Silversmithing has been practiced for centuries in Mexico. In fact, Mexican silversmiths taught the Navajo of the Southwestern United States their trade. But it took an American named William Spratling to see the opportunity to build on this legacy. He did this in 1931, when he established a retail outlet for Mexican jewelry near the silver-mining center of Taxco.

Spratling’s designs borrowed liberally from pre-Columbian motifs found on Mexico’s pyramids and lifted from the 14th-century symbols that fill the Codex Zouche-Nuttal. It was open-source material, if you will, so it shouldn’t be too surprising that as his shop succeeded and imitators sprang up nearby, the designs themselves were appropriated.

Some competitors were actively encouraged. In fact, the Taxco School, as it is known today, was formed largely from former Spratling employees such as the Castillo brothers, Héctor Aguilar, Antonio Pineda, and Valentin Viadurreta, who brought a Mexican eye to Art Deco. Naturally, these artisans and their shops became incubators for still more generations of silversmiths.

For those who could not make the trip to Taxco, U.S. stores took the step of importing these popular goods. At one point everyone from fashionable Gump’s in San Francisco to Montgomery Ward in Chicago carried silver jewelry (some decorated with obsidian or amethysts) and tableware by Taxco designers.


Best of the Web (“Hall of Fame”)

All About Jewels Dictionary

All About Jewels Dictionary

This incredible reference dictionary on jewelry, from Enchantedlearning.com, is both beautiful and comprehensive. S… [read review or visit site]

Morning Glory Antiques and Jewelry

Morning Glory Antiques and Jewelry

Jewelry collectors, feast your eyes on this internet gem! It's a goldmine of jewelry information featuring all styl… [read review or visit site]

Cathy Gordon's Jewelry Gallery

Cathy Gordon's Jewelry Gallery

With its vast galleries featuring clear images of jewelry and style, this site really covers it all! Divided up by … [read review or visit site]

Jewel History

Jewel History

Since March of 2007, readers of Lori Ettlinger Gross’s Jewel History blog have been treated to her weekly (someti… [read review or visit site]



Clubs & Associations

Other Great Reference Sites

Most watched eBay auctions    

Sterling Silver Amethyst Jaguar Taxco Mexico Necklace ~william Spratling Design Alfredo Villasana Mexico Sterling Silver Modernist Necklace Earrings 70 G TaxcoMargot De Taxco Mexico Sterling Silver Enamel Art Deco Earrings Necklace 105 GrmMargot De Taxco Mexico Sterling Silver Enamel Art Deco Style Bracelet 60 GramsPre-1948 Art Deco Mexico Sterling Fern/wing Repousse Bypass Bracelet Taxco 75 GmVintage Mexican Modernist Flower Petal Sterling Silver 135 Gram NecklaceVery Old Vintage Art Deco Sterling Silver Taxco Mexican Amethyst Choker NecklacePre-1948 J Anton Mexico Silver Amethyst Art Deco Wide Round Link Bracelet 77 GmsVtg Alfredo Villasana Mexico Sterling Silver Modernist Bracelet 42 Grams TaxcoVtg Bold Chunky 53g Rare Taxco Mexico Mexican Sterling Silver NecklaceLot 29 - Fabulous Old Taxco Mexico Sterling Silver & Copper NecklaceVtg Bold Repousse Signed Taxco Mexico Mexican Sterling Silver Necklace EarringsVintage Reveriano Castillo Taxco Sterling Silver 925 Link Bracelet #20 Eagle 3Vintage Alpaca Enamel Indian Chieftain Mexican Biker Men's Pinky Ring Size 8Pre-1948 Mexico Sterling Silver Art Deco Wide Shadow Box Oxidized Bracelet 79 G Vtg Bold Iconic Dna Chunky Taxco Mexico Mexican Sterling Silver BraceletBeto Pre-1948 Mexico Sterling Silver Abalone Art Deco Bracelet Taxco 85 GramsSterling Silver - Taxco Mexico Carsi Onyx & Carnelian 88g - Bracelet (7") Zg3702Vtg Signed Repousse Taxco Mexico Mexican Sterling Silver Clamper Cuff BraceletVintage 14k Gold Citrine Gemstone Earrings Drop Dangle Mexico Post Pierced 2.04gPre-1948 Edp Mexico Silver Acorn Art Deco Repousse Bracelet Taxco 72 Grams TaxcoVintage Mexican Sterling Silver Amethyst Fish Screw Back EarringsSterling Silver - Taxco Mexico 11mm Biker Cable Chain 244g - Necklace (24") MensSterling Silver - Taxco Mexico 13mm Figaro Chain 103.3g - Bracelet (9.5") MensVtg 113g Massive Heavy Mexico Mexican Sterling Silver Amethyst Bracelet Vintage 1950’s Sterling Silver Signed Mexican Amethyst NecklaceAbsolutely Stunning Vint 165grams Hallmarked Complete Match Sterling Taxco SetVtg 189g Massive Signed Tuka 970 Sterling Silver Taxco Mexico Mexican NecklaceLot 28 - Rare Vintage Mexican Sterling Silver Fish W Fishing Pole Pin / BroochVtg Two Trees Mexico Sterling Silver Modernist 8 Sided Wide Bangle Taxco 98 GrmsVintage Mexican Mexico Sterling Silver Heavy Bead Necklace 1.75 Oz.Big Chunky Vintage Mexican Sterling Silver Azurite Bead NecklaceVintage Mexican Sterling Silver Enamel Bird Link Bracelet Chain Margot De TaxcoVintage 800 Coin Silver Mexican Biker Army Air Corps Men's Ring 26g 10.5Sterling Silver - Taxco Mexico 9mmm Biker Link Chain 165g - Necklace (20") MensVintage Los Castillo Mexico Taxco Handmade Sterling Silver 15.5" NecklaceVtg Margot De Taxco Mexico Sterling Silver & Champleve Enamel Inlaid Bird Pin |gVtg Mexico Sterling Silver Oxidized Deco-tribal Solid Pane Link Bracelet 55 GramWilliam Spratling Mexican Sterling & Amethyst Pierced EarringsVtg 800 Coin Silver Mexican Biker Indian Head Cheiftain Men's Ring 37g 11.25Taxco 970 Silver Modernist Antonio Pineda Design Bracelet – Circa 1960Vintage Los Castillo Taxco Mexico #216 Sterling Silver EarringsSterling Silver - Taxco Mexico Lapis Lazuli Fringe Collar 33g - Necklace (18")Pre-1948 Mexico Sterling Silver Carved Jade Art Deco Butterfly Bracelet 155 GrmsVintage, Taxco, Mexico Modernist Sterling Silver & Amethyst Cuff BraceletSterling Silver - Taxco Mexico Turquoise Scroll 57.9g - Necklace (18") Zy82621930’s Taxco Sterling And Amethyst Art Deco Koi Fish Clamper BraceletVtg 99g Bold Rare Chunky Azurite Taxco Mexico Mexican Sterling Silver NecklaceSwirl Design Taxco Sterling Silver Modern Mask Cuff Bracelet 101 GrStunning Taxco Signed Sterling Silver Huge 209 Grams Onyx Matchstick NecklaceIguala Mexico Vintage Signed Fsi Sterling Silver 925 Link Bangle Bracelet 31 GVintage Native American And Mexican Sterling Jewelry Lot. 28 ItemsStunning 14k Yel Gold 30ctw Peridot Mexico Tennis Ladies Bracelet 11.2g 8.25"lEstate 14k Yellow Gold Mexico Multi Gem Hoop Ladies Earrings 2.3gVintage Mexican Sterling Silver Abalone Clamper Bracelet MexicoVintage Mexico Cdl Taxco Sterling Silver Dog Bone Midcentury Modernist Necklace Vtg Mexico Sterling Silver Silver Onyx Chevron Link Necklace 16 In Taxco 105 GrmSigned Vintage Taxco Mexico Heavy Sterling Silver Bracelet Vtg Taxco Sterling Silver Blue Round Turquoise Link Chain Bracelet 8"Sterling Silver - Mexico Braided Onyx Link 84.2g - Bracelet (7") Zw9972