From Turkey and Armenia silver refining technology spread to the rest of Asia Minor and Europe. Silver “treasures” recovered by archaeologists from the second and third millenniums demonstrate the high value the ancient Mediterranean and Near East placed upon silver. In surviving inventories of valuables, items of silver were listed above those of gold during the Old Kingdom.
Some of the richest burials in history uncovered by archaeologists have been from this time frame, that of Queen Puabi of Ur, Sumeria (26th century B. Jewelry made of silver was almost always thinner than gold pieces, as indicated by the bracelets of the 4th Dynasty (about 2,500 B.
C.), contained fine silver items which were actually produced in Crete, by the ancient Minoans. Greek Athenians began producing silver from the Laurium mines, and would supply much of the ancient Mediterranean world with its silver for almost 1,000 years.
When the price of silver finally did fall due to more readily available supplies, for at least another thousand years (through at least the 19th dynasty, about 1,200 B. This ancient source was eventually supplemented around 800 B. (and then eventually supplanted) by the massive silver mines found in Spain by the Phoenicians and their colony (and ultimate successors) the Carthaginians (operated in part by Hannibal’s family).
Silver coinage played a significant role in the ancient world.
Macedonia’s coinage during the reign of Philip II (359-336 B.
Accurate dating of ancient rings is more difficult than dating coins, which often can be attributed to an exact year, and sometimes even the city in which it was minted.
Dating rings must take into account the shape and style, the inscription or symbols contained on it, and the environment in which it was found. So see below how to date antique jewelry and antiquities.
After gold, silver is the metal most widely used in jewelry and the most malleable.
These coins were used for most daily transactions by administrators and traders throughout the empire.
Roman silver coins also served as an important means of political propaganda, extolling the virtues of Rome and her emperors, and continued in the Greek tradition of realistic portraiture.
Although known during the Copper Age, silver made only rare appearances in jewelry before the classical age.
Despite its infrequent use as jewelry however, silver was widely used as coinage due to its softness, brilliant color, and resistance to oxidation. Having access to silver deposits and being able to mine them played a big role in the classical world. Many historians have argued that it was the possession and exploitation of the Laurium mines by the Athenians that allowed them to become the most powerful city state in Greece.