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Shopping for Silver Jewelry in Cancun

Jan 13, 2012 | No Responses

Mexico is the world’s biggest producer of silver contributing to 14% of the world’s consumption. So if you aren’t already thinking of buying a piece when you arrive than I would seriously suggest you do. Mining cities are located in the north; Zacatecas, Durango, Sonora, Sinaloa, Chihuahua and, of course the most famous, Taxco which is known as “silver city” but you can find silver everywhere in Mexico and at a cheap price.

When purchasing a quality piece of jewelry there are a few things you must consider before the bargaining process begins. Genuine silver will have two marks (or imprints) and knowing what to look for can give you the expertise to distinguish real from fake. The first indicates the amount of silver the piece is composed of. For the most part there are two different numbers to look for, 925 and 950. 925 means that 92.5% of the materials used is sterling silver with the remainder consisting of other materials which are used to strengthen the silver. And, of course, 950 means 95% is made up of pure silver. The higher the content of silver the higher price you will pay.

The second and probably the most important mark is “MEX” for Mexico. This mark is illegal to use if the product is anything but silver so if you see this you know, without a doubt, the item is genuine. On some pieces you will see a third mark which represent the silversmiths trademark or seal. It consists of a combination of letters and numbers and is also referred to as the hallmark.

Although in Mexico silver is extremely cheap relative to other parts of the world real silver is not dirt cheap so shop around and compare to ensure you familiarize yourself with the weight and stamps of like pieces before you buy. Like anything, knowledge is the key.

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Author: Janelle Brandon

As our dedicated travel writer, Janelle scours Cancun and the Riviera Maya for all the cool things to do around here. From working and living to getting around, and, of course, the best beaches (she loves her sun and sand). Janelle lets you know how it is. As our Chief Operations Officer she makes sure we are not skipping out on work to laze on the beach (although sometimes she joins us). She's a pleasure to have around and always making us laugh with her crazy stories.

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