Thursday, May 24, 2012

Sterling Silver's Stepsister?

The purge of 2012 continues and yesterday I attacked my collection of sterling silver serving pieces.  
(Part of my extensive tray collection --in need of a polishing

Turns out I didn't have as much as I thought. I've got a lot of silver pieces, not so much sterling silver

How did I find out this disappointing fact?...

I invited my friend Nan from Silver Magpies over to appraise my lot. Nan is antique and vintage silver expert/dealer/blogger who advocates pulling your sterling out of storage and using every day. 
Turns out, most of my pieces were silver plate. I'm fine using silver plated pieces and I do all the time. 
I was just hoping to cash in on some things I've had for a while and don't use.  
(Nan points out markings that are intended to fool you into thinking it's sterling)

So I'm not going to get rich selling sterling. 
But I am going to get rid of some the silver plated pieces I'm not using. 
Nan told me what they are worth.

And, Drew and I had fun doing a little demo on a couple salt and pepper shakers 
that were is such bad shape, I was advised to just to melt them down.  

Not a lot of silver on these weighted babies. This is what they look like on the inside the shape is created with wax or plaster and a very thin layer of silver wraps around it--fascinating. 

As Nan says, silver plate is NOT sterling silver's step sister. 
It's just not as durable and you shouldn't use it everyday. 

Whereas, sterling silver can and should be used everyday and she says to put in the dishwasher. 
If you use it everyday you won't have to polish it.

I encourage you to check out Silver Magpies to learn more about 
using, buying, appraising vintage sterling silver. 


pve design said...

What a fun thing to do....I would love to have Nan nearby! I love silver too.

Kerry Steele- Design du Monde said...

That's so neat. I have quite a collection of sterling and silverplate too. The silverplate is fun for entertaining. I stopped using my sterling everyday a few years ago when I had three teen boys eating every 10 minutes and just being way too hard on the stuff.

jeanette from everton terrace said...

We had our big garage sale last weekend. I was kind of rushed to get it done because a friend who is leaving wanted to join in. I feel I need another one soon but with our weather, will have to wait until the fall.
Do you use the baking soda polish method? When I have a big batch of items from the auction and need to get them ready for the shop, I fill the sink up and clean them in no time.
I do use silver plated pieces all the time :)

Woodside Park said...

Most of our pieces are plated, unfortunately. Not worth much, but I didn't pay a lot for them, either. I am not very knowledgeable on silver and the markings. Thanks for the info on Silver glad she is local. That's why I love following local blogs. Have a great long weekend,

Chris said...

Hi Julie, just stopping by to say how delightful your blog is. Thanks so much for sharing. I have recently found your blog and am now following you, and will visit often. Please stop by my blog and perhaps you would like to follow me also. Have a wonderful day. Hugs, Chris

About Last Weekend said...

As far as I know, I do not have neither but this has been so fascinating! You have beautiful things that's for sure. Love those shakers! Good to know about using one for everyday.

Silver Magpies said...

Julie - I'm so sorry to be so tardy in seeing this! Thank you very much for the mention. I'm glad you and Drew had so much fun de-constructing the weighted silver pieces. It's absolutely amazing to see what they are really made of!

Thank you for having me over, it was great fun to see 'Monkey Grass Hill' in person. And I have to say, kudos to pve design...her illustration captures the essence of your house just perfectly!

All the best,

Mary Ann Pickett said...

I have sterling silver flatware that I think I will start using every day...thanks to you and Nan. My mom uses hers and it DOES stay polished.