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Author Topic:   Pure coin designation

Posts: 21
Registered: Dec 2000

iconnumber posted 08-29-2007 07:26 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Dorothy     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
When did the "pure coin" designation disappear from use?

The reason I ask is that I have recently acquired some pieces of flatware in a pattern identical to Reed and Barton's Spray (1890).

The pieces I have include forks and a serving spoon marked pure coin and teaspoons marked both pure coin and sterling. None of these items contain the Reed and Barton hallmark, but rather have various retailers marks.


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Registered: Apr 2004

iconnumber posted 08-29-2007 11:12 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for argentum1     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Do a search for 'when coin evolved to sterling'. I do not remember which forum but there was a long discussion on SMP.

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Scott Martin
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iconnumber posted 08-30-2007 06:30 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Scott Martin     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
When Coin Evolved to Sterling

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Posts: 602
Registered: Apr 2004

iconnumber posted 08-30-2007 09:25 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for argentum1     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
'Sterling' became an official designation for 925/1000 silver around the end of the Civil War. 'Coin Silver' is still made today and used by some craftsmen and is marked as such by law as is sterling.

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Registered: Mar 2003

iconnumber posted 08-30-2007 10:29 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for ahwt     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Winterthur Portfolio 12 has an article by Deborah Dependahl Waters entitled “From Pure Coin – The Manufacture of American Silver Flatware 1800-1850”. She notes that Thomas Jefferson suggested in 1792 that the United States adopt the British standard for plate and a 916.6/1000 standard for coins. Congress did not heed his advice and enacted an 892.4/1000 for coins and choose not to enact any standard for plate. She further notes that Joseph Cooke advertised tea sets “of Silver equal to dollars” as early as January 1789. In 1795 he apparently expanded his manufacturing capability and advertised silver was available in either coin or the British standard. Another early advertisement for sterling was by Daniel Carrell of Charleston when he advertised in 1792 “all kinds of spoons made of sterling silver”. I do not know how available this Portfolio is, but I suspect that it is in libraries in major cities.

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