See the town of Taxco on Google Maps.
That jewellery plays such an important role in Taxco is due to the natural occurrence of silver in the surrounding hills and mountains. It is believed that the local pre-hispanic indigenous inhabitants paid tribute to the ruling Aztecs with silver and as soon as the Spanish heard this they began mining the silver and exporting it to Spain and the rest of Europe in the sixteenth century. A year after conquering the Aztecs Cortez began mining the silver in Taxco. This quickly developed and Taxco became the main source for precious metal for Spain and the town rapidly developed and grew from such mining activity and wealth.Mexican Silver Jewellery
However, the mining of silver in Taxco went through various ups and downs over the centuries but one man who made a difference was Don Jose de La Borda who arrived there in 1716. He struck lucky with finding a rich seam of silver and became a great benefactor. He became very wealthy and built among other things the famous ornate Santa Prisca cathedral.
Another important figure in Taxco history is an American called William Spratling who first visited the town in 1926. Spratling soon saw the potential in Taxco and set up his own workshop where local craftsmen could apprentice and learn the fine art of working with silver, producing not only jewellery but also fine silverware. Over the years artisans went on to set up their own workshops and pieces produced in Taxco gained worldwide recognition. You can find out more about this whole process on the spratling website: www.SpratlingSilver.com
Today artisans continue to work with silver as well as alpaca, an alloy that includes some silver. Tourists can purchase jewellery in countless gift shops and specialised jewellery shops and there is a large wholesale market for those wishing to buy for export.Silver pendant
All of the Tumi silver range is hand made in workshops in Taxco and includes many classic designs as well as silver pieces artistically combined with semi precious stones .Glass Jewellery
Our glass jewellery range, including dichroic jewellery and glass earrings, is designed and made in the workshop of Emma H de Moranatti in Taxco, a talented jeweller and designer who produces inspirational pieces.
Our Shell jewellery and Mexican jewellery are filled with a wide range of popular designs of earrings made incorporating shell, resin and crushed turquoise. Traditionally there are 3 different ways of making these earrings: You can use a mould and transfer the design onto a piece of metal by exerting pressure so that the design is forced into the metal; by using metal wire to form rings which are then soldered onto a sheet of metal, the earring is then cut out and filled with resin (see an example) ; the most traditional method which is also the most time consuming where an initial design is drawn onto paper. A stamp is then made of the design and prints made onto paper. The paper is then stuck onto metal and the design inside is cut out. This is then soldered onto another piece of metal and the design can then be filled with crushed turquoise, shell or resin (see an example).
You can see a video of some of these techniques:-