Antique Silver FAQ's - What does that mark mean?

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Sepickard

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Apr 17, 1999, 3:00:00 AM4/17/99
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THE BEGINNER'S GUIDE TO SILVER TERMS AND MARKS


800 SILVER 800/1000 Pure silver
900 SILVER 900/1000 Pure silver
.925 Sterling silver *
A1 or A-1 Higher quality silver plate flatware, reinforced
at points of wear, heels of spoons & tips of fork tines.
ALASKA SILVER See nickel silver
ALPACA (SILBER) This is not silver, see "Nickel Silver"
BLEEDING When the base metal, such as copper, is showing on a
silver plate piece. Term is most often used when referring to Sheffield Plate.
BRITANNIA METAL Pewter
BRITANNIA STANDARD .958 silver standard required in England 1697-1719
CHASING A decorative pattern worked onto the silver with a
hammer or punch, leaving an impression in the silver.
COIN SILVER 900 silver originally made from melted coinage. Used
in the US before the 1861 sterling standard.
COIN Coin Silver
CONTINENTAL Usually 800 silver
DOLLAR Coin silver
ELECTROPLATE The modern method of silver plating by electrolysis

EPBM Electroplated Base (or Britannia) Metal
EPNS Electroplated Nickel Silver
EXTRA PLATE See A-1
FLATWARE Knives, forks, spoons, serving utensils, etc.
G. SILVER German Silver
GERMAN SILVER Alloy of zinc, nickel and copper, contains NO silver
HOLLOWWARE Teapots, bowls, pitchers, trays, etc.
LION PASSANT A standing lion, facing left indicating sterling.
MEXICAN SILVER Usually .925, but be careful
NICKEL SILVER Alloy of zinc, nickel and copper, contains NO silver
PATINA The natural soft sheen on old silver that is
obtained by many years of tarnishing and polishing. Can be destroyed by over
zealous cleaning, and harsh chemical "Dips".
PREMIUM 900/1000 pure silver - See coin silver
PSEUDO HALLMARKS A set of figures that resemble English hallmarks, but usually
meaningless. Found often on American coin silver.
QUADRUPLE PLATE Coated with 4 layers of electroplate
RELIEF A raised decoration
REPOUSEE' Decoration applied by impressing designs on the back of
a piece, thus leaving an impression on the front.
ROGERS BROS 1883 Many variations of this. It's the company name, NOT the date
of manufacture! *
SILVER DEPOSIT Often confused with silver overlay, this is silver so
thin that it was applied with a paintbrush to decorate glass items such as
vases, bowls, etc. It will not be engraved, or marked in any way.
SHEFFIELD PLATE Very, VERY early silver plate. 1742 through 1845, Copper
sandwiched between 2 layers of silver, then rolled into a thin sheet, and
formed into utensils. Will NOT be marked "Sheffield Plate". Marked with
hallmarks. If marked "Sheffield Plate(d)", it's repro junk!
SILVER ON COPPER Silverplate over copper
SILVER OVERLAY A thin sheet of silver applied over glass. Usually
engraved.
SILVER PLATE Electroplated - Usually just a few microns thick,
applied by electrolysis.
SILVER SOLDERED Heavy silver plate, dipped in melted silver. Almost
exclusively seen in commercial pieces, such as for hotels, railroads, ships
STANDARD Coin Silver
STERLING 925/1000 pure silver.
TRIPLE PLATE Coated with 3 layers of electroplate
WEIGHTED Made from thin sheets of sterling, then filled with
cement, pitch, or plaster.
WHITE METAL "Pot Metal" used as a base metal for silver plating.

* Pure silver is too soft to use, so it is mixed with small amounts of copper
to make it harder. The common modern standard for silver is "sterling" which
is 925 parts of pure silver to 75 parts of copper. When a number (such as
925, 900 or 800) is used to describe silver, it refers to the number of parts
per 1000 that are pure silver.

* WARNING: "Urban Garage Sale Legend" A star on a piece of Rogers Bros. Silver
does not indicate that it is made of coin silver! I have seen this claim a lot
recently. Rogers made only one line of coin silver for a very limited period
of time. They made very little sterling. Any Rogers pieces that are either
coin or sterling will be clearly marked as such.

The fact is, Rogers made mostly poor quality silver plate that has not held up
well to the test of time. They were the most prolific manufacturer though, and
buyers do not like to hear they have been "Had", or that Granny's tea set is
almost worthless. Rogers pieces lacked originality of design, and were
generally unattractive. If you don't run across Rogers silver plate, you're
just not looking for silver.

The one exception is the "Vintage" pattern flatware. Decorated with vines and
clusters of grapes, it has for some unknown reason become a very hot
collectible. I don't get it, but pieces of "Vintage" flatware have been known
to bring prices equivalent to similar pieces in sterling! Dealers take note!

As noted above, the other very common misconception about Rogers Brother's
items is that the "Date" imprinted on the piece is the date of manufacture.
This is not the case.

This company has at one time or another used all of the following names:

Wm. Rogers Son, J. Rogers Silver Co., Rogers, Smith & Co., Simeon L. & Geo. H.
Rogers Co., SL & GH Rogers Co., Wm. A. Rogers Ltd., W.R., Wm. A. Rogers A1,
1881 Rogers, Niagara Silver Co., R.S. MFG. Co., Buster Brown, Oxford Cutlery
Co., Warren Silver Plate Co., Eagle Cutlery Co., Oxford Silver Plate Co.,
William Rogers & Co., 1846 Rogers AA, 1865 WM. Rogers M'F'G. Co., Rogers Nickel
Silver, R.C. Co., W.R. & S., Rogers Cutlery Co., JSQ, Cunningham Silver Plate,
WM. Rogers MFG. Co. LTD., WM. G. Rogers, William H. Rogers, William H. Rogers
Corporation ...

Comments are welcome, and any terms that you would like to see added to this
list will be considered.

Shelley Driscoll
PS. Collectibles
sepi...@aol.com

MORICIDI

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Apr 17, 1999, 3:00:00 AM4/17/99
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>THE BEGINNER'S GUIDE TO SILVER TERMS AND MARKS

WOW! THANK YOU!
Also--If "1847 Rogers" is thought so little of; where does "International"
stand?

Saint35

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Apr 17, 1999, 3:00:00 AM4/17/99
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Very helpful to many I'm sure. Thank you! Rose
--"Rose's Art and Antiques Gallery": http://members.aol.com/asrosas2

"Eucharistic Adoration News" Homepage: http://members.aol.com/saint35

Thanks and God bless you and yours! Rose

Jane Thomas

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Apr 19, 1999, 3:00:00 AM4/19/99
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In article <19990417114921...@ngol03.aol.com>,

sepi...@aol.com.Shelley (Sepickard) wrote:
> THE BEGINNER'S GUIDE TO SILVER TERMS AND MARKS

Hi Shelley,

Thank you for the opportunity to review this. Here are some comments,
suggested additional entries and questions:

>
> ALPACA (SILBER) This is not silver, see "Nickel Silver"

ALP and ALPACCA See nickel silver

BENGAL SILVER See nickel silver

> BLEEDING When the base metal, such as copper, is showing on a
> silver plate piece. Term is most often used when referring to Sheffield
> Plate.

In my experience the term bleeding is only used when copper is showing
through the plating. It does not make sense to use the term when referring to
worn EPNS or EPBM.

> BRITANNIA METAL Pewter

A specific type of pewter. Britannia metal is composed of 150 parts
tin, 10 parts antimony and 3 parts copper.

> BRITANNIA STANDARD .958 silver standard required in England 1697-1719

A higher silver standard than sterling, 95.84% pure, which was the only
legal standard in Britain from 27 March 1697 to 1 June 1720. Introduced to
stop silversmiths melting down the coin of the realm for use in their
workshops. The new standard was most unpopular with silversmiths for a
variety of reasons. After much lobbying, the sterling standard was
reintroduced in mid-1720. Britannia is still a legal British silver
standard.

> CHASING A decorative pattern worked onto the silver with a
> hammer or punch, leaving an impression in the silver.

No metal is removed during chasing and traces of the chased design are usually
visible on the reverse.

> COIN SILVER 900 silver originally made from melted coinage. Used
> in the US before the 1861 sterling standard.

Did the use of coin silver cease in 1861? Was the purity of coin silver
constant prior to this date?

DOUBLE/TRIPLE/QUADRUPLE PLATE Quality marks used on American
silverplate. Since there was no regulation of the American industry,
these marks were not standardised. One company's triple plate may be
thicker than another company's quadruple plate.

> ELECTROPLATE The modern method of silver plating by electrolysis

Electroplating was developed in England in the early 1840s and was in
commercial use in both England and America by 1845.

ENGRAVING A decorative technique in which a sharp tool (a burin or
an engraver) is used to gouge small amounts of silver from the surface
of the object being decorated. No trace of the engraved design appears
on the reverse.

> EPBM Electroplated Base (or Britannia) Metal

In my experience EPBM is always electroplated Britannia metal.

EPC Electroplated Copper

> FLATWARE Knives, forks, spoons, serving utensils, etc.

Usually refers to spoons and forks (but not knives). In a
wider sense flatware includes plates, dishes, salvers and trays.

HALLMARKS Marks struck on silver by an official body (government or
guild) to indicate the quality of alloy as part of a formally regulated
process of quality control. Hallmarks are used in most European
countries. American silver does not have hallmarks.

> HOLLOWWARE Teapots, bowls, pitchers, trays, etc.

Pots, pitchers, tankards, cups, etc. (but *not* trays).

> LION PASSANT A standing lion, facing left indicating sterling.

I think it would be safer to leave this out entirely and refer the
reader to specific sites or texts dealing with silver marks.

> MEXICAN SILVER Usually .925, but be careful

I would be extremely suspicious of any piece marked "MEXICAN SILVER"

> PATINA The natural soft sheen on old silver that is
> obtained by many years of tarnishing and polishing. Can be destroyed by over
> zealous cleaning, and harsh chemical "Dips".

Repair work and the removal of inscriptions, crests and monograms can
also destroy patina. Traditionally the state of the patina is one of
the key factors in determining the value of a piece of antique silver.
Patina is not synonymous with tarnish.

PLATE A traditional English word for *solid* silver pieces (derived
from the Spanish). Has fallen into general disuse since the
introduction of silverplating, but may still be found in British texts.

> PSEUDO HALLMARKS A set of figures that resemble English hallmarks, but usually
> meaningless. Found often on American coin silver.

Unofficial marks designed to imitate government or guild regulated
marks. Typical examples include the pseudo-English marks used
by many silversmiths in nineteenth century British colonies such as
Australia, India and Hong Kong and ex-British colonies such as America.
Other examples include the pseudo-eighteenth-century-French marks used
extensively by Dutch silversmiths in the late-nineteenth and
early-twentieth centuries.

> QUADRUPLE PLATE Coated with 4 layers of electroplate

Does quadruple plate really have 4 *layers* of plate or is it just an
indicator of relative quality?

REPRODUCTION SHEFFIELD PLATE Items marked in this way are not
Sheffield plate, they are relatively modern (twentieth century)
electroplate on copper.

> SILVER DEPOSIT Often confused with silver overlay, this is silver so
> thin that it was applied with a paintbrush to decorate glass items such as
> vases, bowls, etc. It will not be engraved, or marked in any way.

I'm totally lost here. How is the silver applied with a paintbrush? I
thought this was done by electroplating, or is that something different
again?

> SHEFFIELD PLATE Very, VERY early silver plate. 1742 through 1845, Copper
> sandwiched between 2 layers of silver, then rolled into a thin sheet, and
> formed into utensils. Will NOT be marked "Sheffield Plate". Marked with
> hallmarks.

Sheffield plate was invented by Thomas Boulsover in 1743 and then
successfully commercially exploited by Joseph Hancock and others. Early
Sheffield plate was often marked with pseudo hallmarks until government
legislation in 1773 outlawed all marking of the new material. Revised
legislation, introduced in 1784, allowed maker's to stamp their wares with a
maker's mark registered at the Sheffield assay office. Items marked
"REPRODUCTION SHEFFIELD PLATE" are relatively modern electroplate on copper.
They are not Sheffield plate. A piece of Sheffield plate that had been
replated is technically no longer Sheffield plate.

> If marked "Sheffield Plate(d)", it's repro junk!

I disagree. The design, workmanship and overall quality of many English
Reproduction Sheffield Plate pieces is excellent. Much better, in fact, than
the design, workmanship and overall quality of many sterling pieces of
comparable age. Given that much sterling produced this century is
woefully flimsy, I suspect that some of the Reproduction Sheffield Plate
is a bit more durable too.

> SILVER SOLDERED Heavy silver plate, dipped in melted silver. Almost
> exclusively seen in commercial pieces, such as for hotels, railroads, ships

Is the entire piece dipped in molten metal? How does it hold together
during the process?

> WHITE METAL "Pot Metal" used as a base metal for silver plating.

I thought pot metal was a relatively soft alloy of indeterminate
formula used in casting and that white metal was nickel silver. Am I
wrong about this?

>
> * Pure silver is too soft to use, so it is mixed with small amounts of copper

and other trace metals

> to make it harder. The common modern standard for silver is "sterling" which
> is 925 parts of pure silver to 75 parts of copper

and other trace metals.

> Shelley Driscoll
> PS. Collectibles
> sepi...@aol.com

Cheers,

Jane

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Jsfarside

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Apr 20, 1999, 3:00:00 AM4/20/99
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appreciate all the info many thanx!

Kat

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Apr 21, 1999, 3:00:00 AM4/21/99
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Shelley,

Good reference! Thanks!

Regards,
Kathleen

Josie

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Apr 22, 1999, 3:00:00 AM4/22/99
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Sepickard <sepi...@aol.com.Shelley> wrote:
>THE BEGINNER'S GUIDE TO SILVER TERMS AND MARKS

Another one to include is "IS". Since the mark was explained in
a Holmes & Edwards brochure, I have always understood it to mean
"inlaid silver" (reinforced silver at the common wear points).
Others had indicated it may also be the mark for International
Silver.

Is there a guideline for which manufacturers used inlaid silver
in their production?
--
Josie

Eliotksa

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Apr 23, 1999, 3:00:00 AM4/23/99
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Inherited Reed & Barton #5600 regent sterling silver teapot(coffee pot?) and
Sheets Rockford Co. #3620 with 875 (1875) marking. Do you have any info I
could use? You can e-mail Elio...@aol.com.
Any help would be appreciated.

Marshall Schuon

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Apr 27, 1999, 3:00:00 AM4/27/99
to
On 22 Apr 1999 11:15:13 -0500, jo...@ro.com (Josie) wrote:

>Sepickard <sepi...@aol.com.Shelley> wrote:
>>THE BEGINNER'S GUIDE TO SILVER TERMS AND MARKS
>

>Another one to include is "IS". Since the mark was explained in
>a Holmes & Edwards brochure, I have always understood it to mean
>"inlaid silver" (reinforced silver at the common wear points).
>Others had indicated it may also be the mark for International
>Silver.

________

In other words, it depends on what the meaning of "IS" is?

Marshall

trancestate

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Apr 27, 1999, 3:00:00 AM4/27/99
to
On Tue, 27 Apr 1999 07:26:27 GMT carg...@mindspring.com (Marshall
Schuon) wrote:
> On 22 Apr 1999 11:15:13 -0500, jo...@ro.com (Josie) wrote:
>
> >Sepickard <sepi...@aol.com.Shelley> wrote:
> >>THE BEGINNER'S GUIDE TO SILVER TERMS AND MARKS
> >
> >Another one to include is "IS". Since the mark was explained in
> >a Holmes & Edwards brochure, I have always understood it to mean
> >"inlaid silver" (reinforced silver at the common wear points).
> >Others had indicated it may also be the mark for International
> >Silver.
> ________
>
> In other words, it depends on what the meaning of "IS" is?
>
> Marshall
====

Good Grief! Does this mean that the Pres. is going to go into the biz
when he is out of office?
Come to think of it, I did hear on the news
the other day that he was in danger of being booted out by the bar
association. And if Hilary leaves him, what will he do to make a living
and pay off those millions he owes in legal bills?
Why set up as an antiques dealer!
Coming soon to a flea market in Little Rock, Arkansas....

;)
T.

--
Posted via Talkway - http://www.talkway.com
Exchange ideas on practically anything (tm).


Marshall Schuon

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Apr 28, 1999, 3:00:00 AM4/28/99
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On Tue, 27 Apr 1999 16:13:18 GMT, "trancestate"
<tranc...@hotmail.com> wrote:

>On Tue, 27 Apr 1999 07:26:27 GMT carg...@mindspring.com (Marshall
>Schuon) wrote:
>> On 22 Apr 1999 11:15:13 -0500, jo...@ro.com (Josie) wrote:
>>
>> >Sepickard <sepi...@aol.com.Shelley> wrote:

>> >>THE BEGINNER'S GUIDE TO SILVER TERMS AND MARKS
>> >

>> >Another one to include is "IS". Since the mark was explained in
>> >a Holmes & Edwards brochure, I have always understood it to mean
>> >"inlaid silver" (reinforced silver at the common wear points).
>> >Others had indicated it may also be the mark for International
>> >Silver.
>> ________
>>
>> In other words, it depends on what the meaning of "IS" is?
>>
>> Marshall
>====
>
>Good Grief! Does this mean that the Pres. is going to go into the biz
>when he is out of office?
>Come to think of it, I did hear on the news
>the other day that he was in danger of being booted out by the bar
>association. And if Hilary leaves him, what will he do to make a living
>and pay off those millions he owes in legal bills?
>Why set up as an antiques dealer!
>Coming soon to a flea market in Little Rock, Arkansas....
>
>;)
>T.

________

Look for White House memorabilia on eBay.

Marshall


ralle...@my-dejanews.com

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May 12, 1999, 3:00:00 AM5/12/99
to

I believe you are wrong on some of this. Wm Rogers & Son went on to
become part of the international silver co, and 1881 Rogers is part of
Oneida. There is quite a few rogers around, at least twelve the last
time I checked. Some good, Some bad, and some quite excellent.

Rick


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LucreziaK

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May 17, 1999, 3:00:00 AM5/17/99
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cAN YOU HELP US WITH FINDING THE VALUE OF 12PLACE SETTINGS, NEW, STILL IN
PLASTIC WRAP FOR 50 YEARS, NEVERUSED. tHE PATTERN IS cONTESSA. iNTERNATIONAL
STERLINGWITH WITH EXTRATEASPOONS AND SERVING PIECES.

Steve and Terri

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May 17, 1999, 3:00:00 AM5/17/99
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LucreziaK (lucr...@aol.com) wrote:
: cAN YOU HELP US WITH FINDING THE VALUE OF 12PLACE SETTINGS, NEW, STILL IN

: PLASTIC WRAP FOR 50 YEARS, NEVERUSED. tHE PATTERN IS cONTESSA. iNTERNATIONAL
: STERLINGWITH WITH EXTRATEASPOONS AND SERVING PIECES.

Still in *plastic* wrap? It's probably not quite as old as you think it
is...

Terri

Poets who read their own work in public generally have other bad habits.
--
Terri Carl
ter...@neosoft.com


ralle...@my-deja.com

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May 28, 1999, 3:00:00 AM5/28/99
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In article <7hpujp$qm8$1...@uuneo.neosoft.com>,

ter...@neosoft.com (Steve and Terri) wrote:
> LucreziaK (lucr...@aol.com) wrote:
> : cAN YOU HELP US WITH FINDING THE VALUE OF 12PLACE SETTINGS, NEW,
STILL IN
> : PLASTIC WRAP FOR 50 YEARS, NEVERUSED. tHE PATTERN IS cONTESSA.
iNTERNATIONAL
> : STERLINGWITH WITH EXTRATEASPOONS AND SERVING PIECES.
>
> Still in *plastic* wrap? It's probably not quite as old as you think
it
> is...
>
> Terri
>
I dunno. My mothers, bought in 56 through 60 are all in plastic...that's
forty years....

Rick


> Poets who read their own work in public generally have other bad
habits.
> --
> Terri Carl
> ter...@neosoft.com
>
>

Sent via Deja.com http://www.deja.com/

ralle...@my-deja.com

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May 28, 1999, 3:00:00 AM5/28/99
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In article <19990517153212...@ng20.aol.com>,

lucr...@aol.com (LucreziaK) wrote:
> cAN YOU HELP US WITH FINDING THE VALUE OF 12PLACE SETTINGS, NEW, STILL
IN
> PLASTIC WRAP FOR 50 YEARS, NEVERUSED. tHE PATTERN IS cONTESSA.
iNTERNATIONAL
> STERLINGWITH WITH EXTRATEASPOONS AND SERVING PIECES.
>
Sight unseen, it is hard to say, but on ebay, a set like that would go
for between 250 and 700 dollars. that is, in the original box, which I
assume you have.

Rick

misstig...@gmail.com

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Jun 6, 2019, 10:00:13 PM6/6/19
to
What is the mark a hand on the back of a piece.

revkw...@gmail.com

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Dec 13, 2019, 8:28:58 PM12/13/19
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JSQ
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