Why don’t you sell “pure silver”?
Pure silver is very soft and jewelry made from 100% silver would be easily scratched and damaged. To that end, silver is mixed with other metals to make it stronger and more durable. Copper is the most common metal used to make the silver harder but is also what contributes to silver’s reputation for tarnishing easily. This tarnish, if properly cultivated, can lead to a beautiful antiqued patina over years of loving care.
The most common percentage of silver in a piece of jewelry is 92.5% which is the minimum requirement for silver to be called “sterling silver.” This percentage is typically written as .925 or 925 (hence our company’s name, Taxco.925). We also have many pieces that are made from 95% silver which are typically noted as .950 or 950.
What does “hallmark” mean?
Hallmarks are used as calling cards by silver artisans to identify the quality of the silver used, where a piece was made, who the silversmith was and the era/age of the piece. The purity of the silver – .925, .950, sterling, etc – is almost always included.
The “father” of the Taxco silver Renaissance, William Spratling was adamant that all pieces leaving his silver shop be hallmarked with his own artist mark as well as location and purity of his pieces. He wrote in his autobiography, “Worthwhile silver requires that it be identified with the name and reputation of its maker.” The combination of hallmark symbols are a good way of checking for authenticity for vintage pieces.
Modern hallmarks typically include an artisan’s initials and perhaps a reference to the city where the piece was made. Hallmarks take a while to learn to read and navigate. We post all hallmarks as part of our product descriptions. If you have any questions about a piece’s providence, artist or purity, please do not hesitate to contact us and ask!
Note: As some artisans moved towards selling internationally, they began just using the purity as their hallmark, hoping to broaden their marketability. Of course, we think the Mexico or Taxco hallmark makes a piece even more special!
Can I wear my Taxco silver jewelry every day?
Yes! We sell jewelry that ranges from sleek simplicity to dramatic sculptural pieces. While some of our more theatrical jewelry lends itself to special occasions, many of our pieces will add beauty and a timeless elegance to your everyday wardrobe. Silver jewelry tarnishes easily but with simple cleaning after every use, you will protect your jewelry (and skin) from any discoloration and you will find that the jewelry develops a rich patina that adds a warm and textured depth to the jewelry.
How should I clean & store my silver jewelry?
We highly recommend that you purchase a specialized polishing cloth that you use only on your silver jewelry. Not only is the silver soft and easily scratched, but many of our natural stones are also delicate and can be damaged by harsh cleaners. Gently buff away dirt and any tarnish from use. Store each piece of jewelry separate in a cool, dry place or protective bag where it is not in contact with any other jewelry that may scratch it.