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 objects of beauty and value.
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 “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.
was born and raised in Italy, and grew up with its rich heritage of art and design.
Toronto became her new home when Laura’s family moved there when she was in her early teens. She studied painting and sculpture at the Ontario College of Art and Design, and later discovered she could combine her love of three-dimensional design with her love of color by creating jewelry. Laura’s inspiration extends from the symbolism and purity of art by ancient civilizations, to the harmony of forms found in nature.