into statutes and carvings, and jewelry pieces, and were natural gemstones to blend with silversmithing.
In the 1920’s, William Spratling, an architect from New York, decided to retire in Taxco Mexico.
Spratling had been fascinated with pre-Columbian and Aztec works of art.
Inspired by these artworks, and his knowledge of art deco, Spratling merged both styles and created a new innovative style of silversmithing jewelry. He is considered one of the most influential designers of jewelry in Taxco, Mexico. He figured out how to integrate the old with the new in jewelry design.
Find one of his signed Taxco Silver pieces and you not only have a one-of-a-kind, finely crafted piece of jewelry, but you also have a collectible piece that will bring a hefty price. William Spratling signed necklaces, runs into the thousands of dollars. Remember this is sterling silver, not 14k gold. So much of jewelry price is based not only on the amount of silver, but on the design and craftsmanship of the piece.
Over the next three decades, many artists from the United States relocated to Taxco Mexico and set up shop. Some trained local artisans in their models integrating stones and metals into fine works of the art design.
Artists and Taxco Silver
Artists like Margo De Taxco, Castillo, Gomez, and Pineda created some masterpiece models using silver and black onyx, opal, turquoise into their jewelry pieces. They crafted animals, floral, designs from ancient days with the modern use of gemstones. These signed pieces of jewelry are rare finds.
Taxco silver is exceptional in quality not only because of its beauty, but because most of it is heavyweight. Its highly unusual to find a piece of silver from Taxco Mexico, that is skimpy on the weight. One reason that Taxco stands out, is because it is very good quality. When you purchase Taxco silver, you are buying quality craftsmanship, exquisite artistry, and a unique blend of old mixed with new, in a solid, one-of-a-kind, piece of jewelry.
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