Silver is an ancient metal, with a varied and illustrious past. The elemental symbol is Ag, from the Latin word ‘Argentum’ – meaning white or shining. Discovered sometime around 4000 BCE, silver was first mined in order to make ornamental objects.
In the 11th and 12th century, in what we now call the British Isles, silver pennies were printed with a small star. A penny like this was called a steorling (most likely pronounced like “sterling”) in Old English, meaning “coin with star.” These steorlings were made up of 92.5% pure silver, with an alloy of 7.5% copper, just like sterling silver today.
Silver pennies weren’t always sterling, though; Henry II of England established this standard because those inclined to dishonesty would trim the edges of the softer pure silver pennies and keep the small pieces for later. Sterling silver, still a beautiful precious metal, was slightly more durable and discouraged this shifty habit.
Sterling is no longer used to make coins, but many recognized the advantage of a precious metal that was both beautiful and durable: two traits that are ideal in a favorite piece of jewelry.
Jivita Harris Casey
was born in Dordrecht, Holland, but now lives in California with her family. "I love to travel as often as I can, but I must say California is really my favorite place. The sea air and water really have a hold on me!" Jivita's home studio opens onto a garden filled with native plants, her cat, a desert tortoise, and a ton of hummingbirds. She likes to work surrounded by her music (which ranges from all kinds of rock to jazz, world music, and electronic dance music), her favorite books, trinkets collected during her travels, and her metalsmithing tools.
Jivita has always loved jewelry for what it can reveal about the wearer. She was introduced to metal smithing at California State University Long Beach, when someone suggested she take a jewelry class. "It was as if bells started ringing, everything became obvious and clear. I finally found my passion!" Jivita enjoys working with texture and patina, finding ways to emphasize the raw shape and feel of the metal. The ideas she conveys with her jewelry are earthy and evocative but allow for plenty of interpretation.
- oxidized 925 sterling silver hoop earrings with silver euro clasp
- 1.7" in diameter
- TLC for your oxidized sterling silver jewelry