Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Oktoberfest


The world's largest beer party, Oktoberfest!


October is known for a lot of things and I’m trying this month to research as many as I can. While not the official start of fall, it is the month that we begin thinking about fall. The weather is supposed to start getting cooler, although we are currently in a heat wave here in the SF Bay area. Heat wave aside, October is the month for last hurrahs before the truly cold weather sets in and we are all forced indoors. As an example, October has Oktoberfest.

 

Oktoberfest is a 16 day festival held in Germany and beer is the main focus, although there is plenty of food and other activities. It is considered the world’s largest fair and is attended by millions every year. So basically it’s the world’s largest beer party, how can you go wrong? I’m sure like most festivals there are artisans selling their crafts, and wherever there are crafters there’s jewelry.


While I had a particularly hard time finding jewelry that was specific to Germany, it appeared to be mostly crosses and dogs, don’t ask me why. I did find a little information on German silver, which was developed in the 19th century in Germany. German silver is nickel silver; it consists of 60% copper, 20% nickel and 20% zinc. It was first used in the making of silverware as it was used as the base metal which was then silver plated. German silver was also and is still used in costume jewelry and other manufactured goods. There is even German silver in the 1907 Rolls Royce.

 

German silver is also used in counterfeiting Morgan dollars. Since there is no actual silver in German silver, passing off a coin made of this material is fraudulent and unfortunately done frequently. I find this funny since copper can be quite expensive and silver in relation to copper is still somewhat of a deal. Who can figure out the mind of a counterfeiter? Festivals are much more fun to think about anyways. So I think it would be great to attend Oktoberfest and see some fantastic local artisans and their wares which I love, but since I can’t, this month I’ll still celebrate October with some local craft beer and German silver jewelry.

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