Sterling silver is an alloy of silver containing 92.5% by weight of silver and 7.5% by weight of other metals, usually copper. The sterling silver standard has a minimum millesimal fineness of 925. Coin silver, or 900 fine, is 90% silver, and the content of U.S. silver coins (1792–1964). Silver plating has been used since the 18th century to provide cheaper versions of household items that would otherwise be made of solid silver, including cutlery, vessels of various kinds, and candlesticks. The earliest form of silver plating was Sheffield Plate, where thin sheets of silver are fused to a layer or core of base metal, but in the 19th century new methods of production (including electroplating) were introduced. Britannia metal is an alloy of tin, antimony and copper developed as a base metal for plating with silver.
This page has vintage and antique sterling, coin silver, and silver plate items for sale, including English hallmarked pieces.
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