Calling Out The Silver Experts

justlindaNovember 21, 2010

A couple of questions:

1) Silver item marked "VIETNAM ~ 0.900 ~ TIEN-BO".

2) I assume that 0.900 is a lower standard than the usual .925 (Sterling). So, if 0.900 is not considered Sterling (which I assume it isn't) is it then just considered "Silver"?

I remember lindac mentioning that if it wasn't marked "Sterling" then it wasn't, but I often see numbers in the .800 range that are marketed as "Sterling".

Still learning from the members on this board :)

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lindac

800....means it's 800 parts out of 1000 silver....and I assume with vietnamese silver it works the same.
Sterling is a measure of fineness....quality, established hundreds of years ago. It has enough copper for the item not to be so soft that it won't stand up and enough silver to be lovely,polish well and have some value. It's a corruption of the word "Easterling" which is what the word was for some early people who set a standard for silversmithing.
Early American silver was "coin quality" which is 900 parts silver. It looks a little grayer compared side by side with sterling....but as they say...I wouldn't kick it out of bed!! LOL!
I have a wonderful old soup ladle, I think it's Polish...and monogrammed 1909 and marked 800. It is noticeable less fine that other sterling or coin pieces I have....but it sits in my utensil crock, and I love to think of all the soup it must have ladled out.

    Bookmark   November 21, 2010 at 7:07PM
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antiquesilver

Like Lindac said, Sterling is a fineness - or Standard - used in the US, England, & other places. Different countries uses different standards, i.e. .800, .900, .950. Regardless, each standard represents a silver alloy (often referred to as 'solid' silver) as opposed to electroplated silver which only has a micro coating of silver & no precious metal value.

People often refer to .800, .900 etc as sterling because that's the only way they know to differeniate solid silver from plated ware when describing it - almost everyone knows that sterling equals precious metal. The price difference in the 2 alloys is marginal - workmanship on the finished piece is a different story!

    Bookmark   November 22, 2010 at 3:16PM
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blueheron

And the price of silver is going up and up! I'm thinking of selling my sterling service for 8.

    Bookmark   November 22, 2010 at 4:23PM
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lindac

Why would you sell? you will never get out of it as scrap what you would get as items to use

    Bookmark   November 22, 2010 at 7:11PM
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