How to differentiate between coin silver and silver plate
The truth be told, it can sometimes be difficult at best to differentiate between coin silver and silver plate. However, needless to say, it is important for the silver investor to correctly differentiate because coin silver and silver plate, since the first has substantial value and the last only has a fraction of the first’s value. As already stated elsewhere on the Silver Bullion website: “…silver plate as created in the Sheffield plating process where copper and silver are used in a layered combination. This includes modern day electroplating processes where a base metal such as copper, nickel or zinc are plated or coated with a thin layer of pure silver by means of electrolysis.” Silver plate is at best a mixed coat or layer of silver and other precious and non-precious metals, while coin silver is a more bulk form of silver.
More often than not it is necessary to consult sources, online or offline, relating to coin silver in order to establish with absolute certainty whether a given silverware (tableware) item is coin silver or made of coin silver or not. Needless to say, silver hallmarks or silver marks play an important role when it comes to establishing whether a given silverware (tableware) item is coin silver or not. It is after all no secret that coin silver was normally, although not always, stamped with the details of the silversmith, namely the first initial and last name. Sometimes the silversmith would even go as far as to stamp the city and state, in addition to the details already mentioned.