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How to remove new silverplating from old pewter?

Q. I have an old 3-piece tea set from Germany (marked only w/ 1,5L, 0,5L & 200g) that I believe to be pewter. Some years ago, I sent the creamer off to have the spout reattached. When it was returned to me, it was shinier than the other pieces. It also tarnishes, whereas the other pieces do not. How can I get the silverplate off this piece so will match the rest of the set?

Lynn Andrews
- Durham, North Carolina, USA
December 28, 2011

Hi, Lynn.

You might want to think of a Plan B, like having the set silver, nickel, or gold plated. Because my suspicion is that the craftsperson used silver solder to repair the problems, and then silver plated the whole item so it wouldn't look like a zebra. If you managed to get the silver plating off most of it, I think you'd find the seams still silver.


Ted Mooney,
Ted Mooney, P.E.
Striving to live Aloha - Pine Beach, New Jersey
December 29, 2011

Thank you for your response. Where can I find someone who could nickel-plate this set? I really don't want to have to polish it and like the not-so-shiny finish it originally had.

Lynn Andrews
- Durham, North Carolina
January 1, 2012

January 3, 2012

Sorry, Ted
The one thing I can be quite certain of is that if the pot really is pewter melting at 170-230C depending on the exact alloy, it will not have been repaired with silver solder (hard solder or braze) which melts at 450-800C
Much more probably (especially "a few years ago") a standard tin/lead solder melting at about 185C would have been used.

The answer to your last question is any local plating shop. Try Yellow Pages

geoff smith
Geoff Smith
Hampshire, England

If a tin solder was used, rather than silver, and the piece is pewter, would it be possible to have the silver plating removed? That's really what I would prefer. I hate to re-plate the whole set just to cover up the silver plate on the one piece.

Lynn Andrews
- Durham, North Carolina, USA
January 7, 2012

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