Post your own question ...
or benefit from 30 years of feedback on 60,000 finishing topics.
Search the site
current topics -- The Home Page of the Finishing Industry

60,000 Q&A topics -- Education, Aloha, & Fun

topic 37205p2

How to tell plated vs. sterling silver serving tray?

< Prev. page          Next page >

A discussion started in 2005 but continuing through 2019

January 9, 2012

Q. I have a Forbes Silver Co Teapot, an antique handed down in my wife's family from about 1867, They are all Scots and part of the Forbes clan. It has a crest and warranted 965 stamped on the bottom. Plus maker marks. It has a sterling silver body and a silver plated brass feet, spout and handle. It really was used, so much so there are patches inside from washing the silver away. If it is not marked with a silver content or a Sterling Hallmark, it is more likely silver plate than Sterling silver.

Rudy Lanzendorfer
- Camino, California

February 17, 2012

Q. I have a 18 inch silver platter. It has the markings of Rondane Meriden SP CO International S Co #4169. It is non-magnetic. I tried the acid test on one of the feet and it came up a creamy color. I took it to a silver exchange and was told it can't be solid silver. There is no ware marks on it. It does have scratches but the all polished to the same silver color. Is this tray worth anything?

Jenice Ritter
- Benson, Arizona, USA

Ed. note: Gentle readers, this site is about metal finishing. Sometimes we veer off topic a bit, and it's no problem if people ask for general ways to figure out what they have.

But countless millions of people have odd pieces in their attic, and whenever we wander into identification and valuation, we're swamped with requests (this is one of dozens of such threads) :-(

If your question is about general procedures, we can try to help but we simply have no choice but to discard your inquiry if you are asking how much something is worth. Sorry!

March 11, 2012

Q. Hello. I am so glad this site is here.
I have a cigarette lighter (vintage/antique) that says EP Sterling the EP is kind of weird but I am thinking this means electroplated but why then would the word sterling still be present?

My question is: is this sterling? I have checked hallmarks everywhere and my only conclusion is that it is electroplated but that does not make sense w/ the word sterling

Any help would be grand.
Thanks in advance.

Sarah Kettle
- Plano, Texas USA

April 11, 2012

A. Hi Sarah.

Does the lighter have any gold plating on it? This marking is often used on jewelry that is gold plated sterling silver.


Ted Mooney, Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E. - Pine Beach, New Jersey
Striving to live Aloha

April 11, 2012

Q. My husband and I have a silver serving tray that has the hallmarks for Forbes Silver Co. We cannot find any other markings that would say it is plated or real sterling. How do we find this out?

Wendy Smith
- Seymour, Tennessee, USA

April , 2012

A. Hi Wendy.

This question was already at least partially answered above on August 5, 2008.

In addition, Forbes Silver Co. was reportedly established for the purpose of making silver plate, and it's not marked Sterling or 925. You may see hints like a faint coppery look in heavily worn areas that would indicate that it is plated. You can look for similar items on Ebay.

You can have it tested or test it yourself but, sorry, I think you'd be clutching for straws.


Ted Mooney, Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E. - Pine Beach, New Jersey
Striving to live Aloha

April 22, 2012

Q. Hello! I picked up a double sized table silver spoon that has Large U.S.N. underneath on the top part of the handle. There is a small crown stamped at the base on the bottom backside of the spoon. Could it be Sterling?

Michael Lant
- San Luis Obispo, California

April 27, 2012

A. Hi Michael. Anything is possible, but if they didn't bother stamping it Sterling or .925 then it sounds unlikely.


Ted Mooney, Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E. - Pine Beach, New Jersey
Striving to live Aloha

June 15, 2012

Q. I have a small creamer. It is marked on the bottom INTERNATIONAL SILVER CO. Hilton 6-C-115 5 oz. and the number 73 in a small square. It's very heavy, it's not marked sterling or silver plate it has small dents but shows no signs of wear or any plating coming off. can you help me figure out if its silver or tell me anything about it. thank you Nancy

Nancy Hurst
- Belleville, Illinois

June 22, 2012

Q. Is my International Silver Co. A Sheraton Hotel 56 oz. numbered bowl solid silver?

I have a silver bowl, it is numbered and says International Silver Co. A Sheraton Hotel 56 oz.
And it also has 63 inside a box next to the weight. A magnet does not stick, but that doesn't tell me anything. I would so appreciate any good advise. Thank You

Cristi Jones
- Lott, Texas

September 7, 2012

Q. I have I think is a gravy bowl the trade mark reads
Early American International Silver company. It also has in the trademark, a IS, it also has the number of 2116.

Vicky Weaver
- Whitinsville, Massachusetts, America

November 13, 2012

Q. I have a pitcher that has a symbol stamped on the bottom, made in England, and 24.

identification symbol on pitcher-1 identification symbol on pitcher-2 identification symbol on pitcher-3

Amy Gage
- Flower Mound, Texas, USA

December 23, 2012

Q. Hello I have several antique pieces that were bequeathed to me. They are at least 60 years old as they were wedding gifts in 1952. I have a 1. sugar and creamer sorry no tray with markings Wm A Rogers (in a box) then underneath SP Copper B.M MTS 2936 2. an oval tray with scrolling on top on the bottom it has Essay Canada E.P. Copper 612 3. oval tray with different scrolling on bottom it has Puritan Plate S.P. Copper 8010 and 4. a round plate on a mound with decorative handles the plate has scrolling on the bottom it has Puritan Plate S Copper Lead Mound 80156. I was wondering if anyone could tell me about these pieces so I know what I have.

Thank you

Flora Rhodenizer
- Bridgewater, Nova Scotia, Canada

December 30, 2012

Q. I just bought in a thrift shop a large serving tray. It is beautiful. It has braided handles with a basket weave design around the inside of the tray. There is fruit on both sides of the tray. Strawberries, oranges, grapes, pears which are raised up. It is marked Gorham on the back. There are no numbers or other markings on this piece. It is not tarnished in any way. Do you know what this could possibly be? New, old. It does not say plated anywhere either. Just Gorham.

Karen Morgan
- Woodbridge, New Jersey, USA

December 31, 2012

A. Hi Karen. If it's not marked "Sterling" it's probably silver plate, or maybe just nickel plated. If you send a photo, there's a one in a thousand chance someone will be familiar with it; with only a verbal description, unfortunately it's about one in a million :-(

Please look for similar items on e-bay, where prices of trays that match your description run from about $5.95 to $595. Good luck with it.


Ted Mooney, Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E. - Pine Beach, New Jersey
Striving to live Aloha

February 11, 2013

Q. My silver finding. Is the Goldinger silver mirror comb real silver?

Miguel Boza
- West Palm Beach, Florida

February 13, 2013

A. Sorry, Miguel, but I strongly doubt it.


Ted Mooney, Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E. - Pine Beach, New Jersey
Striving to live Aloha

March 28, 2013

Q. A flea market find Is a 7" International Silver Co. tray with # 05101 Palmer House and small square with 59 in it . I would like to know age & silver content. Google was useless as was International Silver Co. web site.

Thomas Hourigan
- Holland, Pennsylvania USA

March 31, 2013

A. Hi Thomas. "Palmer House" is probably the Palmer House in Chicago, but my googling doesn't seem to indicate any special market for Palmer House items. When a tray is not marked "sterling" it is almost surely just silver plate. And I doubt that anyone short of an expert who specialized in International Silver brand silver plate could help you identify, let alone evaluate, one particular piece of silver plate out of probably thousands that I.S. made (I doubt there is such an expert because who can make a career of consulting on whether things are worth $1 vs. $20).

I think the best plan is to look at similar stuff on Ebay. You don't need to find an exact match to get a feel for 7" silver plated trays. There are pay-to-play sites where you can look up prices that items sold for, but it doesn't seem worthwhile to join those sites for an item that almost surely can't be worth $50. If you look more carefully and it says "sterling", that's a different story, of course. Good luck.


Ted Mooney, Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E. - Pine Beach, New Jersey
Striving to live Aloha

June 27, 2013

Q. I found a silver wine glass; it is stamped on the bottom International Silver Co. and a symbol also a c with a circle around it. Help please.

silver wine glass-1 silver wine glass-2

Angela Farley
- Pell City, Alabama, US

September 1, 2013

Q. Hello,

First, I'd like to thank you for providing advice online.

Yesterday, I found a neat 8 oz. teapot at a Garage sale. It states on the bottom the following:
International Silver Co
Silver Soldered
8 oz. (then in a square the number 24)
(a small triangle then the number 7 to the right of the triangle)
August 27, 1918

Then at the bottom, it is stamped as follows:

Nina Rash
- San Leandro, California, USA

January 31, 2014

Q. Ted,

In regards to my neat little teapot I found (written on September 1st, 2013), do you think it has any value?
I appreciate your help.

Nina Rash [returning]
- San leandro
- San Leandro, California, USA

January 2014

A. Hi Nina. I'm only the webmaster, not an antiques expert, but I think it has no value because virtually no such silverplate has any value. Apparently it was a very common and inexpensive wedding gift in the 30s, 40s & 50s and there is loads of it out there. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but see "What to Do with Plated Silver", where you'll hear that it sometimes can't be sold for $1 at charity auctions because nobody wants it.


Ted Mooney, Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E. - Pine Beach, New Jersey
Striving to live Aloha

December 24, 2013

Q. I found a silver on copper -- what I would call a creamer cup for a tea set -- with the letter S stamped on the bottom of it- there Is no circle around the S or any other markings that I can find except the words silver on copper. Can anybody help me?

Marvin Nealy
- St.Charles, Missouri

December 26, 2013

A. Hi Marvin. I'm not sure what info you are looking for, but in the 1930s through '50s such items were inexpensive and extremely popular wedding gifts. There are tens of thousands (probably more) of styles of silverplate, so a random "s" stamped on it won't take you far. But such items have no intrinsic value at all, and the chances are almost zero that they have any collectibles value either. Very sorry.


Ted Mooney, Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E. - Pine Beach, New Jersey
Striving to live Aloha

February 22, 2014

Q. I have a Crescent 8 in. tray with 3 logos on the back, 1) is of a lion. 2) is of a crescent moon & 3) is a swan like bird w/ a crown on its head and the number 1672 E underneath it. Can you tell me if it's sterling or plated silver the year and what it could be valued at.

Thank you, Kellie

Kellie Hemminger
- Oroville, California USA

February 2014

A. Bad news, Kellie. Regarding the hallmarks, do a Google or Bing image search for "Crescent Silver Marks" and you'll see what you described, and they will lead you to Ebay and similar. It doesn't say Sterling, so it almost surely isn't. It's probably one of millions of old silverplate serving pieces; odds are 99.99% that it's worthless. Sorry.


Ted Mooney, Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E. - Pine Beach, New Jersey
Striving to live Aloha

April 13, 2014

Q. I found what I assume to be a tea pitcher with 8 spoons attached all the way around the sides. On the bottom it has the Forbes Silver Company stamp with Quadruple 543. I cannot find any information or photos of this.


Any help would be appreciated? I know it was my great great grandmother's.

Deb Adler
- Greeley, Colorado USA

April 2014

A. Hi Deb. It's plated pewter or nickel-silver (which contains no silver) and it has no intrinsic value. Most serving pieces have no collectible value either, although this is unusual looking and looks very old, so I can't rule out that someone somewhere might want to go to the cost of having it replated. Good luck.


Ted Mooney, Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E. - Pine Beach, New Jersey
Striving to live Aloha

May 23, 2014

A. Best website I have found is:
I've had great success locating the hallmarks (symbols) at this site.

A heads up for all that are in search of answers if it does not say Sterling or 925, there is a very strong possibility that it's plated.

Bruce Swing
- Fort Smith, Arkansas, U.S.

< Prev. page          Next page >

ADD an ANSWER to this thread START a thread Unrelated to Hallmarking & Sterling vs. SilverplateView This Week's HOT TOPICS


Disclaimer: It's not possible to fully diagnose a finishing problem or the hazards of an operation via these pages. All information presented is for general reference and does not represent a professional opinion nor the policy of an author's employer. The internet is largely anonymous & unvetted; some names may be fictitious and some recommendations might be harmful.

  If you need a product/service, please check these Directories:

JobshopsCapital Equip. & Install'nChemicals & Consumables Consult'g, Train'g, SoftwareEnvironmental Compliance

©1995-2020, Inc., Pine Beach, NJ   -   About   -  Privacy Policy
How Google uses data when you visit this site.