Indonesia State of the art Silver
Indonesia produces various kinds of silver jewelry and silver craft products. Silver jewelry products are, among others, bangles, bracelets, broaches, earrings, rings, necklaces, pendants, AND MORE. Many of Indonesian silver jewelry and silver craft makers have introduced their masterpieces in International Trade Fair for Jewelry, Milan, London, New York, and San Francisco.
Before 2006, exports of Indonesian jewelry had always been dominated by exports of gold jewelry. However, In the five-year period of 2002-2006, exports of Indonesian silver jewelry products had rapidly increased by an average of 21.02% annually, from US$ 17,8 million in 2002 to US$ 38.1 million in 2006, compared to the growth exports of gold jewelry products in the same period of 8.66%, from US$ 24.1 million in 2002 to US$ 29.3 million in 2006. It was for the first time in 2006 that exports of silver jewelry exceeded exports of gold jewelry products. In the first 10 months of 2007, January-October 2007, exports of silver jewelry had reached US$
49.1 million, and still exceeded the export value of gold jewelry in the same period of US$ 48/7 million.
According to the export value, major markets for Indonesian jewelry products in 2006 were the United States (US$ 25.3 million), Singapore (US$ 16.8 million), United Arab Emirates (US$15.2 million), Thailand (US$ 2.1 million), and Germany (US$ 1.6 million). While the other countries, each had imported with a value of less than 1 million US dollars relatively.
It is true that the Indonesia’s export value was still very small compared to total world’s import value. In 2006, the world’s total import value for jewelry reached US$ 33.5 billion, where the United States was the leading importer absorbing 27% of the total market with import value of US$ 9.1 billion. Other large markets included United Kingdom with US$ 4 billion, Switzerland (US$ 2.8 billion), Hong Kong (US$ 2.6 billion), United Arab Emirates (US$ 2.6
billion), Japan (US$ 1.6 billion), France (US$ 1.2 billion), and Singapore with US$ 1 billion.
Meanwhile, the world’s total imports of silver jewelry in 2006 reached US$ 3.4 billion, where the United States was again the leading importer absorbing 35% of the total market with import value of US$ 1.2 billion. It was followed by Hong Kong with import value of US$ 366.3 million; Japan, US$ 305 million; Germany, US$ 262.7 million; United Kingdom, US$ 180 million; France, US$ 128.4 million; Italy, US$ 79.2 million; Canada, US$ 68.9 million; Spain, US$ 66 million; Denmark, US$ 47.5; and Australia, US$ 45.6 million.
The Products and Production Centers
Indonesia produces various kinds of silver jewelry and silver craft products. Silver jewelry products are, among others, bangles, bracelets, broaches, earrings, rings, necklaces, pendants, etc. Meanwhile, the silver craft products are in forms of animal statuettes, boats, jewelry boxes, cigarette boxes, candle handles, tea sets, spoons and forks, souvenir items, etc. While silver jewelry products are mostly made of pure silver, the silver craft products are usually made of base metal like brass or copper, and coated or clad with silver. The makers of Indonesian silver jewelry and silver craft products are found in almost all part of the archipelago. However, there are few centers that are the most renowned to domestic and overseas buyers for the fine quality and designs of their products. Those main production centers are the small town of Kota Gede in Yogyakarta Province, the Regency of Gianyar in Bali, and the capital city of Jakarta.
Although the export value of Indonesian silver jewelry and silver craft products is still relatively small, but it is very important in developing the local community, because it absorbs a great number of manpower, including skillful people, artists, and designers. In Gianyar Regency in Bali, there is Sukawati District supervising villages, where most of the villagers are involving in silver jewelry and silver handicraft product industries. The most well known village in this district is Celuk, where 90% of its 2,800 inhabitants are working in silver jewelry and silver craft home industries.
Likewise, Kota Gede in Yogyakarta Province, where the silver works has been a tradition as a cultural heritage since centuries ago. Every corner of the town is packed with silver works. While in Jakarta, most of the silver jewelry makers are relatively new, and they are mostly developed modern
designs. Many of Indonesian silver jewelry and silver craft makers have introduced their masterpieces in International Trade Fair for Jewelry, organized each year in Milan, London, New York, and San Francisco.
In the name of eternity
A major use of silver is as a precious metal, and it has long been used for making high-value objects reflecting the wealth and status of the owner. Jewelry and silverware are traditionally made from sterling silver (standard silver), an alloy of 92.5% silver with 7.5% copper. Sterling silver is harder than pure silver, and has a lower melting point (893 °C) than either pure silver or pure copper. Silver is an alternative, often used to make silver tableware and wrought plate. With the addition of germanium, the patented modified alloy Argentium Sterling Silver is formed, with improved properties including resistance to fire scale. Silver is used in medals, denoting second place. Some high-end musical instruments
are made from sterling silver, such as the flute.