Sterling Silver cutlery is of ‘sterling standard’, i.e. 92.5% pure silver (alloyed for strength with a small proportion of copper). The standard is guaranteed, as all English silver must be, by the hallmark or stamp that each piece carries. The testing and hallmarking is carried out by the Assay Office.
Silver plated cutlery is made from the alloy nickel silver, electroplated with a layer of pure silver. For our cutlery this layer is produced to a thickness of 20 microns guaranteed to last for fifty years.
The characteristic patina of antique silver which gives it much of its aesthetic appeal, arises from the multitude of very fine random scratches that develop through use over a long period of time. The same minor scratches will, with use, form on new silver and, although on a new surface they may be more conspicuous, they should not be a matter for concern.
Silver, like gold, is a noble metal and therefore resistant to atmosphere corrosion. It will, however, slowly tarnish in an atmosphere that contains sulphides as, in our modern society, is generally the case. A superficial layer of silver sulphide will form, initially light gold in colour but, over a long period of time, darkening. This can easily be removed by polishing with a proprietary silver cleaner but avoid using the liquid variety as they can damage the back of the frame and attack the steel knife blades. Cleaners designed for other metals should also be avoided as they contain abrasives.
Our table cutlery is available in sterling silver or silver plate and in ten different patterns.