Tips on how to identify flatware composition.
This will you help you decide on what flatware to use to when making spoon jewelry.
Sight, smell and touch can be used to help identify the composition of your flatware.
Looking for signs.
Look on the back of the handle for the company name. International, Gorham, Rogers, Oneida, Wallace, and Community are some of the most common companies that manufactured silver plate flatware. Some also manufactured sterling but if it is not marked "sterling" then it is most likely silver plate.
Look for words or letters like silver plate, epns, triple plate, quadruple plate, extra plate and many more. These are all commonly used to identify silver plate.
Remember, "sterling" = sterling silver composition and no "sterling" = something else.
Stainless steel flatware is gray in color and sometimes has a brushed finish. Some stainless steel flatware has a high polish so it is necessary to look at the back of the handle for the word "stainless". Important note: Many table knives in sterling and silver plate flatware have stainless stamped on the blade, this is to identity the blade being "stainless" and not the handle. I once found a 70 piece set of silver plate flatware in an antique mall that was marked as stainless steel because of the stamp that was on the knife blade. That was a good day!
Most of the time, Sliver plate flatware is silver over brass. If the flatware has been used alot then the brass from underneath may show. Flatware worn to this point is not recommended for spoon jewelry.
The smell test.
The smell test is simple. Smell the flatware. Brass has distinct smell and the faint smell of brass can be detected through the silver. You need to know what brass smells like before doing this test, I recommend finding a piece of solid brass and doing a little training before using the smell test. This is also good for strange looks at auctions, why is that man smelling my forks? I learned this from my father. It works great for identifying silver plate flatware.
The feel test.
Now this test has been debated in my family, my father discredits this test but my mother and I agree that there is a difference in feel between sterling silver and silver plate. Sterling silver feels warmer than silver plate. Now keep in mind that both are metal and they both feel like metal but the sterling flatware feels warmer than silver plate. It may have to do with how the different metals conduct heat.
These tips should help you identify the composition of your flatware. If you have any questions Contact Us
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