Actually, I’m going to talk about gold, too. But, my goodness, all I had to do was say the word “silver,” and everyone had a jewelry orgasm on the spot, now didn’t you? I think you’re better than that.
OK. I hear you. Do you have any idea how many hits that last post had, and for heaven’s sake it was just called “Silver?” It had more hits than the “Cat Sex” post, and that is quite an accomplishment. So the blogosphere likes silver. I’m going to wait a while and then put up a post called “gold” just to see how the two compare, and I will be very disappointed in you if gold does not at least tie cat sex.
Why? Why this love of silver? Not to malign silver, but did you not notice that silver is gold’s bastard sibling? Gold is the cousin who grows up to be the nicest of the bunch, the extended family member who didn’t get noticed growing up because the grandparents favored another child, someone showier. But the favorite grandchild was, in reality, a bit of an early bloomer and a slut and has come to nothing in the end. And all the other cousins could have told you this was going to happen, because we all knew. We had to share a room with her at family holidays and, oh boy, the stories would have curled your toes. Gold is not that cousin. Gold is the other one, who’s just a really nice girl who was under the family’s radar, and has grown up to be gorgeous and awesome and nice. Not that the flashy grandchild was a bad person. She was just not all that and a bag of chips. Gold is all that and a bag of chips.
Gold has fallen out of American favor, and I think it is because we have become such a casual nation. We don’t Dress the way we used to. Dress with a capital D. Much of the rest of the world has become less formal in their dress, too, but in a relaxed way, not necessarily a casual way. It’s different. Americans are casual, and for the most part gold is not. When you say “gold jewelry,” the images which come to mind are of department store jewelry. Generically structured, mass-produced, can’t tell-one-piece from another, hasn’t-changed-since-the-eighties jewelry.
But take gold and put it into the casual, artisan designs we have come to associate with silver, and you have something really beautiful. Relaxed, but with a depth and warmth that silver can’t provide. The kind of thing you might not see worn with jeans and sneakers, but which you’d see on a woman dressed just one step up from that: relaxed chic. When we work gold into those kinds of handmade jewelry designs, we rediscover why wars have been fought for this metal, why it was considered a thing of the Gods.
And price has a lot to do with it, doesn’t it? The casual silver designs which have worked their way into our wardrobes tend to be bigger, and to duplicate the size and weight of those pieces in gold would make the piece prohibitively expensive. But there are other options, and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. The goldsmith can go thinner, and heat treat that thinner piece to add strength. It will still be more expensive than the silver, but it will be in the range of affordable.
And now, my ducklings, I’m going to get off my high-horse and get back in my studio, where I have begun to build a tentative friendship with silver. I’ll post photos in a few hours.