Sterling Silver Information

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Thai Hill Tribe Silver

Hill Tribe Silver, known world wide for its high quality and delicate designs, comes from Northern Thailand.  The "Hill Tribes" in this region have been practicing their silver crafts for centuries.  This area is often referred to as the Gold Triangle, as it is situated near the borders of three nations (Thailand, Laos and Myanmar).

There are six distinct Hill Tribes, each with its own style of dress, unique cultural practices, and jewelry designs. The Tribes are known in their native land as the Karen, Mien, Hmong, Akha, Lahu, and the Lisu tribes.  The silver jewelry and beads of the Karen tribe are perhaps best known.  For this reason, "Hill Tribe" and "Karen Hill Tribe" are often used interchangeably, although doing so is inaccurate.

Silver is such an important part of the cultures of the hill tribes that it is often used in lieu of paper money. The peoples here also wear silver jewelry extensively for cultural and religious purposes, but also to convey to others their status in the community.

Hill Tribe silver is usually 95-99.9% silver, in contrast with sterling, which is 92.5% silver.  As such, if often satisfies the standard of "fine silver."  This high silver content is necessary, for the silversmiths form their pieces from hammered sheets of silver and wire.  Doing so requires a level of metal malleability that the sterling alloy, with its higher copper content (7.5%) cannot achieve. 

Each Hill Tribe silver jewelry piece, being handcrafted, is unique.



Index Of Articles

"Silver 101"
"Sources of Silver"

"Sterling Silver Defined'"
"Silver Standards"

"Silver Marks and Hallmarks"

"Silver Testing Kits"

"The Silversmith"
"Silver Coins"

Plating & Treatments

"Silver Plated Jewelry"
"Gold Vermeil Jewelry"
"Rhodium Plated Sterling"
"Antiqued Silver"

Fake Silver Jewelry

"Alpaca Silver Jewelry"
"German Silver Jewelry"

Silver Jewelry Styles

"Bali Silver"
"Indian Silver"
"Thai Hill Tribe Silver"
"Tibetan Silver"
"Turkish Silver"

Silver Allergies

"Silver/Nickel Sensitivities"
"Hypoallergenic Jewelry"

Recent Developments

"Argentium® Sterling Silver"

"Silver PMC®"

"The Origins of Tarnish"

"Tarnish Removal"

"Firescale (Firestain)"

"Proper Silver Storage"

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