SMP Logo
SM Publications
Silver Salon Forums - The premier site for discussing Silver.
SMP | Silver Salon Forums | SSF - Guidelines | SSF - FAQ | Silver Sales

The Silver Salon Forums
Since 1993
Over 11,793 threads & 64,769 posts !!

General Silver Forum

Silver Salon internal search

REGISTER (click here) How to Post Photos

customtitle open  SMP Silver Salon Forums
tlineopen  General Silver Forum
tline3open  Silverplated?

Post New Topic  Post A Reply
profile | register | preferences | faq | search

ForumFriend SSFFriend: Email This Page to Someone! next newest topic | next oldest topic
Author Topic:   Silverplated?

Posts: 336
Registered: Jan 2005

iconnumber posted 05-12-2005 10:09 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for salmoned     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote

I recently won a pair of tongs advertised as "solid silver with stamped hallmarks". When I received the item, the stamped marks proved to be:

Was I cheated?
Can anyone identify this mark?
(Bought from the UK)

IP: Logged


Posts: 1203
Registered: Feb 2005

iconnumber posted 05-12-2005 10:27 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for jersey     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
You bid it you bought it! If it brings you pleasure & you're happy that's all that counts, Nes't pas!

IP: Logged


Posts: 67
Registered: Nov 2004

iconnumber posted 05-13-2005 04:45 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Argent47     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote

There are hallmarks and then, there are marks.

Before purchasing anything that is quoted as being "real silver" on Ebay, you should always ask to see a close-up of the said hallmarks.

Sterling silver will always carry at least 4 types of hallmarks :- The Town assay mark, the maker's mark, the date mark and sometimes a duty mark. If those marks are not visible on the piece, it is quite likely your piece will not be sterling silver. Or so I believe.
But since you purchased the item, I suspect you liked it - Enjoy it, silver or not.

IP: Logged

Silver Lyon

Posts: 363
Registered: Oct 2004

iconnumber posted 05-13-2005 06:02 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Silver Lyon     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I fear that your tongs are EPNS - the marks you show are typical og those used by the large Sheffield concern of William Gallimore & Co. in the 1860s and 1870s - the accompanying marks refer to the quality of the plating used.

I remember standing (open-mouthed) in the Portobello Road some twenty years ago when a nice Italian couple brought back a pair of candlesticks to the stallholder from whom they had purchased them on a previous visit in order to complain that the sticks were 'non argenta' (not silver) - the stall holder's response was "what colour would you call them then, ducky!"
Don't despair, read and learn.

IP: Logged


Posts: 289
Registered: May 2003

iconnumber posted 05-13-2005 10:48 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for nihontochicken     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The best rule to use for Brit marks is that if you can't identify a hallmark, then assume it's silverplate. Small items like sugar tongs often don't have a full set of marks, but usually have the lion passant or other sterling hallmark. If you can't fully identify this or a town mark, then pass (and don't rely on a crown for Sheffield, since many crown variations are used for plated items). American solid coin silver items may have just a maker's mark or no marks at all, but the general rule is still valid - if you can't identify the marks, assume they are for silverplate. In time you may develop a "feel" for marks and be willing to gamble that marks you can't identify are not for silverplate but instead are from, say, a small provincial sterling maker, but those bets are not worth rushing into. JMO.

IP: Logged


Posts: 963
Registered: Jul 2004

iconnumber posted 05-13-2005 11:32 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for tmockait     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote

It is not just ebay that misrepresents stuff (usually by mistake), I have purchased spoons from dealers who thought they were silver rather than plate, most recently an art nouveau spoon made in Vienna. I had several hours of enjoyment researching the marks and the compnay (after I bought the spoon!), so I don't feel cheated. My general rule is not to spend more than I would mind losing. Argent47 it is right, enjoy it!


IP: Logged


Posts: 336
Registered: Jan 2005

iconnumber posted 05-13-2005 05:45 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for salmoned     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thanks all, the [single] photo was out of focus, but I could see there were 4 marks on this fiddle pattern piece. I made a bid, taking the risk, and didn't get a reply for a hallmark description until after the auction ended. I never unilaterally renege on auctions. The seller inherited it from their grandmother and always assumed it was solid silver (tho not 'sterling'?)...

I thought this transaction might be of interest to new silver collectors - that's why I placed it in this forum. Happily, the entire transaction amounted to less than 4 GBP.

[This message has been edited by salmoned (edited 05-13-2005).]

IP: Logged


Posts: 24
Registered: Oct 2004

iconnumber posted 05-29-2005 09:00 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for cannon50     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Don't know if this helps but I use a very crude test to help verify sterling by getting a similar item that I know is sterling and apply an ice cube to one end, say in the bowl of a spoon. Wait a few seconds and then feel the handle. Sterling conducts heat very fast and most plated articles seem to conduct heat much slower. Of course plated copper also conducts heat well, but does not have much of a ring when tapped. So, if it slow to conduct heat and has no ring, I feel pretty sure it's plated.

IP: Logged

All times are ET

next newest topic | next oldest topic

Administrative Options: Close Topic | Archive/Move | Delete Topic
Post New Topic  Post A Reply
Hop to:

Ultimate Bulletin Board 5.46a

1. Public Silver Forums (open Free membership) - anyone with a valid e-mail address may register. Once you have received your Silver Salon Forum password, and then if you abide by the Silver Salon Forum Guidelines, you may start a thread or post a reply in the New Members' Forum. New Members who show a continued willingness to participate, to completely read and abide by the Guidelines will be allowed to post to the Member Public Forums.
Click here to Register for a Free password

2. Private Silver Salon Forums (invitational or $ donation membership) - The Private Silver Salon Forums require registration and special authorization to view, search, start a thread or to post a reply. Special authorization can be obtained in one of several ways: by Invitation; Annual $ Donation; or via Special Limited Membership. For more details click here (under development).

3. Administrative/Special Private Forums (special membership required) - These forums are reserved for special subjects or administrative discussion. These forums are not open to the public and require special authorization to view or post.

| Home | Order | The Guide to Evaluating Gold & Silver Objects | The Book of Silver
| Update BOS Registration | Silver Library | For Sale | Our Wants List | Silver Dealers | Speakers Bureau |
| Silversmiths | How to set a table | Shows | SMP | Silver News |
copyright © 1993 - 2022 SM Publications
All Rights Reserved.
Legal & Privacy Notices