Sterling Silver Flatware – Gorgeous Flatware
There’s a common misconception about sterling silver flatware – most people think that sterling silver is pure silver. Pure silver is essentially 99.9% silver while sterling silver is only 92.5% silver and commonly reinforced by copper and other hardening metals. This can be termed as a silver alloy and results in a much harder material. Pure silver is too soft to be used for anything, and sterling silver replaces pure silver in most applications – electrical circuits, jewelry and silverware.
Silver flatware is generally passed down from generation to generation; depending on how old the silverware is and the condition it is present in. They usually have a lot of family value and a higher price in the market. Further value would be added to the price if it has engravings, crests or embossments of some sort; while a simple design can be still be valuable, a complicated floral pattern or a unique decorative pattern would fetch more money. There are some individual pieces that may be worth more than others based on their designs – for instance, steak knives and cake knives made of sterling silver may be worth more than common spoons and forks.
Every household typically has two sets of flatware; while ceramic and porcelain can be used regularly, sterling silver is more expensive and is reserved for formal dining events. The advantages of using them are many; first, you can be assured that the guests will be impressed for sure if they are served in a silver platter. Another advantage is that they are easy to cook and hygienic because of their non-toxic properties. They can be easily cleaned with a dishwasher – though most dealers advice just hand washing.
You’ll have to realize that when a person sells you a “pure silver” flatware, it has to be sterling silver or a good silver alloy because pure silver has no utility value because of its softness and can definitely not be molded into flatware. Pure silver has to be alloyed with copper, nickel and chromium in order to be more durable – this however increases the tendency of the material to be subject to tarnish. Pure silver does not tarnish while the sterling silver flatware you buy will tarnish because of the simple fact that addition of other metals to silver increases the oxidization potential of the material.
If you want a good, strong and durable sterling silver flatware, you can consider Argentinean sterling silver which has a high degree of durability and also lesser prone to tarnishing. The dazzling silver shine and the ability to resist corrosion make for an amazing sterling silver flatware. The secret of maintaining a sterling silver piece is quite simple – all you have to do is to use a paste of baking soda and water to polish it.
Silverware, if maintained properly, can go a long way – it can even be passed down to the next generation as vintage flatware. Precious metals are always an excellent investment because their value has never been known to depreciate in the long run. So this makes sterling silver flatware an excellent investment in turn.
TOP 3 Sterling Silver Flatware Sets:
🏆 Wallace Grande Baroque 46-Piece Sterling Flatware Set
2 used from $3,600.00
- This flatware set includes the following: 8 salad forks, 8 place forks, 8 place knives, 8 place spoons and 8 teaspoons. The set also includes a 6-piece hostess helper set with 1 tablespoon, 1 pierced tablespoon, 1 sugar spoon, 1 butter knife and 1 pie server.
- This 46-piece flatware set includes a full service for eight.
- The flatware in this set is made from fine sterling silver.
- For proper maintenance, sterling silver should be polmeasureshed once or twice a year, even if it has not been used regularly.
Sterling Silver – Why not just use Regular Silver?
Much of the best flatware is made from Sterling silver. But just what is sterling silver and why is it better than regular silver? Here we explain.
Sterling silver is essentially a silver alloy though there is a common misconception that it is pure silver. The basic difference between pure silver and sterling silver is that pure silver or fine silver contains 99.9% pure silver while sterling silver is a copper-silver alloy with a proportion of 92.5% silver and 7.5% copper. The reason why sterling silver is more useful compared to pure silver is because pure silver is too soft to be molded and used for anything like flatware.
The hardening agent in sterling silver is called a base metal and is primarily nickel or copper though stronger metals have also been known to be used. This enables the metal to be cast into different shapes and used with ease without having to worry about its characteristics like durability and strength.
How can you find out if the material is sterling silver?
Sterling silver is generally indicated by a stamp on the bottom of the piece which varies from country to country – but in effect, tells you that it is sterling silver.
Owing to its strength, malleability and hardness, sterling silver can be used for making fine flatware – this includes knives, spoons, forks, coffee and tea sets, and even silver trays. The intricacy of work and the precision of tools that it allows enable sterling silver to be used for smaller pieces of silverware.
The only downside of using sterling silver for flatware is that the base metal or the alloy metal attracts tarnish. While pure silver is unaffected by tarnish and oxidation, sterling silver can be tarnished by contact with air. It is relatively hard to get rid of tarnish – all you can do is to keep the surface polished and neat by using a cotton cloth on it regularly. You can’t really afford to store sterling silver away for a long time since the rate of tarnishing is only increased.