Sterling silver is forever!
The beautiful shine of sterling silver turns your table into a warm glow of elegance for quest and family. Fine sterling silver is often displayed as beautiful pieces of art. It is both functional and pleasing to look at. Enjoy your sterling silver by using the pieces and displaying when not in use.
Whether you’re looking to start your collection of silver, searching for a special gift, or an advanced collector seeking unusual items, we suggest you browse though our store often. We add to our store and auction site weekly! We are a seller of pre-owned (estate) sterling silver flatware, hollowware and other select items. We bring sterling silver to you at 30-70% lower than other sites. If you don’t see what you are looking for, please check back frequently since we’re always adding new treasures.
When used frequently and polished and stored properly, silver will develop a soft patina.
v Separate your silver from harmful conditions such as moisture, sulfur and other airborne chemicals.
v Handle silver objects with clean cotton cloths or gloves. We recommend Hagerty’s silver gloves.
v Clean silver with a mild soap (no bleach). Rinse and dry it completely. Avoid soaking flatware.
v We DO NOT recommend washing silver in a dishwasher.
v Use a gentle liquid or cream polish such as Tarnishield or Hagerty's, both of which contain tarnish inhibitors. I recommend Hagerty’s spray and foam. You can purchase these on E-Bay.
v Avoid dip solutions, which can remove niello, a shiny black coating applied to enhance the silversmith's workmanship. Do not use baking soda and metal foils, which remove not only tarnish but also minute amounts of silver.
v Take your time when polishing your silver. Use gentle pressure and remove tarnish in two or three layers.
Display and Storage
v Silver should never be placed in attics, basements, fireplace mantels, and place that are above or below air vents.
v For displaying your pieces I recommend using cabinets with glass doors and shelves. These give you the best viewing and provide protections against tarnishing.
v Store silver in airtight containers such as Hagerty's Intercept bags or Pacific Silver cloth. If you are buying a silver box, make sure has been specially treated with Pacifica cloth.
Collectors of antique sterling silver pieces differ in their opinions regarding monograms.
Most collectors love them and see the old monogram as a work of art. Antique monograms have elaborate hand designs. Modern monograms are usually blocked and done by machine and don’t have the character of monograms on antique sterling silver pieces. The collectors who love monograms insist that the old monograms add value and uniqueness to the piece.
Monograms of family initials were used to personalize collections. The silver collection of a family were highly treasured and worth a great deal. They considered them as heirlooms to be passed along from one generation to the next.
Monograms were prevalent in 19th and early 20th centuries. During this time it was considered a necessity to have sterling silver collections. It was a must for entertaining. Monograms are still engraved upon sterling silver pieces today, but doing so is no longer a trend.
Monogrammed pieces of antique sterling silver that have just one letter, being in a unique, ornate script, sell the best and are the most highly valued of monogrammed pieces. Multi letter pieces with elaborate monograms are also sought after.
When dealing with previously owned silver the question usually ask “Can I take the monogram off”? The answer is “yes”, but is dependant on the piece and should be performed by a professional. We encourage you to view any existing monogram as part of the history of the piece and appreciate the artistry it contributes to it.
Please note: We DO NOT remove monograms from our silver. If we obtain a piece that appears to have had a monogram removed, we will make note of it in our listing.
alloy a combination of metals fused together. Pure silver is too soft for general use, so it is often mixed with a less expensive, or base, metal such as copper.
coin silver objects made from melted silver coins. Approximately 90 percent silver and 10 percent copper, coin silver is not as pure as sterling. Before 1868 the United States had no standard of silver purity and few facilities to mine, refine, and fabricate the metal. Silver artisans used whatever was available, including coins.
flatware knives, forks, spoons, and serving pieces.
hallmark A series of marks applied to silver indicating purity, maker, date and place of inspection, and taxes paid. Hallmarking is required in England and used throughout Europe. American silversmiths practice is to use the word Sterling or .925 or higher.
hollowware a general term for hollow vessels such as mugs, teapots, bowls, pitchers, and trays.
maker's mark a mark identifying the maker of an object. Continental sterling makers marks are unusually the silversmiths initials. Most American smiths use their own maker's mark which is pictorial, letters or a combination of both.
silver plate a base metal coated with a layer of silver.
sterling silver an alloy of 92.5 percent silver and 7.5 percent copper. Sterling is the standard for silver goods in the United States, Great Britain, and Scandinavia.
Caring for silver
American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works
Caring for Your Family Treasures: Heritage Preservation, by Jane S. Long and Richard W. Long
Harry N. Abrams, 2000
Estes-Simmons Silverplating Ltd.
American Silver and Pewter (The Antique Hunter's Guide), revised edition, by Donald L. Fennimore
Black Dog and Leventhal Publishers, 2000
Public Broadcasting Service, "Antiques Roadshow: Tips of the Trade"
Hallmarks and silversmiths
American Silversmiths and Their Marks, revised edition, by Stephen G. C. Ensko
David R. Godine, 1989
Encyclopedia of American Silver Manufacturers, by Dorothy T. Rainwater and Judy Redfield
Schiffer Publishing, 2002