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Frequently asked questions about silver plate


What is Silver Plate?

Silver Plated is a micro thin layer of silver between 10-80 microns thick thinly applied via electrical current over a copper/nickel alloy of base metal.  Sterling Silver is 92.5% pure silver and 7.5% copper and nickel.

What is the value of Silver Plate?

There is only a nominal amount of silver on the flatware pieces hardly enough to refine down and smelt out even if silver prices are surging.    However for about 1/10th the cost of Sterling, one can purchase a handsome set of flatware that exudes the look and feel of real silverware.   However, over time as in decades there is a tendency for plated flatware to show signs of wear and tear that can often give away the fact that it is merely a thin coating over silver over a base metal and not silver the entire way through.

How do I care for Silver Plate?

Most of the time you will want to use a gentle rub or silver polish to keep your silver plate shiny. For a lightly tarnished piece we recommend a Hagerty's Silver Dusting Cloth item # 1821509.  For something darker we recommend using Hagerty's Silversmith's Polish item #1821510.   We don't advise using silver dips as they are diluted acid and have a tendency of taking off a bit of the silver along with the tarnish.  Only use dips on items that you don't plan to keep for very long - see item   #13485513




Page authored and written by:
Greg Arbutine 10-9-12