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Do you know that there are marks on the bottom of silver and silverplate items that tell you who made it and if it's sterling or silverplate? Did you know that all this information is on the internet if you do a google search for silverplate marks? It was fun finding out that my 'plate" thing was silverplate from a Connecticut firm which closed in 1939, and that my pitcher thing was English Sheffield Ware (Fenton Bros - date?)
By Pam from L.A., CA
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By Tangie from Springville, AL
All of the sterling silver I have ever seen has sterling engraved on it. This is a beautiful tray.
Sterling silver always (without exception) will be labeled with the word sterling so since yours does not include that, it is silver plated. Silver plate can wear off whereas sterling is solid (sterling knives have hollow centers). All silver tarnishes whether it is sterling or plated. As long as it looks good, enjoy using it. You just need to use a quality tarnish remover of some type. Outside of sneaking a look on the back of flat wear at friend's place, check whether sterling or not by sticking spoon in hot drink. The sterling will heat up rather rapidly.
Anything after approximately WWII will be stamped. Before then, metals weren't required to be labeled, according to the company that valued my great grandmother's silver for my insurance.
I agree with Hate Litter, the tray is beautiful. My suggestion is to go to the Replacements, Ltd, out of Greensboro, NC, website and you can email them and send a photo of the tray. They will look it up for you and either call you or telephone you with what they find. I have done this many times and they are so nice to deal with.
I have lots of sterling silver pieces but also have some very beautiful and heavy silver plated pieces that I use right along side my sterling. As long as it looks good to me, I use it. Good luck!
Take it to a good jewerly store and they will tell you. If you want it appraised they will charge for that service.
Magnets will not stick to sterling, but they also do not stick to aluminum, pewter, tungsten, platinum, brass or copper as well as alloys of these.
I was watching show that was verifying antique sterling silver vs silver plate & the man said to sniff the tray. Sterling silver has a sweet smell but plate has a bad almost rancid smell up close.
I have a Mappin and Webb goblet or trophy which says it is from 1884. All that is on the bottom is the Mappin and Webb stamp and 3 dots stamped in a triangle formation. Can anybody tell me if its silver or anything else about it? Thanks.