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tline3open  what is silver content in "G.SILVER"?

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Author Topic:   what is silver content in "G.SILVER"?
janwg

Posts: 2
Registered: Sep 99

iconnumber posted 09-29-1999 07:27 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for janwg     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
How can I find out the silver content in German Silver? I have a silver mesh purse from around 1900 that is marked "G.SILVER".

I have heard that the term german silver can mean anything from nickel silver (with no silver content) to 800 to 900 parts sterling.

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Scott Martin
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Posts: 11321
Registered: Apr 93

iconnumber posted 09-29-1999 11:58 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Scott Martin     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The following is from the glossary in The Guide To Evaluating Gold & Silver Objects; For Appraisers- Collectors-Dealers:

German silver. A white metal, also known as nickel silver or Argentan , which is a composition of nickel, copper and zinc. It was and is often used as a base for silver electroplate.

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Ulysses Dietz
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Registered: May 99

iconnumber posted 10-06-1999 03:10 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Ulysses Dietz     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
To clarify the reply from Scott; German silver, when it refers to silver make in Germany, means solid silver, of whatever content level the quality standard denotes; this should not be confused with German silver the MATERIAL, which, as Scott notes, is a base metal alloy. Your purse frame is make of this alloy. A silver piece marked "Germany" is not German SILVER, but GERMAN silver. Got it?

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Scott Martin
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iconnumber posted 07-19-2015 12:36 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Scott Martin     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Excerpt about German Silver from the bio of
    BENEDICT & BURNHAM MFG. CO.
    Page 82
    NEW ENGLAND
    MANUFACTURERS
    AND
    MANUFACTORIES
    Vol. 1
    1879

... In 1835 the concern began the rolling of German silver. This alloy of copper, zinc and nickel was first made from an ore found at Hildburghausen, in Germany, the proportions being of copper, 40.4; of nickel, 31.6; of zinc, 25.4, and of iron, 2.6. This ore, being smelted, produced the metal which, from its partial resemblance to silver, and from the country where the ore was discovered, received the name of German silver. As the iron was not an essential ingredient, and as various proportions of the other metals were desired by different manufactures, the practice was soon adopted of melting together the pure metals, copper, nickel and zinc, and various names, as German silver, white metal, nickel silver, albala and argentine, have been applied to the several compounds. The first composition of this kind rolled by Benedict and Burnham, was for Joseph Curtiss, of Hartford. He furnished the nickel, which was then, and for several years, of inferior quality. They mixed it with copper and zinc, and rolled it into sheets, which Mr. Curtiss manufactured into spoons, forks and various articles for which pewter and britannia had been previously used. The introduction of electro silver-plating, which soon followed, and the manufacture of silver-plated ware, at Meriden, Taunton and other places, produced an increased demand for nickel-silver, the highest grades of plated ware having this as their basis. Nickel-silver is rolled in sheets like brass, and Benedict and Burnham have been among its largest manufacturers. ...

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