Silver jewelry. Silver jewelry with gems. The use of opals, jade, and red topaz in jewelry. A lower-level variation of jewelry to help train crafting. An update that uses resources that existed since early members Runescape Classic back in... oh, 2002?
Why are we only getting this 15 years later?
I would suppose necessity is the reason, adding some benefits to aid the training of other skills, but is that really the case? The majority of the benefits silver jewelry brings now are really minor conveniences compared to the game-changing benefits that Gold Jewelry brought back in Runescape Classic days. Sapphire amulets improved your Magic hit-chance by a considerably large amount (back then it was only Wizard Robes and Elemental Staves - an absolute must have for Magic training), Emerald Amulets upped your Defence and let you take an extra hit or two, ruby amulets brought very high strength boosts and increased your DPS by almost 2 (increased max hit from 4 to 6 is a bigger difference than you think), diamond amulets were simply meta (affordable jack-of-all-trades amulet; everybody wanted one), and the rare and elusive Dragonstone Amulets had huge combat bonuses AND free teleports to some out-of-the-way spots (saved you having to buy a law rune for half your bank whenever you wanted to go to Falador).
Silver stuff... well, it lets you save Slayer kill count, save a few seeds, teleport to a few out-of-the-way places we could run to in seconds, add +100 life points to any food you eat (sound familiar?), and maybe create extra-dose potions. You know, some extra conveniences. Lots and lots of "chance-of"s, despite such a comparatively limited number of charges.
And why not? It's silver jewelry. Low level stuff brings some low-level benefits. It's all part of the training process and the self-improvement. Personally, I'm waiting until we start making some gem-infused platinum jewelry (or something like that) with level 120 crafting; that would be neat.
So why silver, and why now? Maybe it was a bit of a side project, maybe somebody thought; hey, we really should get around to making these three poor uncommonly-used gem types more useful rather than just grinding into bolt tips and machetes.
I think it's because silver is something familiar. They could've added a new type of metal to the game, but that would be just stacking more stuff on top of already viable, obscure stuff. And that wouldn't be good for the economy.
For example, we could've had to mine platinum and added lapus and azure stones from this obscure mine in the Skull to get these benefits. It would've pulled some of us into this new training zone and gotten the lucky firsts a nice chunk of change while curiosity demanded the new stuff ASAP. How much can you get for something that almost nobody else has? A lot more than intended. Case and point; party hats.
But here's what's neat. There are so many other options out there that by now, silver and the three crushable gem types have become pretty much obsolete around the marketplace. Could probably buy for a couple coins on the Grand Exchange, provided somebody decided it was even worth it putting them up there.
This helped save old, obscure content. Rather than create something new, they made something old fresh again. Being first or lucky didn't matter because there was already so much of the material out there that there wouldn't be a heavy strive for it, and everyone can benefit from the real intended usage at their leisure.
Also, silver is easily related to. Much better than inventing a new material like... I dunno, "Verylate", giving it a whole backstory on how it came from a distant meteorite created by a distant planet splitting in half and crashing on Gielinor. While I do love stories and substance in a game, there is such thing as stretching it out. Especially when you leave behind things that folks are familiar with.
So I'm glad they made an old material useful again. Especially when aimed at the lower leveled folk it was intended to help train. Looking forward to the Mining/Smithing rework, and hoping that adamantite doesn't still become as obscure as a party hat that shoots fireworks.
Until next time,
Happy new year, cannoneers!