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Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Weighted Sterling Candlestick - Case Study

When trying to determine the actual amount of silver in a weighted sterling piece, it helps to have many examples upon which you can rely regarding true silver content. Here's another.

The picture below depicts a Reed and Barton weighted sterling candlestick - on the left is the original candlestick and on the right is the weighting material after the sterling casing was removed.




The original candlestick weighed 228 grams. The weight of the sterling outer casing after being removed weighed 28 grams.  So, only 12.3% of the weight of the original piece was sterling.

If you try to remove the sterling casing from a piece like this, you might be interested in the picture below. The nails form a support for the weighting material, somewhat like rebar rods inside concrete. Be careful!

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

How did you remove the silver casting from the Reed-Barton silverware? Do all sterling silverwares have a mark, such as "92.5 or Sterling or Ster"? Thanks

Silver Jim said...

This article explains the sterling marks: http://www.examiner.com/article/sterling-vs-silver-plate

Silver Jim said...

The silver casing was removed by a pair of pliers.

Lady enquirer said...

Can I ask you for an opinion on a curious brooch? There is a tiny "90" followed by an up and left pointing arrow. I read your piece about "90" marks being silver plate, but this seems to be art deco silver gilt set with marcasite, turquoise and a shell cameo - very unusual, if not unique, so any clue as to what it might be is appreciated.

Silver Jim said...

The "90" indicator is only used in a few countries such as Germany. It may not mean the same thing on your piece.

I recommend taking the piece by an old line jewelry company for a review. I'm sorry I don;t know anything about it.