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Author Topic:   Tiffany flatware question
michaelsbob

Posts: 12
Registered: Sep 2018

iconnumber posted 10-14-2018 04:05 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for michaelsbob     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I have a couple of very large pieces that match the Tiffany, 'Strawberry Pierced' pattern. They are stamped 'STERLING', but lack the Tiffany makers mark. Are these likely genuine Tiffany pieces or some kind of a copy? They are very detailed and look like the real thing. Also, if they are a copy do they have any intrinsic value beyond the value of the metal? Thank you.

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asheland

Posts: 856
Registered: Nov 2003

iconnumber posted 10-15-2018 12:39 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for asheland     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
With certainty those are copies. Tiffany always marked their pattern flatware.

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Kimo

Posts: 1577
Registered: Mar 2003

iconnumber posted 10-18-2018 12:21 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Kimo     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
We do not talk about values, but in general copies that try to be something well known are sometimes not sterling even though they may be marked as such. You would need to do a proper X-ray fluorescence test to know one way or the other (find a good jeweler who has an XRF tester). Magnets and acids that some less expert dealers and jewelers use are not really reliable. A specific gravity test would also be reliable but not many people have the proper equipment to do that correctly.

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Jazzman111

Posts: 8
Registered: Nov 2018

iconnumber posted 11-03-2018 02:21 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jazzman111     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I learned moments ago from a YouTube video that items can easily also be fakes even when they have (faux) Tiffany stamps on them. Several items the narrator showed had "Sterling" or "925" stamped into them proved also to prove false when acid tested. (I'm learning from the previous replier that an acid test can also be unreliable, but it may be better than nothing).

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Kimo

Posts: 1577
Registered: Mar 2003

iconnumber posted 11-04-2018 11:01 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Kimo     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
You are correct that acid tests are unreliable since all they tell you is what kind of metal is on the surface of something and so plated objects can show positive results as being sterling. But I might suggest that they are not better than nothing. Depending on what is used and how they are done they can create a bit of damage to the area that is tested. Also, having a positive result will only confuse the question as to whether something is solid silver. The two most reliable tests for solid silver are X-Ray Fluorescence (XRF) and Specific Gravity. XRF analyzers will give you the exact alloys so they are the best, but they are too expensive for an average collector to buy. One would need to find a local jeweler or pawn shop or such that has invested in one and ask them to test your items for you - likely they would charge a small fee. Specific Gravity testing is affordable by an ordinary collector but you need to have a set up that allows you to measure water displacement and weight.

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