What Is Mexican Silver?

Silver has been a prized element for centuries.
••• Image by Fotolia.com, courtesy of Liz Van Steenburgh

Silver is the same no matter where in the world it comes from. As a leading producer and with a long history of silversmiths, Mexico is most well known for this metal.

Definition

Silver is a metallic element. Its chemical symbol is Ag, and its atomic number is 47. It has been prized as a valuable metal since ancient times. Silver is rather soft, and like gold, is malleable.

Mexico

Mexico is one of the world’s leading producers of silver, so people often associate the metal with this country. Taxco is Mexico’s city most linked to fine silver jewelry and objects. In the 1700s, rich silver deposits were discovered here. Today, travelers from around the world visit Taxco for silver purchases.

Purity

Although standards vary, most Mexican silver is .925 (92.5 percent) pure. Purity ranges from .925 to .999 and is often stamped as such. It may say, “silver made in Mexico” or “Mexico silver.” Some Mexican silver features an eagle stamped into it with a number designating where in the country it originated.

Uses

Silver has been used for centuries for jewelry and other decorative items. Utensils made from this metal gave us the name “silverware.” It has also been used as currency around the world. More recently, silver has been used as an electrical conductor in various industries.

Sterling Silver

Sterling silver is silver combined with another metal, usually copper. In order to carry the “sterling” designation, the alloy must contain 92.5 percent silver.