Metalworking in Mexico has been around for centuries and included gold, silver, lead, tin, and copper far before the Spanish arrived in Latin America. Mesoamericans used non-precious metals for various everyday items like needles, tweezers, weapons, and even musical instruments while gold and sometimes silver were reserved for jewelry making for the elite class as well as for deity offerings.
After the Spanish arrived and subsequently took over the area, metal work was temporarily banned to protect Spanish metal workers and to prevent indigineous from creating weapons to rebel against their invaders. Gold and silver mining continued, but rather than being made into jewelry in Latin America the metals were shipped directly to Spain. Meanwhile, New-World Spanish metal workers introduced their metalworking methods to indiginous peoples, who eventually matched Europe’s competency, especially those located in Zacatecas, San Luis Potosí, Guanajuato, Durango, and Oaxaca.
In the 1600s during the colonial period, silver became very popular as trade with Asia opened up, which garnered a great amount of power for silver working guilds. Silver became a dominant currency and was important for use in religious items and silverware. After Mexico gained its independence, metalworking became more secular rather than religious but continued to largely follow the trends established in Europe (but workers added local and national elements, too, of course!).
To this day, metalworking in copper, iron, silver, and gold continues strongly and has even won prestigious awards both in Mexico and worldwide. Come see our new inventory for yourself at your very own El Disco Super Center where each of our products glints and gleams with regional expertise forged using traditional methods!