Sterling Silver vs. Silver_ A Stronger Alternative

Sterling Silver: 5 Solid Sterling Silver Facts Everyone Should Know

The beauty of sterling silver is undisputed. It has the gleaming, reflective qualities that make silver so popular for a wide variety of items, particularly jewelry, flatware, and decorative pieces like picture frames. If you inherit antique silver you may just think it is pure silver. That might not be true. It could be sterling silver. There are some differences between sterling silver vs. silver that you should be aware of. Those differences matter. They affect the value and composition of sterling silver. In this article we will explore five sterling silver facts that you should know.

Sterling Silver Is an Alloy

Sterling Silver Is an Alloy

The first thing you should know about Sterling silver is not the same as pure of fine silver. It is alloy. An alloy is a mixture of different metals. In the case of Sterling silver, it has a base of silver, usually around 92.5% silver. Then the remaining 7.5% of the Sterling silver can be a combination of other metals. Copper is the most frequently used metal in that mixture, but it can be a number of other metals and combinations of metals.

Sterling Silver vs. Silver: A Stronger Alternative

Sterling Silver vs. Silver_ A Stronger Alternative

Because silver has such beauty and value, many people ask why on earth anyone would want to “sully” it by adding any other metals to it. There is actually a very good reason. Pure silver is a soft metal. Overtime it doesn’t hold its shape very well. It is extremely prone to dents and scratches. It can be a lovely metal for items that will just for display but it doesn’t last a long when used in items like jewelry and flatware that are handled and used often. The solution to that inherent softness is to add a come copper or other metals that make the silver stronger and more durable while retaining its beauty.

You May Notice An Assayer’s Mark on Sterling Silver

You May Notice An Assayer’s Mark on Sterling Silver

Since Sterling silver is an alloy, it may have an assayer’s mark. This can give you some insight into the origins of your antique silver. The assayer’s mark is often an animal or other symbol that signifies where the sterling silver was manufactured. It also often contains a number that tells you the purity of the silver. Sterling silver is 92.5% silver so the marking will be 925.

The Value of Your Sterling Silver Will Vary

The Value of Your Sterling Silver Will Vary

Being an alloy and not a pure precious metal metals means that Sterling silver isn’t considered an “investment metal”. In spite of that, the value of Sterling silver is tied to the value of pure silver due to its high silver content. For that reason, you should take the time to research the price of silver if you decide to sell your sterling silver jewelry, flatware, or other items made of sterling silver. That is the best way to get an idea of what your antique silver is worth.

Sterling Silver Will Tarnish- Store it Right

Sterling Silver Will Tarnish- Store it Right

Anyone who has ever owned anything silver knows that it will tarnish. You probably already know that antique silver needs to be polished on a regular basis. That is true for Sterling silver as well. You should also be aware that how you store your Sterling silver also makes a difference. Humidity really causes silver to tarnish. If you store Sterling silver in jewelry box, display case, or other enclosed place you should include the sort of desiccate (or salt) packets that are used to absorb humidity. Also, if you aren’t using or displaying your Sterling silver item, you can use jeweler’s cloths or polyurethane bags for long-term storage. They prevent exposure to oxygen and the process of oxidation that causes tarnish.

How Do You Clean Heavily Tarnished Silver?

5 Best-Known at Home Methods

Silver is considered a precious metal for a reason. The gleaming, reflective quality of polished silver is unique among metals. It has been used for a variety of high-quality items throughout history. Everything from jewelry to coins to candelabras to elegant tableware to picture frames. It is likely that your family has some silver heirlooms. There is just one catch, silver is terribly prone to tarnishing. The beauty of sterling silver is only surpassed by the amount of effort it can take to keep it shining. If you have sterling silver, you are probably wondering how to clean silver items at home. In the article we will explore the 5 best-known at home methods for cleaning your silver.

How to clean antique silver with a lemon and salt bath

How to clean antique silver with a lemon and salt bath

This is a simple and easy way to restore the shine to your silver. It is particularly useful for frequent cleaning of silver utensils. Take some hot water and pour it into a bowl. Squeeze the juice of a lemon into the bowl. Add three tablespoons of salt. Place the silver item you are cleaning into the water and let sit for five minutes. Remove it and clean by rubbing it with a soft cloth to remove tarnish. For best results use a white silver cleaning cloth. A regular cloth takes more effort and produces inferior results.

Use toothpaste to clean your sterling silver and your pearly whites!

Use toothpaste to clean your sterling silver and your pearly whites!

One of the best tips for how to clean silver items at home is to use toothpaste. A little dab (pea-sized) will do it. Simply take the toothpaste and rub onto the silver item using a circular motion to polish it and gently remove the tarnish. Leave the toothpaste on the silver for five minutes and then thoroughly rinse with water.

Better silver cleaning through chemistry with baking soda and aluminum foil

Better silver cleaning through chemistry with baking soda and aluminum foil

One of the best and most popular ways to clean antique silver is the combination of baking soda and aluminum foil. Boil some water, enough to reach the top of the bowl you will use. Line the bowl with the foil, placing it so the shiny side is up. Pour the water into the bowl and add 1 tablespoon of baking soda for each cup of water. The solution will bubble. Right way you should place the silver item in the bowl. Make sure it touches the foil so the chemical reaction will happen. Leave the item in the solution, 2-5 minutes will do for a minor or regular level of tarnish. Heavy tarnish might require up to 10 minutes. Remove the item and rinse it in cool water then clean with dry cloth.

Hand sanitizer removes germs from hands and tarnish from silver

Hand sanitizer removes germs from hands and tarnish from silver

We are all heavily invested in hand sanitizer these days. The coronavirus pandemic means that everyone is stocking up on it. It turns out that this ubiquitous item is actually an easily available answer to the question of how to clean antique silver. You probably have a plenty of sanitizer at home, grab it and get cleaning. It is simple. Just place a few drops of sanitizer on a dry cloth and begin to buff the silver item. It is always a good idea to use a white silversmith’s cloth for optimal results.

Shine sterling silver with vinegar

Shine sterling silver with vinegar

Here is how to clean antique silver with the power of vinegar. This method combines vinegar, water, and baking soda. Start with a bowl of lukewarm water. Add a mixture of a ½ cup of white vinegar and 2 tablespoons of baking soda. Add your silver item to the bowl. Let it soak for two to three hours. Rinse with cold water and allow it to dry.

Antique Hallmarks

Pro Tips on How to Identify Hallmarks on Silver

Individuals that have silver items are always eager to know whether what they have is sterling or silver plated. This helps to understand the value of the product and make informed decisions about buying and selling of such items.

Antique silver is valuable and commands high price. For both buyers and sellers of silvers, an understanding of such factors as the age, manufacturer, and rarity of silver items determines the value attached to the items. These important pieces of information about silvers are often contained in the hallmarks.

What Are The Hallmarks?

What Are The Hallmarks?

Silver hallmarks are small stamped symbols that are found on the back or underside of silver items. They are very essential in antique silver appraisal as they provide the right information that help to determine the value and true prices of silver items.

How to Locate Hallmarks?

How to Locate Hallmarks?

 

Hallmarks are placed on different parts of silver pieces. To locate it in different items, check:

  • Bottom of silver trays, bowls, teapots and dishes
  • Back of silver flatware
  • Bottom of candlesticks, figurines, vases and decorative pieces
  • Near the clasp of necklaces and chains
  • And inside of rings and cuff bracelets.

Identify the Hallmarks

Identify the Hallmarks

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Finding the hallmark is just the beginning of silver hallmarks identification. You need to figure out such information as the manufacturers of the item and the year it was made. Manufacturers change their marks over time but there are online resources that can help you to identify each hallmark. Most of them offer detailed photographs and extensive information that will help you determine the value of the antique.

Being able to identify hallmarks on silvers will help you to have a better understanding of what your antique is worth. This will put you in a better position if you finally decide to sell your silver. It will also be better to sell to antique silver dealers. Some reputable dealers will help you determine the value of your silver and buy at prices that are fair.

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How to Prevent Tarnishing of Sterling Silver

How to Prevent Tarnishing of Sterling Silver with 4 Simple DIY Hacks

If you use your silver items often, you may find yourself polishing them before and perhaps even after every use. The amount of tarnish builds up quickly. Fortunately, there are a few different ways you can actually prevent tarnish from building up. By combining these hacks with the best way to clean & polish silver, you’ll keep your items looking great.

How to Prevent Tarnishing of Sterling Silver

Use Special Bags

There are special anti-tarnish bags that are made to keep your silver pieces clear of tarnish. You won’t need to know how to polish silver if you have these bags. They’re designed to neutralize sulfur and other corrosive gases. These bags generally last around two years, even if you open them regularly.

Try Anti-Tarnish Paper

Another option is to place anti-tarnish papers between your silver items or around your silver jewelry. The items and paper can then be placed in an airtight bag or box. These papers usually last for around six months. You might still need to remove tarnish from silver pieces that are stored for longer than that.

Always Clean Your Silver After Use

If you’re not sure how to clean tarnished silver, you may need to purchase a polishing cloth. You can keep your silver flatware and plates in good condition if you give it a good polishing and make sure it’s clean before you put it away. You may not need to polish it after every use, but you do need to clean it thoroughly. Never put silver in the dishwasher. Instead, wash it with warm water and completely dry it before putting it away. Doing so will help keep the pieces from tarnishing.

Use Chalk

Basic chalkboard chalk can also help absorb sulfur and other gases that can tarnish silver. Simply place a few sticks of chalk in your jewelry boxes or in the cabinet where you store your silver pieces. Change it out every few months.

Sterling Silver

A Guide to Help You Evaluate Antique Sterling Silver Flatware

Antique silver flatware is one of the most popular collectible antiques in the world. Due to the popularity of antique silver flatware for sale, it can be difficult for non-informed antique silver flatware buyers to properly evaluate the value of their antique sterling silver flatware. The following is an essential guide that will help antique silver flatware buyers and sellers determine the value of their sterling silver flatware.

Sterling Silver

Step One: Is It Authentic Sterling Silver?

The first thing you need to evaluate is the type of silver used on the item. There are two types of silver that you will find on antique flatware: silver plate and sterling silver. Silver plate was made with a silver coating on top of a different base metal; this method was typically used to provide a silver appearance at a lower cost. Sterling silver is silver branded with the Sterling stamp; the Sterling stamp is a guarantee that the silver is either completely pure or made with .925 silver and .075 added copper.

In the United States, Sterling is easy to identify via the stamps which were present on all Sterling flatware made after 1850: this includes “Sterling,” “.925” and “925/100.” If your silver piece does not have any of these marks, then it is either very old (prior to 1850) or it is fake.

Step Two: Identify the Manufacturer and Pattern

If you already know the manufacturer, you will likely be able to find the pattern used for the silver piece fairly easily by searching for the manufacturer, date and general description of the object. If you don’t yet know the manufacturer, you will need to look for hallmark stamps that can indicate which company produced the antique sterling silver flatware in your passions.

Once you have identified the manufacturer, it’s time to begin looking for the pattern. The pattern, like the manufacturer, can have a significant impact on the ultimate value of your item.

Step Three: Assess the Condition

The value of your antique sterling silver flatware can also be influenced by the condition of the flatware in question. If the silver has lots of scratches, dings or various types of discoloration, then the ultimately value is likely to be lower than silver flatware which is in more pristine condition. If the silver is relatively pristine, considering its age, then the value will be higher than scratched and ding-up flatware. And don’t forget about the condition of accessories such as footwear, socks, and other small yet crucial details.

Final Thoughts

You may not be able to tell the exact value of your sterling silver object (or objects) without outside assistance—in other words, an appraisal of some kind that will provide a more definite guideline for what you should be charging for your final thoughts. In cases where you are having trouble identifying hallmarks and other characteristics which can help define and value your antique silver flatware, consult with local dealers about options for identification and assessment.

Sterling Silver Marking

Silver Appraisal: Know the Current Market Value of Your Silver

If you have silver, it is important that you know exactly what it is worth. This is especially important if you are contemplating selling the item. There are silver flatware collectors that will buy your item if you are willing to sell but you need to establish the true value of what you have.

First, know the type of silver you have

Sterling silver flatware are made of real silver unlike silverplate that are metals coated with silver to look like the main thing. Your first step is to establish that the item you have is sterling silver. In the United States, for instance, every silver created after 1850 is stamped with one of these three marks:

  • Sterling
  • .925
  • 925/1000

Unless the silver was made before 1850, you will see one of these stamps. If you find the stamp, you are a step closer to knowing the current value of your silver.

Finding the Value of Antique Silver

Once you are certain you have a real silver, it is time to know your antique flatware worth. An expert will be needed to ascertain the actual worth but you can make some progress on your own.

Antique silver flatware patterns are necessary to get the significant information that can let you determine the current worth of the silver or make an estimation that is close to the actual value. You will also need to find out the manufacturers of the silver. Asides from the sterling stamp, silver items have hallmarks that you can use to know the manufacturer and other important information like the date it was produced.

When you know the pattern and the manufacturer of the silver, you can check the retail price for replacement pieces online; you can also get detailed information about the age and value of your silver from most of these sites.

There are several websites with resources that can help you figure out the current market value of your silver. You can also use antique appraisers and dealers to help you with it but make sure whoever you are dealing with is reputable.

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What precisely is sterling silver and how does it differ from real silver?

If you’ve seen something marked as sterling silver, you may assume that it’s no different from regular silver. However, that’s not the case. These two terms may sometimes be used interchangeably, but they’re not truly equivalent.

Sterling Silver Vs Silver

There is a difference between sterling silver and standard silver, and if you’re buying a lot of different silver jewelry, you should know exactly what it is you’re purchasing.

 

Sterling Silver vs Real Silver

Antique Silver Vs Sterling Silver

What is Pure or Fine Silver & How Pure is Sterling Silver

If you’re purchasing something that is advertised as pure silver, that means it has 99.9% silver in it. It’s as pure as you can get there’s no such thing as 100% silver with no impurities. Fine silver is not used in jewelry because it’s simply too soft. The items would be too malleable by hand. That’s why the silver jewelry and other items you purchase will be made from a mixture of silver and another metal (or several metals).

Know What is Sterling Silver?

Sterling silver, on the other hand, is a silver alloy. It’s made when pure silver is mixed with copper. The result is an alloy that is not as soft as pure copper and is much more durable. Sterling silver is generally 92.5% pure. That means only 7.5% of the mixture is another metal. While copper is the most common, zinc and nickel are also often used in making sterling silver.

Sterling Silver

In many cases, items that are made out of sterling silver are actually coated with pure silver. This thin layer improves the look of the piece by making it shinier. However, these products should never be labeled as pure silver because they aren’t.

You should also look for the term “sterling silver plated” on products. These products are not made of sterling silver. Instead, they’re made out of other metals such as copper or nickel. They’ve just had an outer layer of sterling silver applied to them. Over time, this layer is going to start wearing off, leaving the item looking much less attractive.

What is Coin Silver?

If you’re researching sterling silver vs. pure silver, you may also see the term “coin silver” come up. This is another type of silver alloy. However, it’s less pure. Coin silver is generally no more than 90 percent pure silver, so it’s not used in jewelry that often.

How Do You Tell the Difference?

Reputable silver makers should always stamp their creations. On fine silver pieces, you’ll find a number that shows the amount of silver per hundred parts (or thousands, in some cases). The higher the number, the more silver is in the product. Pure silver should have a high number such as 999 (some items are marked as 99.9 or as .999, but these are all indicative of pure silver). On sterling silver, you should see 925 (or, again, 9.25 or .925). If the number is any lower than that, it shouldn’t be marked as sterling silver in the U.S.

Note that sterling silver sold in other countries may have a purity lower than 925. Not all countries have the same purity requirements that the U.S. has.

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Antique Silver

Is Antique Silver A Good Acquisition? Know from the Antique Silver Experts

There are people who decorate their homes with silver items. Do you like to deck up your home with antique silver items? You want to purchase unique silver pieces, but you do not know the right place to purchase the best silver pieces. Put a halt to your search for a while and have a quick glance of our site. We have got some best designed antique silver items for you. We are one of the trusted antique silver buyers in Florida.

We have been into buying and selling items of various antique silver items since last many years. Like all other valuable metals, silver has always been one of the pricey metals whose value never seems to get decreased. Sellers can expect to get best price when they sell silver items to us. Buyers who want to buy our silver items can expect to purchase the antique pieces at affordable prices. Finding silver buyers near me is not hard. When you search on the internet the trusted silver buyers near me, then your eyes will catch sight of our site at first.

what-is-antique-silver

 

How to Choose Silver Buyers Near Me In Florida?

People hesitate to buy silver items from stores. The reason of hesitation is that they think they will be charged high in the name of fake silver items. We are the trusted collector and broker of silver items in Florida. We are not only known as one of the reliable antique silver buyers, but also, we are one of the sterling silver buyers in Florida. In the age of internet, finding our broking antique and estate silver site is not a tough task. Type our website to view the images of the silver items we buy and sell.

Contact One of The Eminent Sterling Silver Buyers

We sell and purchase vintage silver, antique silver and sterling Silver items. If you wish to buy Sterling Silver items, then you have come to the right place. Get a sterling look to your interior by decorating it with our sterling Silver items. A large number of people buy sterling silver pieces from us for enhancing the beauty of their residence. We are reckoned as one of the acclaimed sterling silver buyers. Hence, you can be assured of buying genuine quality sterling silver items from our online store. The designs and craftsmanship of each sterling silver item you will see in our store will mesmerize you. Buying the finest antique silver items and sterling silver items from one of the well-known sterling silver buyers will turn out to be profitable for you.

Get Fair Price for Your Antique Silver Items

If you looking for the silver buyers near me in Florida, then you should approach us at once. We offer fair price for the exquisite antique silver pieces such as silver tea sets, antique silver trays and bowls, silver flatware and other silver items you sell to us. We offer good price for the marvellous antique silver pieces as compared to other antique silver buyers. We offer appropriate value for the items, depending on the craftsmanship, age and the quality of the pieces. Get your money’s worth by selling the fascinating antique silver materials to us.

Substitute the premier antique silver items of your home with our one-of-a-kind silver items. Get in touch with one of the professional antique silver buyers in Florida now.

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Sterling Silver

What is Sterling Silver? How to Identify Sterling Silver?

Sterling silver is among the most beautiful metals. It has a cool metallic sheen and reflective properties that catch the light in a lovely way. It is a small wonder that sterling silver has been used in fine jewelry, precious family silverware, elegant serving trays, vases, and other decorative accents. There many fine examples of antique sterling silver out there, some of which have been passed down in families for generations. Of course, there is also a great number of items out there that pass for sterling silver. If you have recently inherited some silver or are considering purchasing some silver, you may be wondering if it is genuine sterling silver. In this article, we will explore the questions, “what is sterling silver,” and, “how to identify sterling silver”. Determining if an item is genuine sterling silver is key to determining its value.

Sterling Silver

What is sterling silver?

The first thing you need to know is that sterling silver is different than pure silver. If something is advertised as pure silver that means it has 99% silver in it, as pure as you can get because 100% silver with no impurities doesn’t exist. The thing is, pure silver is extremely soft and malleable. It is too soft and that is where sterling silver comes in. Sterling silver is a silver alloy that is made by mixing pure silver with another metal, usually, copper, thought zinc, and nickel are sometimes used.

Sterling silver is usually 92.5% pure silver with 7.5% of the mixture being copper or another metal. Sterling silver is also sometimes coated with pure silver, but should still be labeled as sterling silver. Also, if something is labeled as sterling silver plated that means that the item is made of another metal such a copper or nickel and simply coated with a layer of sterling silver. This layer wears away over time.

How to Identify Sterling Silver?

The first thing to look for is sterling silver markings. If you are looking at an item and think it is sterling silver check for a mark of the manufacturer or silversmith. It indicates the purity of the silver and sometimes identifies the maker and date of manufacture. International sellers will stamp silver as 925, 900, or 800 to indicate the purity level of the sterling silver. Sterling silver has a purity level of 92.5% or higher.

There are several other tests you can perform to determine if an item is sterling silver. Most precious metals, including silver, are nonmagnetic. If you use a magnet on pure silver it exhibits only weak magnetic effects. Other metals, such as iron, copper, nickel, or zinc, are magnetic. If a magnet is strongly attracted to and sticks to an item then it is not high enough in silver to be sterling. Silver is also odorless. If you smell a scent of sulfur or a distinct metallic scent, then the item is not high in silver.

You can do some surface testing of the item to determine if it is sterling silver. Silver oxidizes and tarnishes. It requires polishing on a regular basis. If you do the polish test and polish the item with a white cloth, it will probably leave a black residue on the cloth if it is sterling silver. Lack of oxidation or rust could indicate the item is made from a different metal than silver. You can also do a scratch test and see if the item has flakes of silver plating that come off and reveal a different metal underneath. Also, if you take flakes of the item and put them in acid, the acid’s color will stay the same if it is silver. Lastly, silver has the highest thermal conductivity of any metal or alloy. If you take an ice cube and place it on the item it will melt faster than normal if the item is sterling silver. Using these techniques will give you high confidence that the item in question is genuine sterling silver.

Wm. Rogers Silver Plate

How to Identify a Wm. Rogers Silver Plate? History of William Rogers?

Who was William Hazen Rogers? He lived from 1801 to 1873, he was a well-known and widely regarded American silversmith and watchmaker. He was extremely prolific and had a long career that encompassed several different company names. He partnered with his brothers and other silversmiths during his lifetime. Together with his brothers and, later on, his son, he was responsible for the creation of hundreds of Wm Rogers silver patterns for silver, silver-plated cutlery, and serving dishes. His company and trademarks were eventually taken over by larger companies. This can make it challenging to identify his work. In this article, we will take a look at how to identify a Wm. Rogers silver plate.

wm rogers silversmith

History of William Rogers’ Career and Companies

William Rogers began by apprenticing with Joseph Church, a silversmith, and watchmaker, from 1820 to 1825. They became partners in 1825. Their company, Church & Rogers, manufactured silver-plate flatware and hollowware. From 1832 to 1838 he was partners with his brother, Asa Rogers, in the firm, A. Rogers Jr. and Co. The partnership expanded to include their brother Simeon from 1847 to 1853 as Rogers Brothers. From 1857 to 1861, and again from 1896 to 1873, he partnered with his son, William Henry Rogers, under the company name William Rogers & Son.

Starting in 1862, portions of the Rogers brothers’ enterprises were taken over by the Meriden Britannia Co., which, in 1898, became part of the newly formed International Silver Co.. Rogers and his brothers were associated with Meriden Britannia Co. until his death. From 1865 to 1869 he partnered with William Henry Rogers, William Henry Watrous, Thomas Birch, and William J. Pierce under the company name William Rogers Manufacturing Co. Clearly, he had a significant impact on American sterling silver marks over such a long career with so many companies.

Wm Rogers Silver Marks

One of the fastest and easiest ways to determine if a piece of silver was crafted or designed by William Rogers is to look for Wm Rogers silver marks. American sterling silver markings contain the mark of the manufacturer or silversmith. It indicates the purity of the silver and sometimes identifies the maker and date of manufacture. As detailed in the above paragraph, William Rogers was associated with a number of company names during different years. When you are looking at the sterling silver marks on a piece (or pieces) of silver look for one of the company names (ie. William Rogers & Son) and see if there is also a corresponding year. That will give you an idea of whether William Rogers was behind the design and manufacture of the piece.

Wm Rogers Silver Patterns

Rogers was a true artist who created hundreds of silver patterns. We have previously discussed his silver marks. They are a good place to start. Obviously, if you have a silver mark that belongs to him (or at least one of his companies) on a piece it makes it more likely that the pattern of the piece was designed by him. Keep in mind the years he was alive and creating as well. The year a piece was manufactured should raise the likelihood that he designed the silver pattern. In addition, there are guides that are helpful to silverplate pattern identification. “Silverplated Flatware- An Identification and Value Guide” by Tere Hagan is a particularly good tool for identifying Wm Rogers Silver Patterns. It is a comprehensive guide to historic silver patterns from a number of silversmiths and companies. William Rogers left behind a remarkable legacy as a silversmith and there is still a lot of interest in his work.