Peruvian Silver Jewelry is Among the World’s Finest Artisan Jewelry

Why does Peruvian silver jewelry rank among some of the finest artisan jewelry in the world? One reason is that the silver in Peruvian jewelry is high in quality. It is always sterling silver, which is defined as containing a minimum of 92.5% pure silver. But Peruvian silversmiths move one step beyond this 92.5% minimum standard, using 95% pure silver in their handcrafted jewelry. Too soft to hold up on its own, silver jewelry is always strengthened with other, harder metals, such as nickel or copper, thus the small percentage that is not silver.

Unlike the jewelry that is ubiquitously available in local malls and department stores, handcrafted silver jewelry from Peru is fashioned by artisans whose families have been creating it for generation upon generation. Their traditions stretch back into the mists of time — in some cases back even to the ancient, aristocratic Moche and Inca Civilizations. Over the centuries, these age-old techniques have been lovingly passed from parent to child.

However, Peruvian silver jewelry is not always confined by tradition. Many Peruvian artisans are so talented they’re able to combine tradition with modern, bold and dynamic designs. The result is innovative jewelry often more vibrant than that found elsewhere.

Their deep appreciation for exotic, native materials is another reason Peruvian artisanss are able to create some of the world’s finest silver jewelry. For example, the striking, red jungle seeds called “huayruro” are the centerpiece of some of today’s most captivating Peruvian silver jewelry. In conjunction with their handsome, hand-crafted settings, these densely-red, dried seeds — either singly or in clusters — make bracelets, necklaces and earrings of electrifying beauty.

Another exotic native material often used in Peruvian silver jewelry is the spondylus shell, highly prized for generations — all the way back, in fact, to the ancient Moche Civilization of the 1st to 8th centuries AD. In the past, Moche kings, queens and other royalty were buried with large quantities of these highly-prized shells. And archaeologists have uncovered, not from one, but from several ancient pre-Columbian civilizations in Peru, enormous quantities of beads made of spondylus shell. Today, set in rich, hand-crafted sterling-silver settings, this time-honored material makes for some exquisitely enchanting and captivating organic jewelry.

From deep in central Peru, in the valley of Huancayo, comes another exotic Peruvian material. For at least 4000 years, Huancayo fathers have handed down to their sons a special technique of carving on dried Peruvian gourd. Today this ancient technique is still being practiced in the Huancayo valley, and placed into modern sterling-silver settings, these one-of-a-kind miniature works of art provide stunning jewelry that will turn heads wherever it’s worn.

Completely apart from the aesthetic reasons for finding Peru’s artisan jewelry attractive, this handcrafted jewelry is becoming a hot fashion item to the modern American woman because of her desire to spend her money wisely. Peruvian silver jewelry is produced by artisans struggling for economic independence in a third-world country undergoing rapid change. So purchasing their wares gives socially conscious buyers a chance to help these hard-working Peruvians become economically self sufficient: an example of the sought out win-win situation that is most appealing to savvy women shoppers. This is a bargain and luxury purchase at the same time with buyers walking away with some of the highest-quality, most time-honored, and most exotic silver jewelry being made in the world today.