Used in jewellery making for thousands of years, silver is a timeless material that has been valued since the great vikings of Scandinavia.
Silver has been used in jewellery making for more than 4000 years. As a precious metal it will always have that timeless feeling to it. Therefore, it is no surprise that the majority of the magical and Norse Trollbeads are created in silver. The tradition goes back to the Viking era where silver jewellery had its first momentum in Scandinavia. The great Vikings of the North created lots of silver jewellery, including armrings and necklaces. Trollbeads are little pieces of art, made with a blend of new and ancient technique.
Silver is an element. It is a supple metal that is softer than gold. Silver can be polished to a mirror-like shine. The characteristic lightness of the colour is due to the metal’s very effective light-reflecting properties.
Trollbeads are produced in Sterling silver, consisting of 92,5% pure silver and 7.5% other metals, primarily copper. Therefore, all Trollbeads silver beads are stamped with the hallmark “LAA 925s”. LAA stand for Lise Aagaard, and 925s is a guarantee given by the company that the material used is 92,5% Sterling silver. If silver was used without the addition of other materials, the silver would be too soft for jewellery. Furthermore, it wouldn’t oxidize.
MAKING SILVER BEADS
Trollbeads Sterling silver beads are all finished by hand and filled with beautiful and quirky details. Some designers prefer to design in wax, others are fonder of newer techniques, like on a computer. After design, all silver beads are crafted by the 3,000-year-old technique ‘cire perdu’ or ‘lost wax’. This method allows for fine details to be reproduced from wax to precious metals.
When designing a silver bead by the cire perdu technique, the design is first sculptured in red wax. Hereafter a plaster model of the sculpture is made. Silver granules are then heated in a small bowl, melted and poured into the plaster cast, filling out the model nicely. When the silver has solidified, the plaster is submerged in water, resulting in the plaster to disintegrate and the silver figure can be removed. At this point, the figure is completely black. It is then dipped in an acid bath and turns white. When the silver bead has cooled off, it is rinsed, renovated, polished.
Trollbeads use oxidization for our silver beads to create contrast effects and to give them character. Any piece of jewellery will oxidize if it lies in a box for years. Our process of oxidization is just like the natural tarnish process that air has on silver, but we accelerate the process. Oxidization adds new design possibilities and enables the designers to give the beads a unique look and a lot of depth.
The silver beads are dipped in an oxidizing solution, which turns the bead black without damaging the surface. The black deposit is then polished off in a tumbler except in the folds and corners where the polisher cannot reach. The surface of the bead is left shiny with dark corners, giving the beads character and the signature Trollbeads look... Voilá: A new bead is born.