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Author Topic:   'Tis a Puzzlement!

Posts: 1203
Registered: Feb 2005

iconnumber posted 08-09-2007 11:30 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for jersey     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Good Morning!

I am very curious about a mark that I have encounter from time to time on silver bowls, flatware etc. They have a back mark which is stamped & reads Sterling Plate, some times with a B or D in a diamond. Does anyone have a clue as to what company this is, and what is the composition, what does it refer too?

I have searched all over & cannot come up with any answers.

Thank you so much for listening. Any help would be appreciated.

Enjoy the Day!

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Posts: 962
Registered: Jun 99

iconnumber posted 08-10-2007 06:19 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for vathek     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
My understanding is that most plated wares are plated using pure silver which gives the item a different look than plating with sterling which would have, in my opinion, a warmer look.

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Posts: 847
Registered: Jun 2004

iconnumber posted 08-10-2007 01:56 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for agleopar     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote

I am no expert but I thought all silver plating was done with pure silver?

I just saw Salmoned's very good reply to this subject in the open forum:

    "Whoa! Chemistry does not allow for simultaneous plating of different metals, due to differing electronegativity (one metal will always display a preference). Yes, trace amounts of different metals may plate out due to random 'local' solution issues, but for the most part only 1 'pure' metal can be plated at a time. In fact, this is a method for metal purification."
So I am guessing that the phrase Sterling Plate means Plate in the old use of the word?

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Posts: 418
Registered: May 2003

iconnumber posted 08-11-2007 08:32 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for adelapt     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I think "sterling" is used in this instance for the prestige or comfort factor, as the word has spread from a specific meaning to a more general term denoting high quality. The same thing has happened to the term "hallmark".

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Posts: 2132
Registered: Nov 2002

iconnumber posted 08-14-2007 11:32 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Dale     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
There is flatware around with this name on it. And it is clearly plated. The name 'sterling plate co' seems to have been used to mislead the public. My impression from what I have handled is that the work is low level. And most likely a premium with something.

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Posts: 1203
Registered: Feb 2005

iconnumber posted 08-18-2007 03:07 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for jersey     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote

Thank you all for your responses, they were extremely helpful!

I've also noted that a D.S. Spaulding company of Mass. marked some goods sterling top......curious as to why this would be done?


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Paul Lemieux

Posts: 1768
Registered: Apr 2000

iconnumber posted 08-23-2007 04:51 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Paul Lemieux     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Well "sterling top" and "sterling front" goods were usually made as cheaper alternatives to all-sterling wares. In my experience, sterling top pieces have actual sterling silver (not merely plate) on the visible portions of the piece, and use a white base metal on the rest. I see a lot of brooches in this vein dating from 1895-1910. The front is a die-stamped sterling design and the back is a flat sheet of white metal. The method of manufacture is the same as Unger Brothers and Kerr jewelry, but by using white metal on the back instead of sterling, the cost of materials for these pieces is half as much and from the front they still look like all-sterling pieces. Consequently, most sterling top pieces are somewhat inferior in quality and design as they were probably marketed to a less affluent demographic who didn't want to buy Unger, Kerr, etc. from high-end retailers like Daniel Low.

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Posts: 1203
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iconnumber posted 08-23-2007 07:22 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for jersey     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Hello Paul!

Thank you for your help. I will try and stay away from those pieces unless of course they are special (to my eye & taste)!

Enjoy the day!

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Scott Martin
Forum Master

Posts: 11377
Registered: Apr 93

iconnumber posted 09-05-2007 11:20 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Scott Martin     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
From the New Members Forum:

Sheila posted 09-05-2007 10:50 AM:

I just wanted to share the information about what I believe are Trademarks.
I didn't have a question.

You can pass it on if you want to.
In the General Silver Forum
'Tis a Puzzlement!

I believe the B and D marks are Trade Marks.
B within a diamond is listed as

E & J Bass
610 Broadway
New York

D within a diamond is listed as

Deitsch Bros.
14 E 17th St.,
New York

Ref: From 1915 Trademarks book.



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