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topic 9903

What is the Composition of EPNS silverware?


please let us know the % of nickel in epns silverware.

l varun kumar
leela palace - bangalore, India

June 29, 2008

Hi, Varun. EPNS means electroplated nickel-silver. Nickel silver is also sometimes called german silver. It has nickel and copper in it, and sometimes zinc (although that might be inappropriate for food service) but no silver in it.

But there is no one single formulation for nickel silver. Sometimes you can tell the nickel percentage from the name of the alloy, though: for example, NS-12 is 12 percent nickel.


Ted Mooney, Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E.
Pine Beach, New Jersey

May 12, 2010

If you used an EPNS tea pot to brew tea on a gas stove, would the "german silver" containing nickel and copper possibly "leach" into the tea, and would this be toxic for you?

Tracey Chaplin
- Durban KwaZuluNatal South Africa

May 13, 2010

Hi, Tracey. Millions of people eat with worn silver plated flatware where the underlying german silver is exposed. It might impart a slightly "off" taste, and doesn't look good, but can't be terribly dangerous. In the case of water being boiled in it, recognize that most hot and cold water pipes are copper and the leaching isn't significant enough to be a health concern for most people.


Ted Mooney,
Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E.
Pine Beach, New Jersey

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