UNUSUAL SILVER RINGS
Men's Silver Rings
Women's Silver Rings
Find the perfect British-made silver ring for your special occasion
The BEST! British handmade men's and women's unusual silver rings. Silver is by far the most versatile of all the precious metal jewellery we sell. It can be stretched, cast, distorted, engineered, sculpted, beaten, hammered and even oxidised to create just about any design imaginable. It is with these fantastic options to work with that our designers create the most unusual and unique rings in sterling silver.
About our silver ring section
We can help you find your perfect silver ring as this section is divided into two categories, being men's and women's, for your online shopping convenience, but many of the styles in both of these sections are suitable for both males and females. With this in mind, we also have plenty more to choose from with the silver wedding rings found in the unusual wedding rings category of our website for both him and her.
The mining process for a silver ring
Not only used for jewellery (yes that includes that silver ring you are wearing on your finger) or silverware, but 80% of the world's silver is also mined for industrial purposes. Silver is the most conductive and reflective metal on the planet so, for example, it's used in electronic components and in construction as an insulation coating on glass.
Argentum. Argento. Plata. Silver. In any language, it is one of the most widely used and indispensable precious metals in modern society. Throughout history, silver has played a vital role in many of civilisation's most significant advancements. Silver is the element of change.
Since it was first extracted from the earth in ancient Turkey some 5,000 years ago, silver has helped transform society. Early civilisations prized its innate beauty and intrinsic value, fashioning ornaments, jewellery, eating utensils, and of course, silver coins. Silver changed the course of countless lives in the time of the Greek and Roman Empires when it was first used to prevent infection. In the Middle Ages, silver was first used to disinfect water and food during storage. Sailors found that putting silver coins in barrels of water or wine would keep the liquid potable during long ocean voyages.
But no single event in the history of silver was more important than the discovery of the New World. Extensive deposits of the precious metal were discovered throughout North and South America, and the Spanish exploration of the New World let to mining of the silver ore that dramatically eclipsed anything that had come before. Over the ensuing centuries, silver has time and again demonstrated its remarkable properties as an element of change.
It's not only for your silver ring
Today, no metal is as indispensable to modern life as is silver. Beautiful, valuable, malleable, durable. Silver is the best conductor of electricity of all metals. It withstands extreme temperatures and is an excellent reflector of light and conductor of heat. While silver is found throughout the world, some of the largest producing nations are Mexico, Peru, China, Australia, and Chile. Less than 30% of the silver produced annually comes from primary silver mines. The vast majority is a byproduct of gold, copper, lead, and zinc mining operations. Silver is also recycled, primarily from industrial catalysis processes and comes from other sources such as scrap melt.
Sophisticated advances in processing techniques have lead to ever-increasing uses of silver worldwide. The word silver evokes images of exquisite pieces of jewellery or beautiful tableware. Fashion consumers value silver jewellery and silverware, not only because of its beauty but the ease of use in contemporary designs and its affordability. But the fact is that well over half of all silver produced globally is used in industrial applications, and every day, it seems another even more innovative use for this most precious metal is developed.
While silver's antibacterial properties have been evident for centuries, only recently have we come to understand silver's unusual germ-fighting properties. Silver is a naturally-occurring bactericide. It effectively kills microorganisms but does not harm humans or animals. Look just about anywhere in a hospital, and you will find silver in bandages, instruments, even on furniture, helping to prevent infection and promote healing. Silver-based drinking water purifiers are popular, and many swimming pool owners are switching to silver-based cleansers. Silver also helps make today's mobile, interconnected lifestyle possible. Nearly every computer, cell phone, automobile, and appliance contains silver. Its high electrical conductivity makes it perfect for coating contacts on circuit boards.
This magnificent element of change also helps reduce the world's reliance on fossil fuels. Silver is integral in the manufacture of solar cells and panels, including electric and hybrid vehicles. When uses as part of a low emittance coating on window glass, silver can help dramatically reduce energy usage for heating and cooling. In the soldering and brazing of pipes, faucets, ducts, and joints, silver provides safety, strength, and quality unrivalled by any other material. Worldwide, there is a movement toward using safer solder, and the traditional mixture of tin and lead is quickly being replaced by a combination of silver, tin, and copper.
Silver has been a popular store of value for centuries. Today, large and small investors alike recognise silver's intrinsic worth and are including silver in their investment portfolios.
Without question, few other substances are as versatile, as beneficial, as beautiful, as silver. It has been instrumental in changing the course of history, and no doubt the future possibilities are limitless for silver, the element of change.
We can look into more detail about where the silver comes that is used to make your silver ring? Well, it is a mining company that produces silver bars, the composition of which is 93-97% pure silver. It sells the bars to a refinery which further purifies them for sale to industries. The action begins down in the mine where geologists point a Niton gun at various spots in the rock face. The device detects the levels of 40 different elements including silver. Silver in its natural state isn't silver coloured at all. It's charcoal grey. Any silver-looking deposits mined are actually zinc and lead.
Miners drill holes in the silver-rich areas the geologists pinpointed, then insert sticks of explosives. After the blast, carts transport the chunks of rock called ore to the surface. Geologists then test these ore piles and blend them as required to achieve a consistent amount of silver content per kilogram of ore. The ore first goes into the primary crusher, a machine with huge steel teeth. The machine's huge steel teeth break up the big chunks into smaller pieces. Those pieces then drop through grates below into a secondary crusher which breaks them down into even smaller pieces. Those go into what are known as vibrating cone crushers which pulverise them into tiny pieces. A conveyor transports the crushed ore to a place called a ball mill.
At this point, the ore pieces are roughly six millimetres big. As the mill's large cylinder rotates, steel balls bounce around inside grinding the ore into powder. A water circulation system flushes the silver-rich powder out of the cylinder and into large tanks which keep the water moving. To separate and dissolve the metals the powder contains, workers, pour in acid. Seventy-two hours later, the rock waste is now settled at the bottom. The solution containing the dissolved silver is pumped through filter presses. The filter plates are treated with a zinc-based chemical which attracts silver molecules. As the solution passes through, the plates trap particles containing silver forming a layer of black powder called silver precipitate. This precipitate is composed of approximately 50% silver and 50% waste, the waste being a jumble of various metals, dirt, and other impurities.
To separate the silver from the waste, they first dry the precipitate in a gas furnace for a couple of hours. In the mining company's lab, technicians continuously test ore samples to determine the grade, the term for the quantity of silver per kilogram of ore. They heat the samples to 1093 degrees Celsius for about an hour to burn off the impurities. What's left after the burn off is the silver and other metals, such as lead, zinc, copper, selenium and cadmium. Lab technicians then treat the samples with a chemical that prevents the silver from burning off and then put them back in the oven. When the samples come out about an hour later, all the other metals have burnt off and only the silver is left.
They weigh the silver and compare it to the weight of the original sample in order to calculate the grade. The key to running a profitable mine is to ensure that the grade is consistently within certain parameters.
Back at the mill, workers put the now dried silver precipitate into an oven along with the chemicals which prevent the silver from burning off. Approximately four hours later, the silver and waste have separated and melted. Workers pour them into bar-shaped moulds. The silver being heavier settles at the bottom. Workers skim off the waste floating on top. In less than five minutes, the molten silver cools and hardens, enabling workers to extract what is now a silver bar. The mining company sells the bars to a refinery for processing into industrial-grade silver.
So next time you glance down at that lovely silver ring you own remember how amazing and important is the metal it is made from.