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tline3open  Origin/Maker Assistance with .800 Salt?

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Author Topic:   Origin/Maker Assistance with .800 Salt?

Posts: 6
Registered: Nov 2022

iconnumber posted 12-11-2022 08:15 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for JoeG     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Some help please with identifying the maker – my skills are improving with US and English makers, but I still struggle other European marks – and that is what I suspect this is… This was dirty, dull & at the bottom of a box-lot full of low-quality art glass, I took a chance and I think I have an .800 silver master salt, blue glass liner and spoon. The spoon says Germany and the marks on the cellar haven’t been any help – I’ve looked through the online resources unsuccessfully – assistance is appreciated!! Is this continental silver? What is its story? Thank you – Joe

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Scott Martin
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iconnumber posted 12-11-2022 09:00 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Scott Martin     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote

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iconnumber posted 12-14-2022 08:41 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Kimo     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
It is hard to tell about the spoon since the maker's marking is poorly struck but the best I can make out is it could be Gebrüder Reiner which is a German manufacturing company that has used the marking it appears to be from 1910 until today. It does have the crescent moon and crown and .800 markings used in Germany to indicate 800 silver. 800 silver means it is an alloy of 80 percent silver plus 20 percent other metals. By comparison, Sterling silver is 92.5 percent silver and 7.5 percent other metals. So it could have been made at any time from 1910 to yesterday. The holder for the blue glass bowl has a marking that I do not know and appears to be a pseudo hallmark - a marking that is intended to look like a British hallmark but it is not and is likely meant to lure buyers into thinking it is solid silver. My guess is this is silver plated or just shiney silver-colored metal and not very old, especially given the lack of wear and the words 'HAND CHASED'. It does not match the spoon so someone at some time added the unrelated spoon to the bowl to make it appear to be a set.

[This message has been edited by Kimo (edited 12-14-2022).]

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iconnumber posted 12-29-2022 09:18 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for JoeG     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Kimo - thanks for all your words, started reading about the pseudo hallmarks and it appears the world is never as straight forward as I would like - but, i did run the feet of the bowl over a touchstone pretty hard and the acid showed "brown" - maybe 800? regardless, it's handsome and into the display case it goes. Thank again

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iconnumber posted 12-30-2022 01:43 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Kimo     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Hi Joe.

There is only one non-destructive way to tell what a piece of metal is that is 100 percent accurate and that is to use an X-Ray Fluorescence (XRF) spectrometer. Scratching, acid, touchstones, smelling, tasting, and all of the other methods used by various people cannot tell what exactly what are the percentages of the various elements in an alloy. For example, silver plating can easily give a false positive for solid silver. An "XRF gun" is a handheld device that is about the size and shape of a hand drill except that it shoots an X-ray beam into the metal and it has a small screen that then tells you the exact percentages of each element that is in the object. Sadly, XRF guns can cost eight to fifteen thousand dollars so unless one is in the business where one would regularly need to use such a device such as some jewelers or pawn shops, scrap metal dealers, etc. it does not pay for an ordinary person to buy one. The best bet for ordinary folks is to find a local jeweler or pawn shop or such who own one and ask them to test your object for you with their XRF gun. If you make friends with them they may do it for free or if not they may charge you a small fee. A good rule of thumb for any object that you think might be silver is that if it is not marked as silver then you can be pretty sure that it is not silver unless it is something that is known to be commonly unmarked such as mid 19th century US coin silver. Your salt cellar frame does not appear to be such and so it is highly unlikely to be unmarked silver of any purity and is most likely to be either silver plated or just a shiney silver colored metal of some kind. If something is unmarked and you are thinking based on your experience that it could silver then you should get it XRF tested. Finally, more expensive pieces of silver are sometimes marked with fake silver markings to lure less experienced buyers so always be careful on more expensive things.

[This message has been edited by Kimo (edited 12-30-2022).]

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iconnumber posted 12-30-2022 09:19 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ahwt     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Another test you might consider is the specific gravity test. YouTube has several videos that describe how this is done and it should be accurate enough to tell you if your salts are silver plated or solid silver.
In either case your salts are attractive and are to be enjoyed.

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