Sterling Silver Tea Sets

When you have a special occasion or are having some special guests for tea, nothing like taking out your sterling silver tea sets to have tea. Having tea in such a set has a charm of its own and only adds to the importance of the occasion.

You could have inherited this sterling silver tea set as a family heirloom or may have received this as a gift on your special occasion. Both ways, it would have cost a lot of money for the person who purchased it.

No doubt, silver is expensive but it also needs regular polishing else it tends to become black and thus would lose its luster and shine. It is worth making the extra effort to polish your sterling silver tea set so that when you need to use it, it can sufficiently impress your guests.

One needs to understand the different types of silver and how to maintain them. Pure silver no doubt would be the most expensive form of silver but would be too delicate to be used for a silver tea set. For tea sets, it is imperative to use an alloy of copper with silver, so that the end product would be sufficiently hard to withstand the rigors of drinking tea.

For silver tea sets, the most expensive and best silver would be sterling silver which would be a proportion of approximately ninety three percent silver and the balance would be the copper component.

The alternative, cheaper option to sterling silver would be Sheffield plate which is a method discovered in the eighteenth century. This involves the amalgamation of two thin outer sheets of silver and a similarly thin inner layer of copper and this being fused together at a very high temperature.

An even cheaper method would be electroplating – this was discovered approximately one hundred years later. A base metal which would commonly be a nickel alloy is coated with silver by the electrolytic method. Electroform is a variation where a mould is manufactured from the desired object to be copied and this mould is coated at first with copper and then with silver.

English sterling silver would normally have 4 small marks engraved on it – these are essentially to describe the purity of the silver used, the place where the quality of the silver was tested, the date that the silver was manufactured and finally, the place where it was made.