We Love Contemporary Silver Jewellery
Contemporary jewellery is difficult to define, as the term relates to an art movement and as with all art, it is subjective about what is defined as contemporary and what is not. Contemporary silver jewellery is the use of silver, whether that be silver plated or 925 sterling silver, to create a piece of wearable art.
The definition of contemporary is a creative piece that needs to meet the needs of consumers and be wearable, in this respect jewellery fits the definition. To be contemporary a piece is a creative offspring of a long-standing craft-based activity, such as the historical jewellery making of yesteryear.
These creations echo the past, yet modernised and redefined for the new audience of today.
Our contemporary jewellery
Contemporary jewellery pieces can and will vary greatly in their aesthetics, each piece looking quite different from the other and crafted from a range of different materials, not sterling silver only.
I would suggest, for instance, that our adjustable sterling silver cuff ring shown below, is contemporary silver jewellery. This piece combines classic ring making with a contemporary need for an item that is near guaranteed to fit the buyer after it arrives in the post, given that they were not able to try it on before buying it.
We find that our adjustable jewellery pieces sell well, because those who buy jewellery on the Internet, seek to acquire something that they feel reasonably sure will not need returning. They want online shopping to be a quick and easy process and ideally free from the need to return the item, and an adjustable piece near guarantees this.
Handmade Silver Jewellery
All of the jewellery at Taylor Two is handmade, but what does it mean when we say handmade jewellery? Handmade jewellery is the process of creating jewellery that has been created or assembled by hand and not by machine.
Now this can cover a broad spectrum of jewellery. For instance if you purchased sterling silver charms that were machine-made and strung them together with some machine-made chain you purchased, this would define them as 'handmade'.
In the case of the jewellery you see at Taylor Two, the only items that are not handmade fully are the chains that our pendants are strung from. These are machine-made chains that we buy from a reputable sterling silver source.
Aside from the chains, all charms, pendants (strung from chains), and rings are formed fully and entirely by hand using cutters, hammers, sanding appliances, soldering processes and a heap of scraped up fingers.
Throughout history people have used handmade jewellery to adorn their bodies, as far back as 5,000 years using shells and bones as rudimentary materials. In Egypt and other countries, jewellery steadily becoming a way of displaying wealth and status.
Nowadays we use a wide range of materials to create jewellery pieces from, indeed many of them contemporary silver jewellery creations. Other materials that have been in use for centuries and still in use today, include copper, gemstones, gold, and pearls. More recently modern handmade jewellery materials also include the use of concrete and plastic resins.
Mass produced jewellery
Jewellery quality has slowly eroded since the era of mass machine produced jewellery became popular, as a machine can't pay attention to the fine detail of a creative piece in the way a human can.
Despite the growth in popularity of low-cost machine-made jewellery, handmade jewellery is still in existence today. There are many artisans creating and selling hand crafted pieces, including Taylor Two!
Though handmade jewellery can sometimes cost more than something speedily made by a machine, the difference isn't always significant, and value for money is far greater.
Another benefit of handmade jewellery buying, is that you are buying from individuals and small companies. This typically means you benefit from individual customer attention.
Materials used in precious contemporary silver jewellery
The majority of the jewellery handmade at Taylor Two is precious jewellery because most of our pieces use precious metals. In our case we use sterling silver a lot, sometimes combined with copper.
The word precious in jewellery terms, means rare, and the metals deemed precious are silver, gold, and platinum. Metals viewed as noble and not precious are nickel, brass and copper.
There are different types of silver a jeweller can work with, and those include sterling silver (92.5% pure silver), fine silver (0.999 pure silver), and silver plated. Other types are Argentium silver.
Rather like silver, Gold is typically yellow toned (though white gold also exists) and available in different purity levels, and as gold plated. Plating with silver and gold is where a thin layer of the rare metal sits on top of a less rare base metal such as copper for instance.
Platinum is a corrosion resistant metal, nearly 15 times rarer than gold and widely used in the jewellery industry. It's durable nature combined with its rarity no doubt contributes to its higher value compared to gold.
Nickel has been used to make coins for thousands of years, and is like a cross between copper and iron, indeed it sits between them on the periodic table. While nickel is sometimes used in jewellery, it's less popular than other metals as it can cause allergies in many.
Brass, which combines zinc and copper, often looks like gold, either reddish or silvery. The more copper it has the more reddish its appearance, and with more zinc it seems more silvery. Popular for use in creating musical instruments due to its acoustic properties, this corrosion resistant material is sometimes used in jewellery also.
Very often used in jewellery, copper isn't a precious metal, instead it is a noble metal. Sadly highly subject to corroding through oxidation in air. Copper is beautiful and one of the most recycled metals in the world today, and hence eco-friendly too.
Visit our online jewellery shop to view our collections of silver, copper and gemstone jewellery and enjoy free delivery on most items.