Category Archives: Silver Jewellery

Caoba Goes to Mexico

A very pink house

A very pink house

The start of a chilly Edinburgh spring was time for one of our regular buying trips to Mexico. March is a great month for visiting Mexico City; the rainy months haven’t yet kicked in and the day times are warm and sunny. We were there to work, but it doesn’t hurt to have a spot of decent weather!

We caught up with old friends, stocked up on our favourite products from several of our family-run suppliers and found some spectacular new ceramics and jewellery from some amazing, talented artisans.

A margarita or two...

A margarita or two…

We also tried a margarita or two. For research purposes only.

Pachycereus Marginatus. Aka Mexican fence Posts

Pachycereus Marginatus. Mexican fence posts are very green

We’ll have to wait a few months before the main stock arrives by sea from Mexico, but the floral jewellery is already in the Edinburgh shop.

Real flower pendants, set in resin with silver

Real flower pendants, set in resin with silver

A Frida pendant, with real flowers

A Frida pendant, with real flowers

Hand decorating a plate

Hand decorating a plate

In the studio

In the studio

Work in Progress

Work in Progress

Ceramic Sugar Skulls

Brightly decorated ceramic Sugar Skulls

Terracotta lamps

Terracotta lamps. Pierced to let light shine through

A faithful Pre hispanic reproduction statue

A Pre hispanic style statue

Hand painted tiles

Hand painted tiles

A Little Bit about our Mexican Silver

Mexican silver rings

Mexican silver rings

One of the fun tasks in the Caoba shop is polishing the Mexican silver jewellery.  The silver seems to buff up extra sparkly and it gives me a chance to try on all the rings.  The additional sparkle comes from the slightly higher-than-normal silver content.  While sterling silver must by law contain a minimum of 92.5% silver, Mexican silver is usually around 95% pure.  As a guarantee of the high quality we get all our Mexican silver items weighing over 7 grams assayed and stamped .925 at the Edinburgh Assay Office.

Mexico is one of the world’s largest silver producers, with silver being commercially mined in the country for the last 500 years.  In the twentieth century an American architect, William Spratling settled in Mexico and began designing and selling homewares and jewellery made from locally sourced metals. He worked with local goldsmiths and artisans to spawn a regional industry that continues to the present day,  boosting the local economies and encouraging the valuable tourist trade.

Mexican silversmiths at work

Mexican silversmiths at work

A highlight of our regular trips to Mexico are the visits to these workshops and selecting the bracelets, bangles, earrings and necklaces to bring back to Edinburgh. These are handmade pieces, with no one item identical to another, making much of our  range hard to find elsewhere in the UK.