Design trends: silver

Invest in something beautiful, useful and made of silver and be rewarded on a daily basis
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Goldsmiths' Fair is the place to see craftsmanship by some of the world's most talented silversmiths. Contemporary makers produce everything from teaspoons to teapots, cake stands to chopsticks, bud vases to bowls, all with a twist.

Though real collectors don't purchase just for commercial reasons, at a time when interest rates are so low, work in silver is a sound investment with the added value of being useable and enjoyable on a daily basis.

Precious metal prices have risen considerably. Gold has gone up 40 per cent in a year, and 200 per cent in the last five. Silver prices, meanwhile, have doubled in a year and risen 400 per cent in five.

Argentium tarnish-free silver is the new magic stuff used by many makers to take the chore out of cleaning. Makers are also tuning in to these austere times and responding to the challenge with a raft of functional silver pieces that are practical as well as collectable.

Just a small piece of silver makes any meal a bit special, and the gleam of a silver vase or bowl gives any interior a bit of pizzazz.

Goldsmiths' Fair, The Goldsmiths' Hall, Foster Lane, EC2 (020 7606 7010;

WEEK 1: Monday September 26 to October 2
WEEK 2: October 4 to October 9 Opening times: 11am to 7pm Monday to Friday, 10am to 6pm Saturday and Sunday; entrance by catalogue at the door, £7 for one week, £12 for both weeks.

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