Why Designer Sterling Silver Jewelry is So Much In Demand
Some of the lesser know branded sterling silver ring designers range in the hundreds. In the last few years since the price of gold has skyrocketed past the $800 an ounce mark, silver has become the new medium for aspiring designers and so designers have taken to the metal in droves propelling the silver jewelry market forward with design innovation and creation. Surface design treatments like antiquing, hammering and granulation can now be found on silver jewelry since it now occupies a higher price point when coming from a well known designer.
Sterling silver is an easy metal to start out with if you’re a designer. It’s easy to cast, file and polish and set with stones. In addition, it is often combined with yellow gold in small amounts because the contrast of the two metals in one piece gives depth to a sterling silver ring. Frequent combinations of sterling silver with the saturated metallic yellow of 18k gold can be found across most major jewelry designer collections because it is a look that adds dimension to sterling silver rings without adding too much in the way of cost as far as the manufacturing is concerned. If you look at some of John Hardy’s sterling silver jewelry that includes 18k gold you will notice that the gold does not run through the piece but is merely a surface application that is too thick to be simply called plating. It is more akin to rolled gold or what is commonly termed as “gold filled” or “gold capped”.
Yet Sterling silver designers are aware that the slightest speckle of pure gold on their silver designs immediately raises the perceived value of the silver piece in a customer’s eyes, especially if it is well executed. This allows then to charge more for the piece, especially if the sterling silver has some high design features like the strategic use of antiquing to impart some classicism to the sterling silver ring or a hammered surface texture that gives the feeling that a skilled jeweler has labor intensively hammered away at your piece to give it the distinctive look. Designers are even turning out the ever popular right hand ring in sterling silver mounted with diamonds.