Lisa Oleksak-Sullivan's Blog
9 Secluded Ridge, Southwick, MA 01077
649 Montgomery Road, Westfield, MA 01085
Wanting to add some vintage metal to your décor? An aged silver-framed mirror, glossy wall plate, or glowing trio of candlesticks might be just the thing to pull it all together. Silver tableware adds an elegant touch to a party and a beautiful silver tray on the entry table is perfect to collect your mail.
Beautiful silver pieces of all kinds show up in vintage and antique stores to catch your eye. Sometimes the distraction of the shine hides its true self, so use these suggestions to help you find the real deal.
Silverplate versus sterling silver.
Silverplate, a thin layer of silver applied as a coated or electroplated over a base metal, was popular over the past couple centuries and allowed folk to obtain silver's elegant look at a lower price Sterling, on the other hand, is 92.5 percent pure silver.
Sterling silver holds its value and stands up to the rigors of aging much better than silver plate, which can wear through to the base metal and require re-plating to bring back its original beauty. Sterling silver lasts for generations when cared for properly.
How can you tell?
When shopping in antique malls, flea markets, and vintage stores, bring a small magnet with you. Sterling silver is not magnetic, and therefore, the more silver the object contains, the less likely your magnet sticks. When a magnet adheres, the likelihood of base metal under a silver coat is high.
Look for silver marks too. In the United States, both sterling silver and silver plate usually bear identification markings. Sterling carries the numbers 925, meaning ninety-two and a half percent silver and just seven and a half percent of some other metal. English sterling, on the other hand, frequently shows the image of a lion along with markings specific to the city of origin, the year of crafting, and the king or queen in power at the time.
What should you pay?
Silver's value fluctuates based on the current metals market, so its price rises and falls frequently. Since markets post the price of silver daily, use this to your advantage as you bargain on the amount of your piece of sterling silver.
The price for plated silver depends more on the design and quality of the underlying piece and the amount of silver remaining in its surface. If you like the piece and it fits in your décor, then, by all means, offer the dealer a price befitting your budget.
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