First of all, we must let you know that Mexico is the largest silver producer in the world.
Origin and History
It has always had great significance for Mexican cultures, specifically for Mixtec culture, as they made many handicrafts and jewelry made of silver. Silver was extremely valuable and significant to them, as it was believed that the white color and authentic brightness, was extension of the moon as well as gold an extension of the sun. So one of the most commonly used techniques by these groups was the combination of gold and silver. Because of this, they were melted at high temperatures, thus merging and creating a much deeper meaning, joining the sun and the moon in one piece.
The Olmecas and Toltecas had mines for extracte these metals and use them for goldsmithing.
What is goldsmithing?
Goldsmithing is the art and technique of making artistic objects with gold, silver or other precious metals.
“In the past giving money used to be a gift of great value and meaning”, i think still now… What do you think ?
Silver in the Conquest of Mexico
The Spaniards, recognizing the value of silver, and after Moctezuma gave them valuable gifts, ordered a thorough search of mines in Mexico in order to export the beautiful metal. The search was heavy because the mines were in places that were not yet conquered.
In the mid-15th century they were able to find silver mines in the states of Jalisco, Nayarit, Colima, Zumpango, Zacatecas, Aguascalientes and San Luis Potosí. It should also be noted that the findings in Guerrero were surprising as the mines were very abundant.
Subsequently the value of silver passed to that of a currency called “real”, if so, in the future it would become the main material with which coins were manufactured in the country.
From 1542, silver began to be worked with indigenous techniques and Spanish goldsmith methods to work silver with a practical and Christian utility.
By this time, silver was exploited and shipped to Spain and Europe, this is how I gain a lot of popularity and recognition, however, this popularity was declining as new mines were discovered.
It was in 1716 that Taxco became popular again when “Don José de la Borda”, discovered a new silver mine in the mountains, this helped the local economy to strengthen.This also made Don José a very rich man, and a form of thanks to his lands, he decided to improve the streets, build houses schools in addition to ordering the construction of the Cathedral of Santa Prisca, which is adorned with elements of silver Baroque style.Later during The Independence of Mexico, the silver mines suffered loss and destruction by the Spanish.
Later during The Independence of Mexico, the silver mines suffered loss and destruction by the Spanish.
In 1926, William Spratling arrived in Taxco to conduct research on Mexico and its cultures, in 1929 William met with the ambassador to talk to him about Taxco’s cultural richness and how despite being a silver-rich area, craftsmanship was not being recognized.William decided to support the artisans, which would mean a complete change in Taxco’s history, as it would improve its production and economy.
William, in support of different local artisans, inaugurated “The Workshop of Delights” in order to design silver and preserve the value of goldsmithing.Currently in his memory there is a bust of William in the Silver Museum of Taxco, and he is recognized as “The Father of Silver”.
Taxco Jewelry is currently famous for the high artistic value of its silver jewellery, not only nationally but also worldwide.Thanks to its meticulous craftsmanship. The silver you find in Taxco, has a wealth that you hardly find in other countries, since it is purer than normal, contains 925 grams of silver per kg.
National Silver Fair in Guerrero.
This silver fair takes place in the last week of November.For more than 70 years there has been a party where local artisans gather and where the most important workshops offer products to tourists.
National Platería Competition.
Another of the activities within the National Silver Fair, is the competition where the main workshops, exhibit their works and seek to promote tourism to the city in addition to promoting taxa culture and art.