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Before shipping ANY object(s), please e-mail ALL of the information requested:

1. Large, high-definition images of the object(s), or URL of where it is on the Web;
2. What the object is made of (sterling, .800, silver-plate, pewter, etc.) * Alloy identification;
3. The object's largest dimension;
4. What you would like accomplished;
5. Please e-mail me with ALL the above information. Thank you!

Jeffrey Herman, ASAS, FIPG *
PO Box 786 West Warwick, Rhode Island 02893, USA
401/461-6840 800/339-0417 401/828-0162
Service area: Worldwide
jeff@hermansilver.com  Skype available  UPS transit times

ASAS: Founder & Artisan Member – Society of American Silversmiths
FIPG: Fellow – Institute of Professional Goldsmiths (England)

Q. How can I tell if a piece is solid silver or silver-plate?

A. Normally, if an object is solid silver it will be indicated on the piece. Examples are: Sterling, 925, 925/1000, 900, Coin, Standard, 9584 (English Britannia), 800 (Germany), 84 (Russia), etc. Most American-made objects are marked on the bottoms of holloware and on the reverse on flatware. Foreign-made objects can be marked most anywhere and are sometimes accompanied by additional marks applied in the country's assay office which tests the quality of the precious metal during its manufacture. A 10x loupe may be required as some stamps are incredibly small.

Rarely will you find a piece made of solid silver that isn't stamped. If an object isn't stamped, a non-invasive identification method is by judging tarnish color. Silverplate will exhibit a blue-purple hue, where solid silver will exhibit grey-black. If you cannot determine if an object is solid silver empirically, please contact me.

A rare earth magnet is a handy tool and can be used to identify iron in an object, such as carbon steel knife blades, or plated ware that has nickel underneath. Yes, nickel is slightly magnetic.