When you buy, inherit or receive an item made from sterling silver, for example a humble egg cup or a glorious claret jug, you are the guardian of one of the earths precious minerals and you are acquiring something with intrinsic and lasting value.
Base metal versions of the two items mentioned above will most likely become landfill in the future, but because of the intrinsic value of the silver (£3.20 in 2004 to £24 in July 2011) these same items are unlikely to suffer the same fate.
Should you or one of the future owners decide to dispose of them then their value can be released for alternative use.
The recent substantial increase in metal prices means that silver is once again a precious metal to be sought and looked after rather than being wasted and squandered. Convert it from a bullion bar (which although great for investment purposes it looks neither pretty nor is it very useful) into a sterling silver claret jug with the added value of craftsmanship.
What could be nicer than sitting down with a group of friends or relations and decanting a bottle of wine into a silver claret jug or decanter, lighting the candles in the silver candlesticks and enjoing the experience. Silver does not degrade, rot or perish it just improves wth the passage of time as the patina develops.
Buy now while it is still affordable!