American Silver Jewelry: An Affordable Collectible

Many people remember that fantastic Cartier necklace on view years ago at an auction, gallery or antique show. Far fewer are fortunate enough to have the taste and means to afford it. However, discerning collectors with an eye for beauty and a limited pocketbook needn't despair. There is an alternative. Silver jewelry offers a design aesthetic at an affordable price point. It also draws less attention than gold from would-be thieves. In fact, armed with determination and some knowledge, you can find remarkable examples of signed American silver jewelry from the late 19th century and earlier in the 20th, often priced under $1,000. In the following paragraphs, I will illustrate this idea with a few selected examples. Silver growth: Silver jewelry became a large industry in the 1880s and 1890s in response to growing demand for wearable, affordable jewelry. Several manufacturers offere

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