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Silver 101: Glossary — Over a century of trust and tradition.

Britannia: A silver-white alloy composed largely of tin hardened with copper and antimony. Closely akin to pewter, yet differing in the higher proportion of tin, the addition of antimony and the omission of lead, resulting in a more silvery appearance. Often contains a small quantity of zinc. A common proportion is 140 parts tin, 3 of copper, and 10 of antimony.

Oxidizing: Accented beauty of ornamentation by the application of an oxide, which darkens metal wherever applied. Shadows and highlights are created, which give depth and character.

Patina: A soft luster caused by tiny scratches that come with daily use.
Alloy: A substance composed of two or more metals intimately united, usually intermixed when molten.

Bleeding: The technical term applied to pieces of plate whereon the copper base is exposed.

Sponging or Brush Plating: A technique where plating an area is possible without submerging the entire piece in a plating tank. This process allows us to touch up an area where a repair has been made, without re plating the entire piece. This process is also referred to as ragging.

Sterling Silver: 925/1000. An alloy of Silver and copper made up with .925 parts silver, and .075 parts copper. This was established as the legal standard for Silver in 1238. In 1300, the requirement for the use of a hallmark was introduced by Edward I to prevent fraud.

Coin Silver: 900/1000. 900 parts Silver, and 100 parts copper. Used by early silversmiths to whom Sterling was not available.

Sheffield Plate: True Sheffield plate was produced by fusing, with intense heat, a thin sheet of silver to one or both sides of a thick sheet of copper. Invented by Thomas Boulsover in approximately 1743. Also known as Old Sheffield Plate, to distinguish it form electroplate.

Translates to pushed out. Relief ornament hammered form the upper or inner side of the metal. Gives an added sharpness of form by surface chasing of detail and outline. Introduced to the United States by Samuel Kirk in 1828.

An often ornate tiered centerpiece consisting typically of a frame of wrought metal (as silver or gold) bearing dishes, vases, or candle holders or a combination of these.

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