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Thread: Solid silver silverware or plate?

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    Solid silver silverware or plate?

    How does one tell? I just saw a couple of sets of older silver in boxes at a local garage sale. The lady said her husband wouldn't take any less than a hundred dollars each for them. Quite a good deal if they are solid silver. I didn't see any wear thru. They looked to be solid silver but that doesn't mean a thing. One set said Edwards IS inlaid silver. The other set said National Silver Co and had a little crown next to the letters.

    Does any one here have experience telling the real deal from the plate?

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    Unobtanium osoab's Avatar
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    I guess they frown on people taking a pocket knife to the their wares.
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    Iridium Dogman's Avatar
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    Most but not always, silver will will say "sterling" along with hallmarks. Plated may have hallmarks but not say sterling. Sterling will weigh more than a plated piece of the same size. And conduct hot and cold very fast, cool one end and the other will cool down rapidly.

    Other than that it is a hard call.

    Got pic's?

    The Edwards is plated as far as I looked, "which is not far"

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    Iridium palani's Avatar
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    a magnet occasionally works for plated ... if it sticks you know it isn't silver ... but then the base material might be non-ferrous in which case it doesn't tell you anything

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    Thanks for the replies. I did not take pics. I wish I had. I've been wanting real silver, silver ware for a long time. I might have to buy it retail from a producer some day.

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    Unobtanium gunDriller's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by woodman View Post
    How does one tell? I just saw a couple of sets of older silver in boxes at a local garage sale. The lady said her husband wouldn't take any less than a hundred dollars each for them. Quite a good deal if they are solid silver. I didn't see any wear thru. They looked to be solid silver but that doesn't mean a thing. One set said Edwards IS inlaid silver. The other set said National Silver Co and had a little crown next to the letters.

    Does any one here have experience telling the real deal from the plate?
    inlaid silver means, they add an extra chunk of sterling to the high-wear areas ... the plating is extra thick in those areas.

    IS usually means, International Silver - they bought Wm. Rogers & a bunch of other silverware manufacturers ... and they're usually silver plated.

    like Dogman said ... it it's Sterling, usually they will mark it ... like putting a 14k mark on 14k gold.

    a loupe or magnifying glass helps, sometimes the hallmarks are tiny.


    i've seen real sterling silverware sets on Craigslist for about 80% of spot. e.g. $1700 for a complete set.

    i got lucky at a neighbor's garage sale last week, paid 25 cents for a Towle sterling butter knife ... weighed about 29 grams. it was mixed in with a bunch of silver plated silverware.
    i smell bagels.

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