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SILVERPLATE FLATWARE vs. STERLING FLATWARE
Dear Silver Queen:
What is the advantage (if any) over silverplated flatware vs. sterling flatware, other than the difference in price?
Will silverplated flatware last longer than sterling flatware?
What should I look for in selecting silverplated and/or sterling flatware?
How should I care for each?
Silverplated is either pure but usually sterling silver plated over a base metal.
silver is .925 silver
with a .075 additive, usually copper. Sterling made in the USA
after approximately the 1850's always has a sterling mark. It may say
Sterling. It may be.925 or show the fraction 925/1000. If it
does not have this mark it is not sterling. It can also be tested with an acid
to determine its content. This should only be done by a professional.
If my silver comes from England, how can I tell if it is sterling? English sterling silver is marked with a series of four or five small hallmarks. The standing lion with his right front paw raised (The lion passant ) is the most commonly seen sterling quality mark. The other marks indicate the city of origin, the maker, and the year of manufacture. Some of the marks will include the face of the monarch.