Silver Plated or Sterling Silver

>> Thursday, October 16, 2008

Silver plate is the term that is used to describe silver that is not pure silver. It is made of metal and that has an essence of a very thin coating over another base type metal usually brass. The actually metal is different and the plating material is silver. The silver used to plate the metal is usually sterling silver and it is quoted by a process of electroplating. Thickness of Silver coating may differ from product to product depending on the quality of the product.

Sterling Silver on the other hand is .925 silver with a .075 additive, usually copper. Sterling silver is something that is ninety two percent pure silver. The remaining seven and a half percent is mostly alloy that is used to harden the object and this alloy is either zinc or copper. Sterling silver always maintains and increases in valueas it is nintey two percent a precious metal.

Sterling made in the USA after approximately the 1850's always has a sterling mark. It may say Sterling. It may be.925 or show the fraction 925/1000. If it does not have this mark it is not sterling.You can also determine its content by testing it with an acid.But,this should only be done by professional.

Sterling Silver always retains it intrinsic silver value & usually a value also as tableware. Silverplate has no intrinsic silver value. It is not worth the refining costs to try to redeem the silver. It has very little resale value as tableware.

Nowadays, the international standard for silver items is the "sterling" standard. If there is too much silver in the alloy the items will be too soft and malleable. The standard used by all major manufacturers nowadays is sterling.

Sterling Silver items are much more expensive, but they will hold on to their value over time. Silver plated items are far cheaper, but the items become worthless very quickly.
Sterling items are generally lighter than silver plated items of the same size. This is due to the inherent value of the silver - leading to using less of the metal in the manufacturing process. Silver plating is a chemical process that adds a very thin layer of silver to the item, which is made of a different metal. This allows the manufacturer to make heavier items out of cheaper metals.

The best part of Sterling Silver is that it lasts forever if you take good care of it.Whereas most silver plate will last approximately 20 years or less depending on its proper care and use.

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