Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Nickel Silver, German Silver, Alpacca, Panama Silver, Brazil Silver, Raydium Silver, Aztec Silvor

Sometimes you find a piece of flatware and it is marked as nickel silver, German Silver, Brazil Silver, Alaska Silver, Panama Silver, or Alpacca. I have one piece marked Raydium Silver, it seems really rare. I am going to be blunt with you here, these are not silver. They may be silver in colour but they are not silver. They do not contain silver. They are not the chemical Ag.  They can only be alone or plated with silver.

These pieces are white metal. They can be plated with silver but they are not silver from Brazil, Panama, or Germany.  I cant stress this enough because I see pieces all the time sold as silver from Brazil etc.  They usually contain a proprietary compound of Nickel, Tin, Copper and Zinc. They may contain all or parts of the above list. Each company developed their own formula that fit their needs and cost. This may have changed over time and as the cost of the materials rose and fell.

Now if you have a piece that reads Electro Plate Nickel Silver or EPNS then you have silver plate. This is a thin layer of silver deposited in a chemical reaction on top of the nickel silver, white metal or britannia.

So its not silver is it worth anything?
Yes, Many companies such as Rogers Brothers made flatware in both silverplate and nickel silver. The nickel silver flatware cost less and looked like silver so it was a popular seller. For the maker it was just stopping the production of the silverplate manufacturing process early so they could produce flatware more cheaply. That is they just skipped all the plating and polishing steps. It therefore has a historical value.

It does not have a major market. While many patterns are found in nickel silver and silverplate, it is collected less. This means if you wish to sell it it is going to be harder to find a buyer. However, a spoon in nickel silver and a spoon in sterling scoop ice cream to your lips just as well.  So it has value as a useful object.

Besides in a world filled with cheap stamped stainless or worse steel, having a fork made in the 1900's even if it not "real" silver is still something most people could never dream of.

Top Knife is marked American Nickel Silver.
Second Knife if marked Solid Brazil Silver.
Top spoon is marked Raydium Silver.
Second Spoon is marked Brown & Bros. German Silver.
Fork is Marked W Nickel Silver 18.
Bottom Knife is marked Panama Silver.

Top Spoon is marked DS in a diamond Alpaca Silver.
Second spoon (damaged) is marked PatApldfor Panama, it appears to be nickel silver.
Third spoon is marked Aztec Silvor with an arrow.
Last spoon has no mark and is chrome plated steel.

Spoon is marked Wm. A. Rogers Nickel Silver.
Fork is marked Rogers Nickel Silver.

15 comments:

  1. I found your site searching for information on a set of silverware I have. It is all pieces are labeled "Pat.Apld.for Panama" with the same pattern as the 2nd spoon in your 2nd picture (damaged). I wondered if you knew the manufacturer, name of this pattern, or anything else about this set. I've been looking for a while & no luck so far.

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  2. I have several pieces of aztec silvor with an arrow through the aztec. I did not see that you mentioned aztec silvor. Can you tell me what this is?

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  3. Hello I was wondering if you could help me. I found a spoon and it has been in the family for years... It is a Reed and Barton. The pattern is Moana.. Can you help me find information on this patter. I cannot find it any where on the web.

    Thnx

    Cindy

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    Replies
    1. http://sterlingflatwarefashions.com/SPPatterns/ReedBarton.html

      This place has a ton of information. Hope it helps.

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  4. If it doesn't say nickel silver or some other similar mark, does that mean it's not? I have a set of Simeon L and G Rogers x/tra flatware (pattern Oakland). I read somewhere that it's nickel silver, but it isn't marked as such on the pieces. What does this mean? Thanks in advance.

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  5. I found a spoon in a remote men spot here in Colorado today and its marked Wm a Rogers nickel silver. I just love historical items (don't care about worth). With the snow melting here there is always something new I find each year which is awesome with my offroading adventures . Anyway, so you have any time frame you can attribute to this? It was near 2 old cabins with a mine shaft...the time frame of this town below is approximately. 1880's. Thanks!

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  6. thank you for the job, really well done and precious.

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  7. Nick Mtui, I am leaving near Mount Kilimanjaro, I have a folk named Alpacca then there is a logo of animal then the words CPR the rest i cant see it clearly because the folk is damaged same how.

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  8. I HAVE A 13 PIECE DESSERT SET WITH A IMAGE WHICH APPEARS TO BE A PROPHET ON TOP.COMES FROM HUSUM GERMANY. PROBABLY EARLY 1900':ONLY HAS MARKINGS EPNS. ALSO HAVE A 6 PC TEASPOON SET WITH FLOWER MARKINGS ON HANDLE .NO OTHER MARKINGS

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  9. I have a number of pocket watch cases marked Nickel Silver i.e. AWC Co with a # 1285014 & AWC 5286695 also Nickel Chrome Swiss Made.

    Is there any monetary value or simply nostalgia.
    Many thanks, Donna

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  10. Hi,
    I've got a pair of fork and knife with the following markings but I'm unsure of it's origin. I'd be glad if anyone can help. Thanks!

    Engravings:

    1. 'AK' Caecilin-Verein 1945
    2. 'AK' Fur besondern Fleiss Cacilien-Verein 1939

    Both spoon and fork seem to made of silver.

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  11. Please send me your contact info to ltaylorexpress@gmail.com need some one trustworthy to speak to

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  12. I have a very small strainer ladle on the back it reads L A S S under that it says Nickel Silver can any one tell me about it It is a very light colored metal

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  13. I am a metal detectorist and just found a spoon that's marked 'W Nickel Silver 18'.

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  14. I received a FB Rogers Smith silverplated coffee urn 25 years ago for my 25th anniversary. I recently saw in a antique store the same coffee urn but it was electric. So my question is does FB Rogers Smith still have a store so I can send my back and they can turn it into an electric coffee urn?

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