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Miao Silver Jewels: How They Are Made

By David Cheng

Miao silver jewels are considered to be some of the world’s best jewelry. Know they are made helps you appreciate yours even more if you’ve got one.

In fact, the Miao’s history of silver jewel making is already 1, 000 years old. And for centuries, it remained a carefully guarded secret, often passed down from father to son, and not to someone from outside the family.

Miao silver jewels are made by hand from start to finish. This ensures a high quality of the products, as even the smallest detail receive careful treatment.

Usually it takes up to 30 steps to make a jewel like yours. And below is a brief procedure as how it works.

First, the Miao artisans melt the silver with a oil lamp and a copper blowtorch. They use only 99% pure silver for the best quality of the products.

Next, the silver liquid is allowed to harden into solid silver bars or paper-thin silver slices.

Then, the Miao silver artisans hammer the solid bars into required shape, and cut silver threads from the silver slices. The task require extreme care and skills, for the threads can be as thin as human hair.

Next step, the hammered silver plates are stuck to a rosin board for ease of engraving. The rosin board is slightly heated, and surface is soft.

Then it’s the time for engraving – the most difficult step in the whole making process. The Miao silver artisans use a pencil to draw designs on the silver plates, then engrave with sharp steel sticks, and a light hammer made of water buffalo .

Designs such as flower petals call for some extra work. Miao silver artisans need to braid the tiny silver threads cut from the silver slices into thicker lines, and then twist them into required shape.

To complete the making, the Miao artisan solders the finished silver pieces together.

Making Miao silver jewels is anything but an easy task. There are so many details that a simple jewel could take a master days or even weeks to finish.

Writer D. Cheng enjoys sharing his insights in Chinese silver jewels. Discover what he talks about by visiting his website about silver jewels here.

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Article Citation
MLA Style Citation:
Cheng, David "Miao Silver Jewels: How They Are Made." Miao Silver Jewels: How They Are Made. 21 Jun. 2010. 20 Aug 2014 <>.

APA Style Citation:
Cheng, D (2010, June 21). Miao Silver Jewels: How They Are Made. Retrieved August 20, 2014, from

Chicago Style Citation:
Cheng, David "Miao Silver Jewels: How They Are Made"

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