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Debunking 3 Common Myths About Sterling Silver

September 2, 2022 9:57 am
Antiques : Decorative Art : Metals : Silver : Sterling

Silver has been around for centuries. In fact, you can find antique sterling silver pieces that are hundreds of years old. This precious metal deserves to have four common myths debunked so that everyone can properly choose and care for their sterling silver.

Myth #1: Sterling Silver Is Pure Silver

This myth relates to the previous one. Sterling silver isn’t 100 percent silver. Truthfully, sterling silver is only 92.5 percent silver, and the rest is other metals. There’s no item that’s 100 percent pure silver. Even the most refined form is 99.9 percent since there are some minute impurities in it.

Pure silver is too malleable and soft on its own. Consumers wouldn’t be happy with the results and would possibly find it too challenging to keep or give antique silver gifts. As a result, silver would lose its reputation as an ideal antique material. The additional metals manufacturers add in are for consumers’ benefit.

Myth #2: Sterling Silver Can’t Get Wet

Some people believe that sterling silver can’t get wet. This myth is simply not true. Let’s look at sterling silver flatware as an example. If you’re using an antique tableware set, you can’t expect people not to touch the fork or spoon with their mouths. And what about rinsing and washing the silverware?

Water isn’t going to harm the silver. Water can damage sterling silver only when you don’t dry it off completely before storage. Ensure you’re being delicate when you’re washing your antique silver pieces.

Myth #3: Sterling Silver Isn’t Durable

Sterling silver is durable. Pure silver isn’t, but adding other metals creates a more sturdy option for antiques. You must still be careful with sterling silver because it’s a relatively soft metal, though.

Debunking common myths about sterling silver is the best way to educate people about their antiques. It’s crucial for collectors to understand how to care for their pieces.




Should You Hire a Silversmith To Restore Sterling Silver?

August 18, 2022 10:27 am
Antiques : Decorative Art : Metals : Silver : Sterling

Caring for and owning antiques can be rewarding and satisfying. Cleaning them can be challenging and may require professional help. That’s where silversmiths can help. You may consider calling a local silversmith to restore your sterling silver, and here’s why.

To Answer the Question

Silversmiths are knowledgeable about silver. Their entire job focuses on this precious metal. If you’re nervous about cleaning or restoring the silver yourself, you can take it to a trusted silversmith.

Sterling Silver Antiques Need Professional Help

If you’ve had sterling silver antiques passed down for generations in your family, you understand how to care for these delicate pieces properly. If you find any of your precious antiques deeply tarnished, send them to a silversmith.

It can be daunting attempting to polish a piece of silver that’s over 100 years old. Silversmiths have the gentle touch required to clean up your sterling silver antiques. Professional polishing will bring your antiques back to life. Even the most heavily tarnished pieces can gain back their luster.

They Have the Knowledge

Silversmiths have the training and knowledge needed to clean silver. There are videos and posts on the internet showing you how to do it yourself, but you risk harming your silver. You can trust a silversmith to care for your silver and clean it correctly.

They Have the Tools

Antiques tend to have intricate designs and details. These can make them more challenging to clean. Don’t give into the temptation of grabbing a clean toothbrush and scrubbing all the lines and patterns on the sterling silver. A silversmith will have tools and instruments to correctly get into all the cracks and crevices without harm.

No job is too large for silversmiths. You can trust that your pieces will come back brighter and shinier than ever when you trust a silversmith to restore your sterling silver pieces. If you plan to sell your sterling silver antiques or need them cleaned, call Nelson & Nelson. Nelson & Nelson is a top silver dealer in NYC who would appreciate looking at your collection. Feel free to stop by our New York City shop or visit our website.




The Most Sought After Sterling Silver Flatware Patterns

August 4, 2022 10:01 am
Antiques : Decorative Art : Metals : Silver : Sterling

There are so many beautiful sterling silver flatware patterns available that it can be challenging to decipher which ones are worth the price. Below, you’ll discover the most sought-after designs. Let’s begin!

Francis 1st by Reed & Barton

In 1906, Ernest Meyer designed the Reed & Barton pattern. It was named after King Francis, the first of France. Meyers wanted a design that would outshine Benvenuto Cellini’s Renaissance-baroque metalwork.

To identify this pattern, you must look closely at the uniqueness of the design. You’ll find 15 flower and fruit clusters, and each piece’s handle contains one of the designs. Look for the original lion, eagle, and capital R stamped on the back. This back stamp signifies Reed and Barton.

Grande Baroque by Wallace

William S. Warren took four years to create this beautiful pattern, which was produced by Wallace Silversmiths and completed in 1941. The design is meant to symbolize and reflect adventure and merriment.

The demand for the Grande Baroque pattern was so great that Wallace Silversmiths also introduced a Golden Grande Baroque design. Warren initially thought this design was for flatware only, but soon it was produced on a holloware line. You can find it on everything from dinner and lunch plates to over a hundred vintage sterling silver flatware pieces.

Eloquence Sterling by Lunt

Known for their unique, elegant designs, Lunt Silversmiths introduced Eloquence in 1953. Lunt has been around since the early 1900s. Their shop resides in Massachusetts, where designers and silversmiths produce quality craftsmanship.

The Eloquence pattern displays gorgeously ornate handles, pierced in four places with a plain center. The elegance truly stands out with this flatware collection.

Repoussé by Stieff

The Repoussé design came onto the scene in 1828 and featured an elaborate floral pattern along the entire handle of the flatware. The pattern was pressed onto the back of pieces because the design is so intricate and unique. In fact, the name pays homage to the art of repoussé, which involves embossing the back of metal by hammering. European silversmiths used this art process quite often.

If you’re looking for any of the above sterling silver flatware patterns, contact Nelson & Nelson Antiques. We’re a premier antique shop in New York City. Feel free to stop into our store or browse our website to see all the antiques our shop carries.




5 Sterling Silver Cleaning Mistakes To Avoid

August 3, 2022 10:28 am
Antiques : Decorative Art : Metals : Silver : Sterling

Caring for sterling silver comes with plenty of rules. It’s a delicate metal that needs gentle handling when being cleaned or polished. Let’s explore five cleaning mistakes to avoid when caring for sterling silver.

Letting Silver Touch the Stainless Steel Sink

One big no-no when you’re cleaning sterling silver is to allow the silver to touch your stainless steel sink. You want to avoid mixing them because stainless steel is a tough metal and sterling silver is significantly softer. Steel could scratch or dent your silver if you’re not careful.

One way to alleviate the issue is to lay a towel at the bottom of the sink. The towel provides a barrier between the steel and sterling silver.

Attempting a Quick Polishing Hack

It’s a good idea to avoid quick polishing hacks for your sterling silver. Tactics that instruct you to place your silver in a container with aluminum foil and baking soda will remove the oxidation built up over time. You’ll see yellow stains replace the oxidation. You don’t want your sterling silver to appear yellow.

Polishing or Cleaning With Abrasive Measures

When polishing and cleaning your sterling silver holloware, a 100 percent cotton cloth should be your best friend. Silver is a highly malleable metal; therefore, utilizing any other cloths, sponges, or toothbrushes could ruin your silver. You don’t want scratched silver.

Doubling Time and Effort With Ineffective Polish

Picking up a polish from the store seems easy, but this could lead to more time and effort spent polishing your silver. Avoid this wasted time by finding polishes and products that work efficiently. Cleaning should never be quick, but you shouldn’t need to use a ton of elbow grease either.

Not Cleaning Your Silver Immediately After Use

If you use a sterling silver platter or sterling silver silverware during a party, be sure to clean them right after use. It doesn’t take long for salt, mayonnaise, eggs, and acidic dressings to tarnish your silver. Make a note not to soak your silver in water. Don’t hesitate to clean any dishes or silverware.

Follow the above advice to avoid mistakes when cleaning sterling silver. Your silver will stay in mint condition, and you’ll feel confident in your cleaning abilities.




4 Sterling Silver Storage Hacks That Help Prevent Tarnishing

July 20, 2022 2:48 pm
Antiques : Decorative Art : Metals : Silver

No matter how you came to own the silver antiques, we all want to care for the collectibles in the best way possible. Tarnish is something antique silver owners are familiar with and want to prevent. Follow these four storage hacks to help prevent tarnish on your sterling silver.

Wrap in Acid-Free Tissue Paper

Wrapping your sterling silver before storage will help keep away the chemicals that cause tarnish. This hack will also prevent silver pieces from scratching each other if you store them together. Imagine you go to take out your prized Tiffany and Co. antiques to find them marked because they touched. That would be an unpleasant situation.

You can also use an unbleached cotton muslin if you have that type of blanket on hand. Just ensure it’s unbleached, or you could harm your silver.

Store With a Piece of Regular Chalk

Have you ever dropped your phone or another expensive electronic device into water and then submerged it into a tub of rice? We do this because the rice absorbs the moisture, and sometimes, the devices continue to operate correctly after a nice rice bath.

Putting chalk into the storage bag or box with your sterling silver works the same way. The chalk will absorb moisture that dares to sneak into the storage container. It’s another line of defense against tarnishing.

You won’t need to worry about the chalk marking up your silver because you’ve wrapped it nicely.

Store in Dry, Room-Temperature Places

As tempted as you are to store your sterling silver antiques in the basement or attic, this isn’t the best idea. A hutch, storage cabinet, or drawer is the best place to keep them safe. Avoid storing your sterling silver in areas of your home where the temperature fluctuates often.

Temperature changes bring moisture, and moisture leads to tarnish. Heat and humidity are a no-no for sterling silver.

Purchase Anti-Tarnish Storage Bags

Anti-tarnish storage bags are available on the market. These make storage quick and easy; they offer peace of mind about tarnish prevention. You’ll find various sizes and styles. Some even provide slots to store silverware easily. You won’t need to worry about the pieces clinking together in storage.

We hope you find these hacks helpful when you’re finally ready to put your sterling silver into storage. You can say bye-bye to tarnish and hello to beautiful silver antiques.