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Old 12-12-2009, 09:44 AM
Location: Chapel Hill, N.C.
36,434 posts, read 41,608,566 times
Reputation: 46993


I have been carrying around FOUR full service silver plate flatware services for years, along with serving dishes, candle sticks etc. I tried the hot water, aluminun foil, baking soda and salt polishing trick last night and alot of the plate just peeled off the dishes- maybe boiling water wasn't such a good idea but isn't that what "steaming water" is?

In any event the internet says silver plate has little value and is too expensive to re plate. What can I do with all these items except toss them? Would a consignment store be interested. I even have nice wooden chests for the flatware.

Any suggestions except fork windchimes would be appreciated. I have no monetary investment in any of it and don't entertain like we used to. I am keeping my sterling for the few times we do but I've found when I do use my really nice items inherited over the years, alot of people seem to feel uncomfortable. Most are used to paper plates and plastic cups. I'm not trying to show off- just like to use my nice things whenever I get a chance.
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Old 12-12-2009, 04:10 PM
5,019 posts, read 12,466,511 times
Reputation: 6952
Yikes. Sorry to hear about your silver-plate accident.
I just polish mine the old-fashioned way.

I wonder if you threw table knives into the mix? Knives often have silver-plate handles with stainless blades. That mix of metals can cause problems (one of the reasons you never ever put those knives in the dishwasher for instance).

Ok, so what I would do to salvage the pieces:

Take all pieces that did not de-laminate and toss them in the flatware drawer. That new mis-matched set would become my "daily drivers". I'm not a matchy-matchy type anyway. I prefer silver plate to stainless because I like the "warm" vs. the "cool" undertones. You can save your sterling for special occasions if you wish.

I'd call the local recycling center to see if they can accept the items that are not salvagable.

As far as people feeling uncomfortable with your good silver (and crystal and china and linens), you can use the economy to explain: " Sorry but we just can't afford throw-away plastic/paper any longer". Blush demurely.

Last edited by plaidmom; 12-12-2009 at 05:24 PM..
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Old 12-12-2009, 05:13 PM
43,012 posts, read 88,940,518 times
Reputation: 30256
I don't have any suggestions for your silver-plate issue, but I wanted to comment on your sterling.

Use your sterling every day or at least once a week. The more you use it, the less you need to polish it. Just washing it regularly keeps the tarnish off.

If it becomes your normal sunday dinnerware, you'll forget what your guests think because you'll be more comfortable using them yourself!
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Old 12-12-2009, 05:51 PM
Location: N of citrus, S of decent corn
34,531 posts, read 42,694,765 times
Reputation: 57174
Silver plate is no good once the coating wears off. Before I would drag it around any longer I would just give it to Goodwill and write off whatever value on my taxes. You can find fair write off value on the internet.
I happily use my sterling silver on holidays and stainless the rest of the time. If you're entertaining people who take the trouble to analyze what type of metal they are eating off of, and then express discomfort, perhaps you need some new friends.
FYI, I found out the hard way that there is a type of Cascade dishwasher detergent that contains chlorine bleach. Do not EVER use this with your sterling or it will turn black and be a ***** to get the tarnish off.
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Old 12-13-2009, 08:18 PM
Location: 3814′45″N 12237′53″W
4,152 posts, read 9,578,000 times
Reputation: 3398
sorry to hear of your silverplate problem...as for the flatware, are you crafty? I'll skip the mobile fork suggestions and do ya one better:

Antique Spoon & Fork Pendant Lights - Lighting - Home & Garden - NapaStyle
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Old 12-14-2009, 10:38 AM
1,830 posts, read 4,648,270 times
Reputation: 1938
Originally Posted by no kudzu View Post
In any event the internet says silver plate has little value and is too expensive to re plate.
If the pieces are a nice design, I would investigate prices myself before tossing anything based on what someone on the internet said. Some older silverplated flatware sets are better than newer ones. The plating is heavier, the design is classic, and it may be antique or collectible. If you give it away for practically nothing someone else will refinish it and profit from it. The pieces that peeled may be beyond repair, but you won't know that unless you get a quote from a replater.

For minor refurbishing, there are home products that can renew your pieces. I have a bottle called NU SILVER pure silver plate by HKI Inc., but I think they were sold to another company and I don't know the new name.* Anyway, it contains real silver and you just wipe it on and it deposits a thin layer of silver on the piece. Repeat if more is needed. You can test it by putting it on a copper penny - it totally turns silver. I use it on my silverplated trays, which always look bad after parties where food sat on them for hours. It brightens them right up. Polish takes silver off - this puts silver on. If you google you'll find other brands that do the same thing. I found Silver Plater Silver Plater, and Silver Secret "Revolutionary Silver Polish and Plater from the Alexander Hamilton House" I've seen Silver Secret get good reviews on various forums. Here's a site that explains the different processes and has links to various products. finishing.com FAQs: Silver Plating at Home
You might be able to sell it for more if you refurbish it first.

Do you have children or nieces and nephews who may want a set? Since I already had my own sets when I received my mother's flatware, I passed it directly on to my son so it would be used instead of being stored away. He was thrilled to receive something that was his grandmother's and uses it all the time when he entertains.

* Silver Brite http://www.metalbrite.net/page/228960203 is in the exact same bottle as my NU SILVER, and even says the same thing of the front. They don't say it was formerly NU SILVER but it sure looks like it.

Last edited by hcgCali; 12-14-2009 at 11:17 AM..
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Old 12-14-2009, 01:37 PM
Location: Prospect, KY
5,288 posts, read 17,482,726 times
Reputation: 6515
Hcg - have you had success using Nu Silver? I have tried Nu Silver a few years ago and didn't see that it did anything...rubbed on half a dozen applications on a few silverplate compotes and trumpet vases - saw no difference at all..threw it away.

I have tons of antique silverplate and sterling - serving pieces and silver service - I use Semi-Chrome and Wenol pastes (they clean all metals) - both from Germany. I have tried all the top brands and the aluminum dip method, sprays, toothpaste - you name it...a good all-metal paste like Semi-Chrome can't be beat for shine and durability.
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Old 12-14-2009, 03:19 PM
1,830 posts, read 4,648,270 times
Reputation: 1938
It works on my (cheapie, not antique) silver trays. I have a lot of silver buffet/party items - trays, chafing dishes, covered servers - and it seems it's only the trays that need extra attention. I assume because they are in direct contact with the food whereas the servers have glass liners. The Nu Silver only adds a very thin layer, so if a piece is really worn you need to do repeat coats, but if your piece is in good condition to begin with you may not notice any difference. It doesn't take the place of silver polish, though, and the piece needs to be clean and polished first before applying. In searching for it today, in one of the links (I think finishing.com) people said Silver Secret worked better than Nu Silver, so I might try that brand when I need to buy more. In any event, I'd give a replating solution a try before throwing anything away.

My sterling flatware has never shown tarnish, but I keep it in the individual little baggies each piece came in... a pain to get out and put away but worth it. That gives me an idea: I'm going to try Space Bags to store the trays and see if the airtight environment keeps them nice between use.
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