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Who eats using sterling silver flatware at home each and every day?

The people I know (relatives) who have sterling silver flatware never seem to use it, saving it for "special" occasions. My brother in law also bragged about his mother's sterling silver flatware set that she inherited and "never uses".

Do any chowhounders eat with sterling silver knives forks etc. on a daily basis?

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  1. Yes, we do, always.

    1. aggh I thought of mine this morning that I used last on Thanksgiving, I should use it more but ................

      1. We don't use sterling every day, but at least twice a week when the family eats dinner together. The sterling is in silver drawers in the dining room and the bult in server has dishwasher drawers to do the sterling. So it never leaves the dining room for the kitchen. Silver will dull and turn gray if washed in the same dishwasher load with stainless so we keep it separate.

        That said, I can taste stainless steel utensils, my teeth are sensitive ti them, just as they react to food or chocholate that has been wrapped in aluminum foil, so for everyday we use silverplate.

        I love silver and was fortunate to inherit from parents and grandparents on both sides of the family and also bought it years ago when it was affordable. I also don't mind polishing it as I find it theraputic.........

        17 Replies
        1. re: bagelman01

          "the built in server has dishwasher drawers to do the sterling."

          You have a separate drawer-type dishwasher in your dining room for silver?
          NICE !!!!!!!!! Or does the server have some kind of drawers you then insert in a kitchen dishwasher? IMWTK

          1. re: Midlife

            My wife is a designer<VBG>, so when we built the dining room addition, we have a marble topped serving counter the length of the room that has the following appliances built in (under the counter):
            Wine Cooler
            2 Drawer Type dishwashers (1 for silver, 1 for glassware)
            2 Warming Drawers
            Ice Maker

            1. re: bagelman01

              Do you notice that is getting "discolored"? Any special dishwasher detergent used?

              1. re: sedimental

                No problem with discoloration if NO stainless stell items are also in the dishwasher. That's one of the reasons I wanted this. No more hand washing the silver.
                We use Palmolive ECO

                1. re: sedimental

                  I never put my sterling in the dishwasher. Over time it will develop a greyish color you cannot remove with polish.

                  1. re: Montanamom

                    Dishwasher detergents are harsh for silver and will ruin the finish. Boiling silver with xx subtance in the water, or in an aluminum pan, or dipping silver in liquid cleaner, will permanently ruin the finish. Leaving silver in a salty substance like gravy will ruin the finish. Letting salt or salty nuts sit in a silver dish will ruin the finish. Letting cream sit in silver will ruin the finish, which is why good silver cream pitchers have a gilt-washed lining. I have never known anyone who insisted on being casual with sterling silver who did not end up with ruined silver.

                    1. re: Querencia

                      I often eat holiday dinners with my rabbi's family. His mother had given them a full set of Reed & Barton Francis 1 when they got married. Last week I took a look at the bowls of the spoons and they were pitted and had not so fine grooves in them. The whole setting had no luster or patina. I can only imagine them being assaulted weekly in a dishwasher and never polished. Oy vey!

                      My own Prelude is only hand washed and dried. I also have lots of odd silver plate pieces that I find at estate sales and thrift stores.

                2. re: bagelman01

                  All I can say is to repeat...............NICE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I assume you do a lot of entertaining.................... or that she can write that stuff off? Most people don't go to the extent of plumbing in their dining room, even in an addition.

                  1. re: Midlife

                    Use the formal dining room about 2x per week. It was simple and relatively inexpensive to plumb, right up through the floor from the basement. Plumbing cost including material was less than $250.

                    When we married, I moved into wife's home. There was no formal dining room, she had designed a huge kitchen that sat 12 in one area. I had always had a formal dining room and pushed for the addition. I don't like having guests eat in the kitchen with smells, noise, accumukating dirty pots.pans dishes, etc.. So we had an existing patio off the kitchen and built out.
                    Spent a lot of time discussing what we wanted and planned for it. I always had a more formal home and had inherited much silver, china and crystal which I like on display (and to use). Wife loves pottery and modern glass. So, Kitchen is modern, dining room is formal with more than enough caninet display space for my treasures. I do all the silver polishing <VBG>, very cathartic.

                    1. re: bagelman01

                      Again................... NICE!!! ;o]]]]]]]]]]

                      In California most of us don't have basements. Usually homes are built on concrete slabs, so adding plumbing is a bigger deal. Even tying into existing drains, or running new ones, is more of an issue.

              2. re: bagelman01

                "Silver will dull and turn gray if washed in the same dishwasher load with stainless so we keep it separate."

                This is why my parents switched to full-time sterling. Growing up we used stainless for everyday and their wedding sterling for special occasions. My mom started picking up more sterling at antique fairs, mainly because it was pretty, but realized if she used nothing but sterling she wouldn't have to wash it all by hand...So the stainless got dumped and it's all sterling all the time at their house. They have probably 2.5 sets now, with about 15 extra teaspoons since we're all big coffee drinkers.

                1. re: thursday

                  The problem crops up when kitchen utensils which are stainless make their way into the dishwasher with the flatware.
                  We solved this when building our new dining room. The buffet has both silverware drawers lined with Pacific Silver cloth, and two dishwasher drawers which are used for sterling and crystal only. That way, the sterling never gets mixed with non-sterling in the full sized dishwasher, and the crystal never has to travel from dining room to kitchen.

                2. re: bagelman01

                  Ah, I started a forum on here concerning stainless steel alternatives recently because I too can taste the steel. It's mightily unpleasant to me. I've been seeking flatware alternatives for awhile now. I've made do with asian style ceramic spoons, chopsticks and bamboo, but I've been pining for something for functional and for everyday use. I'd love to have silver! Would say that the price and added maitanance make it a worthwhile investment?

                  1. re: spection

                    You should buy a few piecves of used silverplate at a Goodwill or thrift shop and see how you react. It will be very cheap.

                    If silverplate works for you, you can find complete sets of mid century Oneida/Community patterns on eBay for less than $100.

                    Even used sterling will cost more than that per 4pc setting.
                    Worth the investment? A personal decision, but I think so.

                    1. re: spection

                      I once was struck with this kind of observation when a funeral repast wares held for a great aunt... the table was laid with plastic and paper right next to her beautiful china cabinet filled to the brim! I guess no one wants to do dishes for you, even after you;re dead!

                      1. re: betsydiver

                        People miss out on the finer things of life, then they die. So sad.

                    2. re: bagelman01

                      I never allow aluminum foil to touch food. I use parchment paper all of the time. Frankly, I do not understand why I see chefs on TV using it so much.

                    3. Now I use sterling every day. I used to reserve it for those once-a-year special occasions, but of course it would need to be polished before use and that on top of all the other work needed for those special occasions was too much work. And I discovered that it's better to use sterling regularly - for some reason daily use and washing minimizes the need for polishing. And when it does need polishing, far less effort is required.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: janniecooks

                        Yep. I throw it all in the dishwasher, which is fine, as long as it doesn't touch the stainless. The spoons, which are used daily, are much cleaner looking than the rest of the utensils, which are used monthly (or more often when all the stainless is dirty.)

                      2. Only the finest stainless steel is used at Rancho Biscuitboy...besides, isn't ALL silver flatware just plated?

                        26 Replies
                        1. re: BiscuitBoy

                          Sterling silver is .925 silver with a .075 additive, usually copper. It will last virtually forever and has a high monetary value.

                          Silver plate is simply a thin surface coating, life is about 20 years, and has very little intrinsic value.

                          To the OP: In our house we bounce between wooden handled "bistro-style" flatware and heavy sterling silverware. We don't use the sterling every day but use it frequently, not just for special occasions. What stainless I do have I use in the kitchen as adjunct preping/cooking/tasting utensils.

                          1. re: Gio

                            I dream of having a real sterling set someday.

                            I have my grandmother's silver plate set and the plating is worn off the forks and I don't like the taste of the metal.

                            1. re: cleobeach

                              I can't imagine buying a set of sterling new, but you can buy it in bits and pieces at antiques shops for a lot less money.

                              1. re: Isolda

                                I can't imagine doing this now, either. There is really nice stainless out there. But sterling is forever, if it is taken care of.

                                1. re: Isolda

                                  I agree and having a mis-matched set makes a table setting unique and truly glorious. I wish I had the foresight to have done that when I started out.

                                  1. re: Isolda

                                    I bought a full set of sterling for 12 this year on eBay. I think the supply of beautiful full sets of silver, old and new, is so great (there's a recession and people need money) and the demand is so weak (most young people getting married do not register for sterling) that the market dictates that the price be very low. When I search for sterling flatware, at any given time there are about 60,000 items for sale on eBay. So really nice stuff, with just a couple exceptions, goes for just above or just below the scrap value. It's insane. I got 6 pieces each of 12 place settings of my pattern for under $2000. I paid $475 a place setting for the exact same stuff in the early 1980's. If you want sterling, this is a good time to buy. I use mine once or twice a week, when we have company. I didn't know I could put it in the dishwasher, thank you for that.

                                    1. re: Isolda

                                      Estate sales often have sets of sterling flatware and usually on the last day everything goes at half-price. If you live in the vicinity of a big city try googling "estate sales *** (name of city)" to find out when and where they are happening.

                                      1. re: Querencia

                                        We live in the 'burbs where there's a lot of elderly residents, and Mr. Pine calls these estate sales (every week within a 3 mile radius) "vulture sales." I have to drag him in, if he's willing to go at all--it is kinda sad, seeing some of the very personal items for sale, but it didn't stop me from recently buying a great painting for $20.

                                    2. re: cleobeach

                                      If you like your silverplate set well enough to do it, you can have it replated. I didn't know that anyone still produced silverplate but Reed & Barton still does.


                                      Guaranteed for 100 years!

                                      1. re: sueatmo

                                        I spoke to two companies about replating but it was expensive. The one owner said right out "keep you eye on auctions and buy an estate set, your grandmother would say it was a better value."

                                        I think I was quoted $140 per set plus return shipping. A new Lunt sterling set goes for $395.

                                        1. re: cleobeach

                                          This is good to know. I have this massive silverplate platter with my monogram from my first marriage, and I was thinking of having it replated. Now I don't think I'll bother. That whole chapter of my life was a waste!

                                          1. re: cleobeach

                                            I think you might find a firm closer to you to do the work, if you live in a decent sized city. I don't think $140 is all that bad for a 10 place setting set. If the owner told you to keep an eye out for auctions, then he doesn't want to be bothered with your job. At least that is my interpretation.

                                            If you are sentimentally attached to your service, then it might be worth it to you to have it replated.

                                            For really good info about silver, I recommend this site:


                                            1. re: sueatmo

                                              I live in the middle of nowhere!

                                              It very well may have been too small of a job for him but he was actually quite helpful and we chatted on the phone for a considerable amount of time. He suggested the auction route after I said I didn't really like the pattern and would likely give it to a cousin when she married.

                                              I think that price was for a 5 piece setting. It has been a couple months since I looked into it.

                                              I will check out that link, thanks.

                                              1. re: cleobeach

                                                Oh! ouch. That price was for 5 pcs? I assumed it was for your set. Big difference.

                                          2. re: sueatmo

                                            Replating is very expensive. You can buy second-hand sterling for about the same money. Old plated ware is worthless---does not hold its value. Old sterling just gets more valuable. Silver made in the United States since 1860 must by law be marked STERLING. If it's made in the United Kingdom it has a set of very specific pictorial marks, letters, and numbers that you can find online. If it's Continental, each country has its own hallmarks. Otherwise, it is not sterling no matter what somebody tells you.

                                          3. re: cleobeach

                                            Most of the sterling place settings and serving pieces were wedding presents. I have added various pieces over the years and now have enough PSs to serve 14 with double the amount of dessert/salad forks. Along with the china and crystal they make any dinner something special...

                                            1. re: cleobeach

                                              Shop for sterling silver at estate sales. Go to estate sales. net for sales in your area--- weekly listings, with photographs.

                                              1. re: Querencia

                                                Thanks for that site--seems there's a sale near me this weekend that has some really nice looking items.

                                            2. re: Gio

                                              never knew a fork could be solid silver...I gotta take a closer look at my grandmother's set

                                              1. re: BiscuitBoy

                                                Take another look at your grandmother's set. You may just be surprised. BTW: dinner knives have a stainless steel blade but have a sterling handle. Butter knives are all sterling.

                                                1. re: BiscuitBoy

                                                  It's typically imprinted with the word Sterling on the underside.

                                                  1. re: masha

                                                    Most sterling has a Hallmark that identifies the maker and approximately when it was manufactured. Silverplate doesn't. If it's imprinted ".925" it's usually Mexican silver - not quite sterling, but close. YMMV.

                                                    1. re: Veggo

                                                      .925 is sterling standard and Mexican silver marked 925 has the same silver content as American sterling---some Mexican silver is extremely collectible and valuable---check out Spratling jewelry for prices. Hallmarks are not used on American silver, which says STERLING if it's made since 1860. Hallmarks are used on British and Continental silver. You can learn about hallmarks online (a British piece will have the lion passant to show it's sterling, a date letter, a symbol of the city where its maker entered his mark, and possibly the initials of the maker). Common words used on plated ware are A-1 and EPNS (electro-plated nickel silver). "German silver" has a much lower silver content than sterling. Many flea market and second-hand dealers have no clue or are outright liars and I have known American auctioneers to fail to recognize that a good piece of British Georgian silver was actually silver---I can't count the dealers I have hornswoggled into a low price because a British piece didn't say Sterling so they thought it wasn't. Educate yourself. Silver is fascinating.

                                                      1. re: Veggo

                                                        If sterling silver was made in the United States after 1860 it says "Sterling" or it isn't. American silver is not hallmarked. British and European silver is hallmarked. A full British hallmark shows the sterling mark (the "lion passant", sideways view of a lion with his paw raised), the town mark (Leopard's Head for London, anchor for Birmingham, crown for Sheffield etc---see online or buy a marks book), the date mark (letter of the alphabet, see online or a marks book), and the maker's mark. Mexican silver says 925. Continental hallmarks are complicated: see book. Also, 925 IS sterling---sterling standard is 925 parts silver out of 1000 parts.

                                                2. We have silver plated flatware that we use once a week for Shabbat dinner, but not every day.

                                                  1. Funny timing: I just sold my 99% unused set of sterling flatware. Still have my tea service, trays, etc, and don't plan to sell them.

                                                    1. I don't even own sterling silver flatware-- and in two decades of regular and large scale entertaining, have yet to discover a need for it.

                                                      5 Replies
                                                      1. re: sunshine842

                                                        yeah, me too. In addition to our everyday stainless, we have a "nice" set of stainless that we use for "company". Oh well. I don't feel like I'm suffering too much though.

                                                        1. re: DGresh

                                                          Just think of the money you have saved NOT buying sterling! You can afford really nice stainless for much less than sterling. And if you lose a piece, you don't fell sick to your stomach.

                                                          Stainless might not be as permanent as sterling, though. In my experience it gets stained up, bent and scratched. In twenty years of use, you might want to replace it. I know I did!

                                                          1. re: sueatmo

                                                            Sterling looks and feels nice. But it's not even on the radar of Things I Want.

                                                            I'm still using my 20-year-old stainless, and my mom's going on 40 years with hers....and both sets are in great shape. (Attrition has claimed a few of hers, but mine are -- touch wood -- still present and accounted for.)

                                                            1. re: sueatmo

                                                              I've certainly replaced our everyday stuff a couple of times in our 21 years of marriage (never paying more than $100 for an entire set of service for 8), but our wedding gift stainless that we use for special occasions is still really beautiful.

                                                          2. re: sunshine842

                                                            Just look up all the healthy properties of silver. It's amazing!

                                                            That's the main reason to have and, well, use silver flatware.

                                                            Obviously, if you don't care then you don't need it. (Not that I'm using it right now. Ha. But I grew up on a family where only silver was used.)

                                                            It's really weird that some people have silver flatware but only keep it for "special occasions". What's the point? It's like having a Brita filter but only use it for special occasions.

                                                          3. Oh, the irony.
                                                            We have a sterling silver set of flatware. We even have a swanky 14 carat gold (plated) set. We have inherited several complete sets of good china from both sides of the family. Two sets are still in the boxes. I'm actually afraid to touch them. The other two sets have been stored for years. Every time I decide to break one out for everyday use, it never fails that something gets broken. And then I feel terrible because they were my grandmother's grandmother's wedding china that SHE never used.

                                                            Somehow, though, my dollar store plates and bowls are indestructible.

                                                            3 Replies
                                                            1. re: Whinerdiner

                                                              Grandma had two sets of silver, three sets of crystal, and several sets of China.

                                                              Some was for everyday use and the expensive antique heirlooms were saved for holidays and company.

                                                              Sadly it was mostly lost in a fire.

                                                              1. re: cstefan206

                                                                So grandma kept it in pristine condition. It looked beautiful when it melted in the fire?? Why have it if its not used? That's moms opinion. So she used it and enjoyed her silver till she died at age 75. I've been using it as my everyday silver since her death. I put my stainless away and moved all her silver into my kitchen drawer.
                                                                I'm always careful when I put it in the dishwasher to make sure it's always together in the slots, and the knives and other stainless products are away from it. Never had a problem. I always polish it once a year before I have 20 people here for Thanksgiving. Usually it isn't even tarnished... I just like to do that once a year to keep it in good shape. Mom used to have it polished twice a year. But it always went in the dishwasher!

                                                                1. re: DanT2590

                                                                  No grandma used her stuff. Some was for everyday use and some only came out for company, special occasions, and holidays. The old and irreplaceable family heirlooms got used less often than the newer stuff she got at her wedding or bought later.

                                                                  As I said sadly most of it was destroyed when her house burned down. Thankfully nobody was hurt.

                                                            2. Yes, do not even have anything else. It is a big set

                                                              1. My Aunt Cherry worked for a long time at 'Danish Bacon ' in England.

                                                                every Christmas the staff gift was a full GeorgeJorgensen table set.

                                                                She worked there for 14 years. and still uses them.

                                                                Who will get them ?

                                                                Nina and Paul wonder if it will be me....

                                                                1 Reply
                                                                1. re: Naguere

                                                                  "My Aunt Cherry worked for a long time at 'Danish Bacon ' in England."

                                                                  This is very off topic...I LOVE that you have an Aunt Cherry!

                                                                2. I don't own a full set of sterling silver cutlery - just a set of 1920s teaspoons and a couple of serving spoons from the late 1700s.

                                                                  We do have a large set of silver plate that was my grandparents (the comparitively walthy ones). It's now old, battered and the bone handles are working loose on some of the knives - it comes out just once a year or not at all if we're not cooking Xmas dinner for the family.

                                                                  1. Count me in. I have a utilitarian 4 person stainless steel set that I use for my own lunches and snacks. And cheap take out. But when I cook a dinner, it's the silver with folded cloth napkins and nice dishes, even if we're sitting at bar so we can see the tube.
                                                                    Life is short. If you have something nice, use it!!
                                                                    I take the same approach to other things like shoes or handbags that were a special treat. Sometimes, mr.gator cautions me not to wear something out because it's "nice", but I got it to enjoy it :)

                                                                    1. A real mixed set (my preference) of family pieces, vintage and house sale finds but all sterling and all used regularly. I wouldn't own stuff just to fill drawers and cabinets. And, I like the heaviness of old silver in the hand; especially a nice heavy knife.

                                                                      1. My 15 year old daughter uses sterling silver spoons every day to eat her cereal, oatmeal, etc. She says they feel better in her mouth. We use the sterling for family dinners maybe once a month or so.

                                                                        1. I am really curious to all of you who use it daily.......... do you hand wash it daily? I have a ton of sterling that I would use everyday, but I don't want to have to keep it separate from stainless in the dishwasher. Even if I got rid of all my stainless flat wear in order to use the sterling, there would still be stainless in the dishwasher (garlic press, pans, strainers, big slotted spoons, etc). Doesn't it hurt the sterling? Or am I being too anal about washing stainless and sterling together in the dishwasher?

                                                                          8 Replies
                                                                          1. re: sedimental

                                                                            Just so long as they don't touch, you're fine.

                                                                            1. re: tzurriz

                                                                              Well then............ I might just have to go home and rearrange the silverware drawer! :)

                                                                            2. re: sedimental

                                                                              The stainless goes in the dishwasher; the sterling goes in a sink style bucket of warm water for cleaning & rinsing. The amount of daily cleaning is small for my family.

                                                                              1. re: sedimental

                                                                                I'll confess to being a complete heretic on the subject of stainless touching silver in the dishwasher. Mine have been intermingled for forty plus years and I cannot see a problem anywhere. What is supposed to happen? I even put the knives in the DW contrary to the conventional wisdom that the handles would unglue from the blades - hasn't happened yet.

                                                                                We use our sterling daily although for egg-y dishes, I revert to the bistro flatware. I'm too old to spend my morning cleaning the soft-boiled egg yolk spoon. Besides, the shape of the bistro stuff is more slender and fits into the eggshell better. For everything else - sterling. I inherited lots of silver and was gifted with loads for wedding gifts back in the day so I don't run the DW daily. Yep, it just sits there, nudging its neighbors. I'm too old to change my ways.

                                                                                1. re: Sherri

                                                                                  My experience is different. I did dishwash my sterling, at least some of it years ago, and it has turned a slightly different color of silver. It is enough to notice. So I haven't used it very much. It is too bad because over a period of years, I accumulated 10 place settings and several serving pieces.

                                                                                  If i had to do this over again, I wouldn't have spent the money. I had it out for Thanksgiving along with my granmother's old red goblets and the table looked so pretty, But we don't use it often because it has to be handwashed.

                                                                                  Sherri, your dishwashed sterling flatware hasn't discolored? Do you have to polish it?

                                                                                  1. re: sueatmo

                                                                                    The sterling flatware has not discolored one iota. It is rarely polished; or I should say the daily use pieces are rarely polished. Some of the esoteric serving pieces need a swipe of polish because they're not used often, the serving pieces we use more frequently don't require polishing. Our biggest problem is that we have a lot more silver than we have people. Some of it is wrapped in silvercloth and is rotated into use when the other pieces rotate out. On a scale of problems, 1-10, this is a minus 87!

                                                                                    I should note that I use a low phosphate DW detergent and not a whole lot of that. That's been for about the past 10 years, before, it was Cascade all the way. Maybe I'm the odd one out, or some of my old silver is different from what's available today. I know my pieces are heavier than what is currently sold. My newest is 40+ years old, some of the other stuff is quite a bit older.

                                                                                    1. re: Sherri

                                                                                      My oldest pieces are about 40 years old. I have no idea what I was using when I dishwashed the pieces that show the siight discoloration. I was told that I could dishwash the pieces, but it would be better if I didn't. I can't recall anything about sterling touching stainless in the dishwasher..

                                                                                      When I bought my new stainless, I learned that we should not use anything with citrus in it for those pieces.

                                                                                      I polished my sterling in November, and I noticed that no amount of polishing could get rid of the discoloration, which I saw as slightly yellow. On the table, I don't think it was noticeable. Some pieces are strictly silver in color and some are slightly yellowed.

                                                                                2. re: sedimental

                                                                                  No, sedimental, you are not. I never put my sterling silver in the dishwasher. When I use it I put it immediately in a dishpan with hot water and detergent when all else goes in the dishwasher and I hand-wash it later. I do this myself. If I have helpful guests I don't want a piece of silver accidentally going in the trash or the disposal. Especially, don't let it sit with salt on it (salt corrodes silver) or anything with egg in it (turns silver hideously black). It's not a big deal to hand wash silver. BTW polish sterling with a good cream polish and a soft cloth. Dips will ruin the patina and buffing to restore the finish is very expensive. Just put on some good music and do it. If you take care of it your sterling silver will outlive your great-grandchildren. You just get to be its curator for a little while.

                                                                                3. Off topic, not silver. Actress Marcia Wallace (Bob Newhart, Simpsons, etc) did a local meet & greet where she talked about "eating off the fine china" (her hubby had recently died, she was a breast cancer survivor, & my wife had recently been diagnosed w/bc). My wife and I attended it and that became our motto. Sadly, she passed away in 2003. Why not? what, who, when are you saving it for?! enjoy and cherish life!

                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                  1. re: hamboney

                                                                                    If I used my "good" china which is Theodore Haviland my mother bought painfully piece by piece through the fifties and sixties, I would have to handwash it every time we ate a meal. If I used my grandmother's red goblets, the same. If I used my sterling silver pieces, the same.

                                                                                    New fine china is dishwashable. Glassware is the same. But the old stuff isn't. So, even though it might feed your senses to use the good old stuff daily, doing so can be a pain in the neck.

                                                                                    I think my mother didn't need the china she wanted so badly. She could have bought an entire set from Montgomery Ward and been done with it. Later if she damaged it in the dishwasher, who would care? I think I didn't need the sterling I wanted so badly either. I could have started my kids' college education fund!

                                                                                    IMO what makes most of us happy is sitting around the table with loved ones and good food, and it doesn't matter what the vessels are, or what the implements are. And if cleanup is fast and easy, more the better.

                                                                                  2. Before we had kids we used it at least weekly. I hope that when they are older we'll use it at least that often. We always use for entertaining or holidays. Sterling looks best when it is used often.

                                                                                    Our china is new and very, very fine and not at all dishwasher safe. We used and will use it about the same as our sterling. Why exactly did I collect all those double handled soup cups if I wasn't going to use them.

                                                                                    1. We use our wedding silverware every day, all the time. After 34 years of use, it has the most beautiful patina on it. We use all of our "nice" stuff. I'd rather have it break then just have to look at it.

                                                                                      12 Replies
                                                                                      1. re: bayoucook

                                                                                        I used my silver service daily - it was handed down to me by my mother, who didn't like her old-fashioned pattern anymore. I always felt it was better to set a really nice table for family and use it daily (treat family like company and company like family, you know?) UNTIL the day we had a small dinner party and my ex's business associate brought a date we didn't know (and neither did he, 'cause he was a good guy) and when I cleared the table her place setting had gone with her.
                                                                                        Enter stainless and a locked Tole box.
                                                                                        Some People.

                                                                                          1. re: sunshine842

                                                                                            Holy crap--I would have tracked that "lady" down and fought her in a back alley to get it back. But I bought my own silver, so I'm pretty protective of it. I don't have a real emotional attachment to it, but after selling a home at a nice profit back in the good days for things like that, I figured it would be a nice thing to have.
                                                                                            Sigh, the things that you don't get when you get married at city hall, haha!

                                                                                            1. re: alliegator

                                                                                              Sunshine, allie: Yeah, it knocked me for a loop and was a deeply uncomfortable situation because of the relationship between my husband at the time and his business friend, which is why I didn't mention it until years later. At the time, it was just toooooo unreal to deal with. I never was a silver-counter, but this was GLARING. And I always wondered what she did with it. Eat? Hock it? Stash it in a nest 'cause she was a magpie in disguise?
                                                                                              Funny aside on the "emotional attachment" you speak of: my mom also inherited a butt-ugly service from her GG Gramma that she used every single day, and we haaaaated it. So years later when mom downsized and had a garage sale, that set was one of the first things laid out for sale. Until baby sister got a look at the Royal Doulton stamp, when suddenly the plates became just great and went straight home with her. : )

                                                                                              1. re: mamachef

                                                                                                Probably an apt place to mention a good place to find a replacement:

                                                                                                With apologies to anyone who knows about it: Replacements Limited is in the Carolinas, and they keep all the spares and extras and duplicates. (www.replacements.com -- no affiliation whatsoever


                                                                                                I've had good luck with them when I needed to find a piece to replace some broken plates...not always cheap, but they'll probably have your pattern.

                                                                                                1. re: mamachef

                                                                                                  A magpie? that cacked me up. But seriously, some people just want to make you smack you forehead and be like "WHAT?! REALLY?!".

                                                                                                  Closest thing I've encountered to stolen silver is when my brother's lazy and spoiled now ex wife demanded that I fly across the country to attend her baby shower and she wanted the silver baby spoon from Tiffany. I went and gave the gift so as not to inflame my family (oh, and cooked for the whole thing), and found out later that she sold it on ebay shortly after :(

                                                                                                  1. re: alliegator

                                                                                                    y'know, y'all make me realize that my semi-lunatic family are a lot closer to sane than I thought they were.

                                                                                                    1. re: sunshine842

                                                                                                      sunshine! Coffee hurts spurting out my nose, girl! Belly laugh!

                                                                                            2. re: mamachef

                                                                                              I had to replace a spoon once after a party. The spoon was taken, I think. I remember going through the trash thoroughly. No spoon. It was a big party and I had borrowed my mother's sterling to use with mine.

                                                                                              Never again!

                                                                                              1. re: sueatmo

                                                                                                The caterers at our wedding made off with our sterling server and knife set - very expensive stuff and sentimental, too (bought for the big day). I honestly think it was an accident, but they refused to fess up or check their warehouse - because of fear of liability, I imagine - they simply denied that it was even remotely possible. Considering the wedding was held in a friend's backyard and attended only by family and close friends, there didn't seem to be another explanation... It really pissed me off. Loved them otherwise, but ended up not recommending them to people as a result.

                                                                                                1. re: sueatmo

                                                                                                  I make it a practice to never run the disposer or take out the trash until all of the silver is accounted for I have too many memories of my mother being quite casual about hers. Over time her collection dwindled. In the late 70's she gave what she had to me. At that time the Hunt bros. tried to corner the silver market and the prices went up to astronomical levels. Silver makers were actually allowing trade ins. I used her stuff to start my collection.

                                                                                              2. Oh, wow. My mom does!! When she realized none of us wanted to help care for the fine silver, she put it all away, bought herself a single service and uses it every day.

                                                                                                When I was married, she had a very difficult time understanding why I didn't want the china or silver. Honestly, we (partner, no longer married) eat on melamine plates and out of my collection of Bauer ringware bowls. When friends come over, I break out the Bauer plates but that is all.

                                                                                                Sorry, mom, your dining habits didn't take with me.

                                                                                                But, she is very happy with her silver service.

                                                                                                1. My grandparents entertained quite a bit, and when they became elderly and downsized their household, my grandmother got rid of all her daily use china and stainless and only used the good china and sterling. She inherited a few sets which have since been passed down to us. I use the sterling and old china every Sunday when the family comes over for dinner. I didn't realize the dishwasher could ruin the patina of the silver. I'll certainly hand wash from now on out.

                                                                                                  1. My own silver has not seen the light of day for 20 years.

                                                                                                    I have two elderly friends who love good food, good wine and good friends. They make every night a special occasion. With, or without, company. They married late in life and both had silver settings. The husband had a large modern/Scan design service from his native country of Holland. They use that set every day and hand wash it.

                                                                                                    I envy the service as it is very close in design to my favorite Lauffer flatware made in Norway.

                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                    1. re: Windsor

                                                                                                      Just curious--why don't you use it?

                                                                                                    2. Life is short: Use the good stuff!

                                                                                                      1. I am 100% guilty of not using my husband's grandmothers silver. I use it on special occasions. I just recently boxed his grandmother's china because we inherited his mothers which I prefer. I do use the serving platters and serving dishes all the time and would like to get the whole set one day. I priced them on ebay and the replacement website but cannot afford it all at once. Besides shoes I have a kitchen fetish. I think if I bring another dish in my house my husband will divorce me! :o

                                                                                                        1. Yes, we do, always and wouldn't have it any other way.

                                                                                                          1. my parents. It is really tarnished and I have always found that nonchalance very chic.

                                                                                                            1. Not since we moved overseas (we've been expats for about four years now). But when we still lived in the US and also when we lived in the UK, we did use our silver and china on a regular basis. We had a large collection of 19th century Canton and Staffordshire dishes that came from various branches of the family which we used every day. The "really good stuff" aka 19th century handpainted French, German and English china were used on the holidays and special occasions. We had an everyday silver flatware and a couple bowls and platters for everyday use, and all the large heavy pieces for the holidays and special dinners. Everything is now in storage until we eventually return to the US, and while I do miss having my pretty dishes it is easier having to put up with basic Ikea crockery. But after using heavy hand chased silver flatware on a regular basis for most of my life, the cheap stainless steel still doesn't feel right in my hands, although it performs its function just fine.

                                                                                                              1. I don't use my sterling every day, but I use it often. Oh, and I would never, ever put it in the dishwasher. Eeek! I inherited my grandmother's silver a few years ago, which was quite a surprise, as I had not known that it had been sitting in my mother's cupboard for years, ever since she inherited it. Mom never used the silver, not once. When I opened the box at Christmas, I remembered drying the spoons and forks after dessert, helping my grandmother wash up on Sundays. Mom is the modern "50's" sort of housewife. She likes things that are easy to maintain. But really, people who say that you have to polish the silver all the time do not have the proper box, lined in Pacific Silvercloth, to store it in.

                                                                                                                3 Replies
                                                                                                                1. re: RosePearl

                                                                                                                  I don't understand the Eeek ?
                                                                                                                  If you use your Sterling Silver daily and place it into the dishwasher, you don't have to polish it constantly either. Foods containing hot peppers and similar might be rinsed off right after use before placing it into the dishwasher, but that's about it. Why have a set and not use it for everything.

                                                                                                                  1. re: RUK

                                                                                                                    Eeek! because dishwasher detergent is very harsh, and you shouldn't mix stainless stell with the sterling because a chemical reaction can discolor your sterling. I really find it simpler to handwash the sterling and put the stainless steel cookware and flatware in the dishwasher. And I don't have to polish my silverware constantly, because I keep it in a box lined in Silvercloth.

                                                                                                                    1. re: RosePearl

                                                                                                                      Hmm, I don't own a stainless steel flatware set, and the Silver flatware doesn't discolor since it gets washed along only with cups, glasses and plates in the dishwasher. No problem here. It stays surprisingly shiny! And I rinse any peppery dish off before placing the Silver into the dishwasher.
                                                                                                                      But whatever... :-)

                                                                                                                2. I used to, but since a few problems developed, I started using stainless daily. Problems:
                                                                                                                  1. Can't touch the silver to stainless or it tarnishes badly (cleaning lady never learned the diff!)
                                                                                                                  2. Certain foods "turn" or stain the silver such as Mayo, mayo, etc.
                                                                                                                  3. Using daily means more inadvertent scratches.

                                                                                                                  1. We do not, and even use a very nice designer Stainless for many dinner parties.


                                                                                                                    1. It IS a matter of fun. One can buy very nice stainless, densigned by Gunner Cyren or Jens Quistgaard, which approcahed silver prices, or get silver (a good investment)

                                                                                                                      Plastic or fingers work, but the issue is do you enjoy yourself or let fake ideologic mores ruin your life. Do what is fun, but never, ever, put your silver in the dishwasher.

                                                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                                                      1. re: law_doc89

                                                                                                                        "never, ever, put your silver in the dishwasher."

                                                                                                                        That's not the whole story.

                                                                                                                        We use sterling regularly and it goes in the dishwasher. You shouldn't put sterling in the dishwasher IF there is any stainless steel in the dishwasher at the same time.

                                                                                                                        That said, when we designed our new dining room, the built in units not only have silver drawers and cabinets for fine china and crystal, but we put two dishwasher drawers in as well, one for flatware and one for crystal. they never leave the dining room and travel to the kitchen. No chance of mixing sterling with stainless, as stainless never crosses the treshold of the dining room. The knives are handwashed due to the stainless blades.

                                                                                                                      2. my last landlady does. I was doing some light house-sitting for her once and had to find something like a crappy knife or a screwdriver, don't recall what. but nope, nothing but silver swathed in blue velvet in her drawers. she also wears old Ferragamos to putter in the garden.

                                                                                                                        she's so cool (I hope she's not reading this, but if so, it's said with utmost affection)

                                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                                        1. re: hill food

                                                                                                                          I had a similar experience as a teenager babysitting for a new family. Before she left for the evening, the mother had told me to please help myself to some ice cream. After I'd put their son to bed, I did exactly that but was stymied in looking for a spoon that all I could find was their sterling silver. I remember opening every drawer sure that there must be some everyday stainless somewhere.

                                                                                                                        2. Well not each and every day since we don't eat all our meals at home each and every day.

                                                                                                                          1. My mother was given a complete set of 'Birks' British sterling silver as a wedding gift. Yes all wrapped in powder blue bags. That would have been about 1937. We only ever used it for Sunday meals. She left the set to me in 1985 when she passed away. Somehow over the years a lot of the set had gone missing. I know who stole it but I'm not saying. Anyway since I got the set we've used whatever was left everyday. Whenever I use a piece of it I think of my mom. I intend to someday replace all the missing pieces. Here's photo of the pattern. Anyone have any of it?

                                                                                                                            21 Replies
                                                                                                                            1. re: Puffin3

                                                                                                                              Having once thrown a piece out by accident, I do count after washing before the trash goes out.

                                                                                                                              If someone came into my house and stole silver, that person would never be invited back into my like.

                                                                                                                              1. re: law_doc89

                                                                                                                                They never were once I found out what they had been up to. They never stole from me but from my aging mother. She was too old to notice things were going missing.......like diamond rings a real pearl necklace and small painting worth thousands and a 24 carrot gold bracelet with a dozen solid gold little coins/mementos my mom had purchased traveling throughout Europe etc that were attached to the bracelet.
                                                                                                                                This person was a former 'family friend' who I guess figured she better get what she could before my mom died. We only found out about the theft when the 'family friend' was seen wearing mom's bracelet in another city when she was on holiday and one of my relatives happened to bump into her and noticed the bracelet. The cops were called and in the final analysis the 'family friend' agreed to turn over what she had stolen minus what she had sold. The 'Birks' sterling was never recovered. Pretty familiar story when it comes to people getting old and being taken advantage of.

                                                                                                                                1. re: Puffin3

                                                                                                                                  Oh Puffin. Horrid. Just be glad you figured out what a scumbag that person is so you were able to eliminate them from being allowed in your presence:(

                                                                                                                                2. re: law_doc89

                                                                                                                                  Absolutely, no running the garbage disposer either.

                                                                                                                                3. re: Puffin3

                                                                                                                                  in the back of the "New Yorker" most months there's an ad for an outfit in New England IIRC that helps round out mismatched silver and china service, it's one of those 1"x1" B+W ads.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: hill food

                                                                                                                                    I don't know of a company in new England, BUT the leader in the field for silver, silverplate, china and crystal is:

                                                                                                                                    This is not an endorsement, but my mother started using them more than 40 years ago.

                                                                                                                                    I use them as a reference for pattern, dimensions, and price, and then shop eBay usually saving about 30-40% from Replacements pricing

                                                                                                                                    1. re: bagelman01

                                                                                                                                      that might be the outfit. (memory is so spotty)

                                                                                                                                      1. re: hill food

                                                                                                                                        And it's in the south, not New England! ;~)

                                                                                                                                        1. re: law_doc89

                                                                                                                                          Replacements Ltd. near Charlotte, N.C. Get on their mailing list for the clean out the warehouses sale in the fall.

                                                                                                                                          1. re: INDIANRIVERFL

                                                                                                                                            OK OK East Coast then, there. knew it was somewhere over "that way" 'sides geographical location is largely meaningless anymore.

                                                                                                                                      2. re: bagelman01

                                                                                                                                        I've used Replacements a lot. They also post on eBay now, so I don't know if the savings are still there? They have a zillion different patterns, and they are very reliable on quality. You can also get monogrammed silver for an additional discount if that doesn't bother you (or they may have a single initial monogram that's accurate for you--I've been given some like that in my pattern).

                                                                                                                                        What you say about silver in the dishwasher is very seductive. Right now I hand wash my silver and use it whenever I have company.

                                                                                                                                    2. re: Puffin3

                                                                                                                                      In Canada Birks is a very high end jewelry and housegoods shop selling silver-plated and sterling silver cutlery. Are you sure your cutlery is British? Providing a link for your review:

                                                                                                                                      1. re: Ruthie789

                                                                                                                                        Thank you so much for the link. I have book marked it. All this time I understood it was 'British' sterling silver. No matter. I'm going on a 'flat ware' quest to replace the missing ones......as the financial resources allow.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: Puffin3

                                                                                                                                          Birks is quite the luxury store. I used to go to the downtown store in Montreal every other day. It is somewhat of a landmark. You can find affordable items but also very expensive ones.I love china and crystal, and so would go just to get inspired. They have a line of sterling and a line of sterling plated. So somewhere you have a Canadian connection! See link just for entry to store. As for the powder blue bags silver gifts are found in those bags.


                                                                                                                                          1. re: Ruthie789

                                                                                                                                            My 'Canadian connection' is that I live in Canada. LOL The store the 'Birks Sterling was bought from was in Calgary many many years ago as a wedding gift to my mother. The 'blue bags' I was referring to are these: (see photo).

                                                                                                                                            1. re: Puffin3

                                                                                                                                              I did not realize you that you were Canadian, egg on my face! Birks gives you blue felt bags with silver.... All in all you do have a very nice silver set.

                                                                                                                                            1. re: Puffin3

                                                                                                                                              I'm jumping in a few months too late but in case you're still reading the thread, British silver will have hallmarks on them, a set of four tiny symbols stamped in a discreet place. The hallmarks confirm that it's sterling and the degree of the silver.

                                                                                                                                              American / Canadian silver is never hallmarked. The style of your silver is similar to certain popular patterns in the UK so that's probably why it may have been advertised as British.

                                                                                                                                            2. re: Ruthie789

                                                                                                                                              Strange thing. I went to their site and sent them a photo and they replied: "The photo we received is not "Chantilly".

                                                                                                                                              If the spoon is stamped "Birks Sterling", the pattern name is "Francis I".

                                                                                                                                              If the spoon is stamped "Birks Regency Plate", the pattern name is "Richmond".

                                                                                                                                              We do not have 5 1/2" spoon in either pattern.



                                                                                                                                              I then sent them a photo of the spoon showing the length. Then they sent me this e-mail: We do not have any history on the pattern other than it was introduced circa 1920's

                                                                                                                                              We do not have any spoons measuring 5 1/2"

                                                                                                                                              The spoon I have is exactly 5 1/2" long and the back is stamped 'Birks Sterling'. Weird or what eh?

                                                                                                                                              1. re: Puffin3

                                                                                                                                                Maybe the person that answered you does not have experience with the patterns. Some patterns may have been discontinued. In any case you should be able to find something similar. In Montreal, we have auctions, antique stores, moving sales and silver would be available. You might get a good price on it in a moving sale if you get there before the dealers. Maybe that set was a custom order if 5 1/2 inch spoons are not the standard.

                                                                                                                                            3. re: Puffin3

                                                                                                                                              Never mind I had already posted an answer to the question.

                                                                                                                                            4. For the last 30 years, my paternal Grandmother's 1911 Wallace corinthian pattern. We learned the hard way not to use it during large gatherings. Not stolen but in the garbage. 6 large trash bags later, we had recovered most of it.

                                                                                                                                              Due to the difficulty of recovering dropped articles from the boat, I have a mish-mash of thrift shop stainless finds that are extremely heavy duty and corrosion free. Dear Daughter is avidly awaiting the time when she gets it all. At least she will get the silver before I die. Unlike the All-Clad.

                                                                                                                                              5 Replies
                                                                                                                                              1. re: INDIANRIVERFL

                                                                                                                                                " Not stolen but in the garbage"

                                                                                                                                                i believe it and truly reduces faith in the hope of common sense among our contemporaries.

                                                                                                                                                1. re: hill food

                                                                                                                                                  ah, it happens -- I even count my cheap silverware after big parties, because it gets dumped in the trash by mistake.

                                                                                                                                                  (which is why I don't have good flatware....)

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: sunshine842

                                                                                                                                                    Wow. That is really shocking to me. I have never had that happen. Maybe it is because I haven't had " friends of friends" parties for years. All the peeps at my place are friends and relatives. None have ever been careless with any of my belongings, even when drinking (a requirement at my casa ;)

                                                                                                                                                    Honestly, I am the one that loses or breaks things.....

                                                                                                                                                2. re: INDIANRIVERFL

                                                                                                                                                  You live on a boat? Where? My wife and I have spent 14 of twenty years living full time on our boats.

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Puffin3

                                                                                                                                                    Florida and the Bahamas. Hope to cross the pond in a couple of years and spend a couple years on the canals. Helps to have a shallow draft 24 ft boat.

                                                                                                                                                3. Well, it has been one year since I read this thread and made room in the kitchen for one of my sets of sterling flatware for daily use and routine dishwasher use with everything else (including stainless). I now have one drawer with stainless and one drawer of sterling. i use the sterling the most now. My results?

                                                                                                                                                  I love it! The flatware needs a polish right now, it has dulled, but it took a year to dull. I have a newer Bosch dishwasher that I use different (non citrus) detergent in. I also put the sterling in a separate basket from the stainless, but I wash them all together. My daily sterling is a nice old (maybe 40's era) Rogers with a detailed floral pattern that requires shading to appreciate. The dishwasher does not harm it at all, and if I still have to give a quick polish once a year, I am okay with that. I just cannot/will not hand wash daily.

                                                                                                                                                  This experiment gave me the courage to wash a special holiday sterling set used at Thanksgiving in the dishwasher. One of my daughters said .."ummm, mom, you just put sterling in the dishwasher".... I normally don't mind hand washing at holiday gatherings as there are other items that have to be hand washed anyway. This really helped the workload to be able to put full service flatware used by 12 with all the extra serving pieces to be thrown in the dishwasher! Wow. Nice.
                                                                                                                                                  They came out gleaming. I was very happy :)

                                                                                                                                                  My only caveat, is I think you need to pay attention to the detergent used. I think a new kind of package of detergent started the dulling process. I am sticking with more Eco-friendly, non citrus detergents from now on.

                                                                                                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                  1. re: sedimental

                                                                                                                                                    Interesting. Citrus should be harmful. That is why orange spoons traditionally had gold wash.

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: law_doc89

                                                                                                                                                      Yes, I believe modern dishwashers and detergents make the old idea of never putting sterling in a dishwasher not true anymore. However, you must still be mindful of any harsh detergent or detergents with citrus (read labels).

                                                                                                                                                  2. Did any of your 'British Sterling' come from the 'Empress Line'?
                                                                                                                                                    This is a bit off-topic but I thought it might interest those with Sterling Silver flatware sets..or parts of sets.
                                                                                                                                                    At the turn of the century the Canadian Pacific Steamship Company had the “Empress Line’. Theses were luxury ships making regular crossing from BC to the Orient and across other oceans. Many years ago an old retired employee told me about what he saw and did on the Empress ships. He was a young boy working as a ‘bus boy’ then server then later to positions of more responsibility. One of his jobs as a bus boy was to go to the First Class cabins and collect the dishes etc after the guest/s had taken their meal in their suite.
                                                                                                                                                    All the dishes/flatware was gold embossed with the name of the luxury liner. Naturally after every trip some of the dishes would need replacing along with any lost/missing/stolen ‘British sterling silver. Before each trip leaving Vancouver crates of replacement dishes/flat wear would arrive at the dock packed in sawdust to be put aboard.
                                                                                                                                                    If possible the bus boys would go to the suite after the guests had left. He told me many of the bus boys instead of hauling a bunch of heavy plates etc back to the kitchens would simply open the portal and toss the lot out. At least the heavier stuff.
                                                                                                                                                    Some of the older employees had ways of smuggling the best stuff off the ship in the orient then have the stuff shipped back care of “dear old Mom” or a family member. The irony was that a lot of the stolen stuff was actually shipped back to BC on the same ship it was stolen off. These luxury ships followed the exact compass course back and forth across the ocean/s.
                                                                                                                                                    I was told this many years ago. A few years ago I’m watching TV and a documentary comes on explaining the same thing as the old man told to me.
                                                                                                                                                    A deep water recovery vessel got the compass bearings from the ships and when the submersible got to the bottom there were thousands of plates and cups and ‘chargers’ etc etc lying on the bottom! The submersible recovered some of the stuff. They showed the items they had recovered.
                                                                                                                                                    Just checked on Ebay and there’s lots of memorabilia for sale.
                                                                                                                                                    Just a bit of ‘water cooler’ info.

                                                                                                                                                      1. We do. No point in having it if you don't use it. Also it takes less polishing unless you are serving something sulpherous like eggs.

                                                                                                                                                        I had a young customer tel me her "silver" was locked up in a safety deposit box. I asked her why she bothers to own it. Her response was that it was only for special occasions. I then asked if there was anyone more deserving or better than she and her husband and suggested she get it out of the bank and start using it. After about a month she came back in and told me how much she liked it and was so happy that I had told her to get it out and use it.

                                                                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Candy

                                                                                                                                                          Another daily user here. Plus I hate the "cool" color of stainless.

                                                                                                                                                        2. I do have some very nice cutlery and bone china. However, a number of years ago I bought a 12 piece very good quality, Johnson Brothers dish set with all of the serving dishes and I have gotten more use out of this than the fancy things. As a general rule I buy good quality everyday wear and use that for all including a cutlery set.

                                                                                                                                                          1. Merged households with 2 sets. Every day with one set that goes in the dishwasher. Fancy meals with the other set. Silver is said to have heath benefits for eating.

                                                                                                                                                            1. We eat on our sterling flatware every day. We don't have anything else. Many Southern families do this.

                                                                                                                                                              9 Replies
                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Grrrowltiger

                                                                                                                                                                my former landlady I referred to above was indeed from Baltimore and DC and the near South.

                                                                                                                                                                my ex was from the far South and we definitely pulled out Nana's set often. I don't think the practice is peculiar to that area, but the ones that have it, use it. (I would)

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Grrrowltiger

                                                                                                                                                                  I knew a man from a "very nice" Louisiana family who felt so sorry for people who actually had to buy their silver rather than inherit it :)

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                                                                                    ugh - this why my sister never bought dining room furniture - as she advised sisters and cousins "why would we buy? when we're just going to inherit a set?"

                                                                                                                                                                    she isn't very good at math. and ate off a card table for years. (still does I think)

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: hill food

                                                                                                                                                                      The difference is different, I think. For him, it was more a "class" thing. I put that in quotes because Mother thought if you used that word then you didn't have any :) But, yeah, living your life thinking you're going to "inherit" is just plain stupid. We continue to want to die broke :)

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                                                                                        and those 'sets' are ALWAYS missing a spoon or a salad fork or 5..

                                                                                                                                                                        "yeah dinner service for twelve! that uh, serves 4- 6 now,"

                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: c oliver

                                                                                                                                                                      Going even further up the snobbery scale, I've met people who considered it tacky to display a full set of matching silver and china on their tables. It was apparently more tasteful to mix the silver and china.

                                                                                                                                                                      The implication is, of course, that you A) have so many inherited sets and B) your family has used the silver and china for generations that there are no longer any complete sets left.

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Roland Parker

                                                                                                                                                                        or to imply you simply can't be bothered to care or notice in your choices - that's the one I like. (y'know it's just so difficult to find trained live-in staff anymore and while I can find the asparagus tongs or the fish fork, I never remember where to put them...)

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Roland Parker

                                                                                                                                                                          This makes a really good case for primogenitur............
                                                                                                                                                                          The first son inhgerits and the sets of silver don't get split up <VBG>

                                                                                                                                                                          That said, I'm the youngest son and inherited silver from parents, grandparents and great grandparents, as well as my own (non-inherited wedding set).
                                                                                                                                                                          The advantage of a kosher home is that you can have a good set of silver for year round dairy, year round meat, Passover Dairy and Passover meat.

                                                                                                                                                                          Thanksgiving we'll be 24 for dinner set with a full set of matching sterling....made up of 3 sets of service for 8 that my grandmother managed to get during WWII (during the shortages). She had them all engraved with our initial and gave each daughter-in-law a set and kept one for herself. My mother uised hers, and inherited her mother-in-laws. My ungrateful aunt, announced upon receiving the gift, 'what's this from a fire sale? all matching...and refused grandmother's gift. Mom immediately offered to reimburse my grandmother for the expense and had service for 16. Now, 70 years later it will all be on my table serving 4 generations

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: bagelman01

                                                                                                                                                                            Other than Trudy ungrateful aunt, that's lovely.

                                                                                                                                                                    3. Not precisely every day -- my wife works three evenings a week, so I'm on my own and usually cook something only I'd like -- but when we eat together we usually do use the silver. She's acquired a nice collection of mismatched pieces at various antique shows and flea markets. We enjoy it -- it makes the meal a tad more of an "event." Even if the food I've prepared occasionally falls short of "event" quality. Occasionally, I say.

                                                                                                                                                                      1. My mother gave me hand me down silver plate which I used daily for 20 years. When I had kids, I had to hunt for more spoons at antique.junk stores. With daily use it never tarnished. Recently I got an inexpensive stainless set as a gift which looked nice and flatware matched but I can already tell this wont last long as it is staining and showing potential rust formation after less than 6 months.

                                                                                                                                                                        1. We had some when i was growing up. We used to fight over not having to use it. It was too big for kid's mouths and it tasted funny,

                                                                                                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Auntiewoman

                                                                                                                                                                            I agree i always thought it had a funny taste as well.

                                                                                                                                                                          2. Birks is Canadian. Try E-bay.

                                                                                                                                                                            1. I have a lot of silver and use it frequently but not on an every day basis. We do entertain so it does get used. I've been collecting it since '75.

                                                                                                                                                                              1. I started collecting my silverplate pattern a few months ago, and I love using it. Silver is not only really easy to maintain, but antibacterial too. My silverplate pattern is "Rosalie" by the International Silver Co. and is c. 1905, and is still holding up well. Silver makes the everyday into an event and is well worth using everyday. :)

                                                                                                                                                                                1. Use it, or lose it (well, sell it.)

                                                                                                                                                                                  6 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: RosePearl

                                                                                                                                                                                    I decided not to sell it.

                                                                                                                                                                                    Dear Daughter came all the way from Texas back home to Florida and just picked up her inheritance. Which included the sterling. She was really happy to find the individual salt and pepper shakers. Her boy friend is supper nervous as he is not use to having these type of things. He will learn.

                                                                                                                                                                                    If you only use it for special occasions, you might as well donate it to a museum.

                                                                                                                                                                                    He almost passed out when I pitched an ice cream fork onto the cement so he could hear the ring.

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: hill food

                                                                                                                                                                                          I caught that while I could still edit, but sometimes the Freudian slip is better than the intended meaning.

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: INDIANRIVERFL

                                                                                                                                                                                            Oooh those nasty Freudian slips; when you say "mymother" instead of "another." :)

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. So I'm thinking this is a generational thing? Perhaps something you register for when you get married? I'll admit I'm not married yet, but I still don't think I would register for a set when that time comes because I know that I would rarely use it, if at all. I'm assuming you probably have to hand wash, and I avoid anything that needs to be hand washed like the plague. I've never heard of any of my friends owning a set either, nor have I seen it on the ones who are married wedding registries.

                                                                                                                                                                                      20 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: SaraAshley

                                                                                                                                                                                        Nice....so in one swift post you have called all of Chow a bunch of old fogies.

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: jrvedivici

                                                                                                                                                                                          Sorry, I'm such a hater! In all seriousness, I wasn't trying to imply that, though, just speaking to my experience and with people I know in my social circle, so I thought perhaps it could be a generational thing. I know my Grandma owned silver flatware. But maybe my friends and I are just not classy enough for silver....? Ahh, I'll be quiet now.

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: SaraAshley

                                                                                                                                                                                            Ohhhhh your Grandma owned it......ok well that makes me feel sooooooo much better!! (I'm only 43 you know!!!) LOL

                                                                                                                                                                                            Sara if you haven't figured this out already I'm a bit of a teaser, there is no need to apologize to me.

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: jrvedivici

                                                                                                                                                                                              Bahaha! Yeah, you and my Grandma have something in common! She was a real hip lady, though, it's not so bad!

                                                                                                                                                                                              I know you're a teaser! :)

                                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: SaraAshley

                                                                                                                                                                                              I don't kmow how old your grandmother is/was.
                                                                                                                                                                                              I'm pushing 60. When I got out of college silver was about $3 per ounce. Sterling was affordable. One could buy a 5 pc place setting for $50-75 which made it a 'normal' wedding gift and brides would not be embarrassed to register for it.

                                                                                                                                                                                              In the intervening years, silver has hit highs of more than $42 per ounce and that place setting could cost more than $350. Registering for that could be considered nervy.

                                                                                                                                                                                              Today's young couples often register for 18/89 stainless that costs more per place setting than sterling did 35 years ago.

                                                                                                                                                                                              My kids haven't married yet, though I have a 25 year old and the subject of registering hasn't come up.
                                                                                                                                                                                              I have a 40 year old neice and a 40 year old neice in law....
                                                                                                                                                                                              I gave each one a set of sterling that had passed down in the family and they get used for holidays. Neither young lady considered registering for Sterling because of the high price. They didn't want to be perceived as greedy.

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: bagelman01

                                                                                                                                                                                                If my grandmother was still alive, she would be over 90. She passed a few years ago. I don't think I would be too worried about cost in registering for a set (I'm sure there's lots of big ticket items I'll register for if that time ever comes), but I think for a lot of younger people, things have just become more casual. I'm not seeing formal dining rooms as much either anymore. I think having a set would be nice, but there are so many other things I'd rather have instead more, that I'd rather someone buy me one of those things.

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: SaraAshley

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Sara, you are young. I hope that 30 years from now you are assembled with good friends, toasting to experiences and memories you shared with them, with crystal and sterling. One step at a time!

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Veggo

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Thank you, and yes, one step at a time. Yes, I do own wine glasses (although not crystal), I have a very well equipped kitchen with brand new granite counter tops and new appliances, I do like some nice things! But I won't complain right now if someone hands me my wine in a solo cup!

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: SaraAshley

                                                                                                                                                                                                      You can replace a broken glass, and you will likely move from time to time, but memories and gatherings with old friends (I'm 61), are irreplaceable. Sounds like you are off to a good start!

                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: SaraAshley

                                                                                                                                                                                            You assumed wrong. As I said all the way on top, we use our set daily and it always gets washed in the dishwasher and looks just fine and polished after years of usage.

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: SaraAshley

                                                                                                                                                                                              Maybe a class distinction too -- i.e., "family silver," passed on from one generation to the next, so no need to register for it.

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: masha

                                                                                                                                                                                                Could be! My maternal grandma owned silver flatware, but I'm not sure what happened to it after she passed a few years ago.

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: masha

                                                                                                                                                                                                  One thing that occurred to me was that, as women more fully entered the workforce, (late 50's, early 60's) the concept of a trousseaux fell out of fashion, at least here in these United States. What the bride "brought to the marriage" was indeed an indicator of income and family status before then - at least, WAY more than it is now. And, just to devolve, I understand that in some other cultures the monetarily valuable items were considered to be the bride's sole property and "fortune," kind of a safety net. Shared during the marriage, but in the event of her spouse's demise...I don't know if this is true, but it's interesting.
                                                                                                                                                                                                  Either way.....it all springs from the tradition of the bride-price.

                                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: SaraAshley

                                                                                                                                                                                                  People have become more casual these days. It's not just a question of the rising value of silver but standards and expectations have changed and the modern era doesn't prize the formal dining setting anymore. After all, one only needs to look at the restaurant scene - most of the French "Chez Louis" restaurants with starched linens and fine china and formal service preferred by our parents and grandparents have been replaced by the more casual, usually Italian, eateries, with rustic interiors and open kitchens.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  There are many reasons behind the change in preferences and what we're comfortable with. Much of it has to do with the standardization of the two-income households and the decline of using formal home entertainment for professional and social reasons. Among my grandparents' circles it was expected that the wives didn't work and it was also expected that people would regularly throw formal cocktail or dinner parties and invite all the partners or other professional associates as part of any ambitious man's career progression. Even among my parents' generation (I was a child in the 1970s-1980s) there was still a fair amount of formal entertaining being used to develop the men's careers. I do remember a few friends of my mother who worked complaining about having to juggle their own career with the social expectations of their husband's careers.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Up through the 1960s household help was also fairly common in upper middle class households, which made it easier to do all the formal entertaining common of the time.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  For people who still register for china and silver it's now more of a cultural byproduct of where/how they grew up. Others, like me, never registered because we'd inherited sets from our families (my mother put my inherited silver and china out with all the wedding gifts on display even though they weren't, technically speaking, gifts).

                                                                                                                                                                                                  But people still like to put out a pretty table. Williams and Sonoma must do a roaring trade in attractive yet user friendly tableware. Just go with what you're comfortable with.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Roland Parker

                                                                                                                                                                                                    There is certainly an element of truth to your observations. On some occasions, I will set the table for a dinner party with stainless steel, rather than silver, depending upon who the guests are -- for some sitting down to a table set with silver may make them feel uncomfortable or that I'm somehow being ostentatious.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Roland Parker

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Well-written, interesting, and relevant as can be. And I'm vowing to read the threads more fully before I respond from now on, because boy did you ever say what I wanted to, only 10x better. :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: SaraAshley

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Sara, I think some of it is generational and some is the cost factor. Our daughters are in their mid30s and don't have sterling and don't want it. It's just not their 'style' whatever that means. I have some that was given to me when I was little and I'm mid60s now. I use it perhaps once a year. Not because of any care issues, I just don't think to. And I love to set a pretty table.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    3. It's funny, but back in my deeply poverty-struck youth we did, because the only tableware we had a full set of was the Gorham sterling ("Stradivarius" pattern) my parents had gotten as a wedding present. Now that life is less fraught financially, we're using inherited everyday-but-antique silver plate, everyday stainless, and special-occasion silver plate! Not a sterling piece in the house, except for some trays and serving vessels. My sister might be using that Gorham, but probably not every day.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. Never, but it is lovely to behold!

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. I inherited two sets of silver flatware - my mother's (which my stepmother brought out on those special occasions) and my grandmother's (which was also only for special occasions but had already seen 70 years of such when it got to me). My grandparents owned a store where they sold china and silver so when my mother's pattern was discontinues, grandma bought all the pieces she could. I have EVERYTHING ever made in the Danish Princess pattern - cold meat forks, demitasse spoons, and a total of over 100 each spoons and folks of various sizes. Yes, I use it every day. I don't have any children to leave this all to, so I don't think anyone will ever complain to me about inheriting "used" flatwear.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. I have a full set of sterling Bridal Veil by Rogers I got from my grandmother when I married in 1989. It was the set she purchased and collected herself in the 1950's. I use that as our everyday flatware. A couple of years ago my mother gave me her sterling set - Eloquence by Lunt. That's our holiday flatware. I have 24 place settings of really nice plated I use for large parties. Rare, but every once in a while I get the idiotic urge to host large gatherings. :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. Yes, we use Gorham Chantilly for everyday and either Tiffany English King or Gorham/Alvin Old Orange Blossom. I'm from the South- I think it's a Southern thing.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. IN 1960. my mother decided to 'go modern'. She sold her traditional china and silver and bought plain white bone china and International's Royal Danish sterling.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                I remember being somewhat saddened -- they seemed so stark. Forty years later, I was fortunate to have inherited both.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                Last week I shipped Nana's 12 place settings to my recently married daughter for her first Thanksgiving in her own home. She just called and is thrilled, knowing that 'her' pattern, just as my own timeless Danish sterling will look as handsome with pottery as with fine china. And I encouraged her to use it often, as Nana did and I do my own. Nana would be delighted. I'm so pleased that she had the foresight to select a pattern that truly complements every level of formality.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                And yes, unless I've used only a few pieces I do put sterling flatware in the dishwasher (observing all the standard caveats re: mixing with stainless and usually hand-washing the hollow handled knives). But I always take it out right after the rinse cycle and hand dry it. That not only refreshes but polishes and, more importunely, prevents the water spotting that often occurs with prolonged drying in the dishwasher.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. We have two different sets of 12 continental-sized settings, one from our wedding seven years ago and a second more recently purchased. Both are regularly used as we have a large family and entertain frequently.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  The patterns (Deco by Michael Fina and Triumph by Tuttle) work equally well dressed up or down as they have clean lines and are neither fussy nor ornate. The Deco is very sleek and the Triumph has a traditional tear-drop handle with beaded edge. So we can also use them every day (they're newer pieces so the knives can withstand the dishwasher).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  The big thing for me when considering sterling flatware is the weight and size of the pieces. I love the Tuttle patterns because they come in a super-heavy strike in a nice large continental size. The Fina pieces are also relatively weighty and large. Too many companies make lightweight 'place'-sized pieces that feel too small and delicate in the hand.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I think a lot of people get nervous about using the 'good stuff' on a daily basis which is a shame. Sterling develops a wonderful patina as it is used and can go in the dishwasher (as long as the knives are post-WWII they should be fine). Just be sure to separate the sterling from the stainless (which can scratch sterling) and don't ever use any lemon-based detergent, which can cause pitting/tarnishing!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  The pic below shows Deco on the left and Triumph on the right :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. I've inherited a lot of sterling, and I use it every day. I no longer own stainless. No matter how modest the meal, the food tastes better with grandmama and great-grandmama's silver. Let's me imagine they're nearby.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I would never put it in the dishwasher. Ever.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. I'm only 17 but we always use sterling i think it's a family thing... My great grandmother kept kosher so she had 12 silver services, six kosher and 6 non kosher she had different reasons to use each set like if you were family she would use one service and if you were important she would use another and so on so there were six status distinctions basically a silver service for each and same with the china 12 different sets (same deal ) I think some of the silver is (Odiot sterling, Reed&Barton, Paul Storr, and Edmond Tetard , they were used interchangeably there was a built in silver vault in the house and that's where the services were kept my parents said it always smelled like vinegar in there because all the larger items were wrapped in vinegar soaked linen and stored for longer periods of time ... I also collect sterling silver that's my hobby actually hence the username haha ...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. I don't own sterling silver flatware, so no.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. I just started using the sterling I got when my grandma passed away. I was out of spoons in the stainless anyway, and I just decided I might as well. I like it for eating, there's no steel taste. Selling the china though - have never really used it since Mom strong-armed me into buying it in my teens for the "hope chest" (heh, that ultimately was sort of ironic) - and anyway I like the white corelle I got a few years back.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. I don't. My husband and I don't even have any. But when I was growing up 2 previous generations of my father's family did. It was *all* they had so they used them every day.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            On the table, when we went to visit them in the summer, was a fascinating jar of spoons. There wasn't one that had an intact bowl. They all had various degrees of flat edge where a curve should have been on one side or the other. Some were so pronounced that they were incapable of holding a liquid at that point. It was from generations of mouths closing around the soft metal as people took food from them. It's still one of my very dear memories.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: rainey

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Great story, thanks for sharing. :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. My grandmother gave me her mother-in-law's complete set of Tiffany silver plate (marked 1910) forty years ago and told me to use it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I do use the smaller forks, knives, and spoons daily and put it in the dishwasher. The entree forks are so large they'd take out a tonsil!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. Ma used it every day. We weren't rich, and when we lived in places where help wasn't affordable, guess who had to polish it all the time? God I hated that.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Many years later, lo and behold, I inherited a huge mess of sterling.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Know what I did with it? Sold it for scrap when the price of silver shot up briefly in the late '70s or early '80s. Took the money and bought myself a great little sailboat. What goes around comes around.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: emu48

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Great story! I guess the best response I can come up with is: whatever floats your boat. ;>

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. It's a totally pretentious thing that many people do for some strange reason. I always think about how much space and money they've wasted on that stuff.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Everyone has their pretentious qwerks, but fine china and silver isn't one of mine. 18/10 stainless steel flatware works better for me because: 1. It doesn't tarnish. 2. It's less expensive. 3. I actually think it looks better than real silver because many people buy that silverplated stuff which has this ugly yellowish tinge to it and looks terrible. 4. 18/10 also lasts a long time.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I live with someone who uses their set about once a year. I'm supposed to be impressed, but I'm not. Because when it comes time to wash it, he gets mad because I won't help him. I don't want to be yelled at if the silver gets dented or the glass china breaks. That one is on you buddy. :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Give me my stoneware (glazed and fired clay) and my 18/10 ss flatware, and I'm good to go.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  6 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: BlogZilla

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    "It's a totally pretentious thing that many people do for some strange reason."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Please explain why it is 'totally pretentious' to use inherited silverware?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    #1 -- there is no cost to this
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    #2 -- stories about past meals often arise lending a thread-weaving quality of family lore to what could be 'just dinner'
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    #3 -- I love remembering sitting at my grandmother's table using the same fork/knife/spoon

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I am perplexed by your dismissive attitude about something that I find important and meaningful.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    NB: I did not hock the children to buy silver so that I could impress but you make no distinction about provenance.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Equating silverplate with sterling further undermines your argument. They are not the same.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I won't yuck your yum if you will grant the same courtesy to the rest of the CH community.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Sherri

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I wasn't talking about people that inherit their silver flatware or heirloom china. I was talking about people that go out of their way to buy this stuff to impress people, which is most of who I know, just like the people who buy Louis Vuitton bags that only make $30,000 a year.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      And many never use or only use this stuff once a year. I'm not trying to yuck your yum. Lots of people enjoy and are totally gaga over USA football too, which I don't understand.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: BlogZilla

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Glad that you clarified your thinking, BlogZilla. Thanks for clearing this up because I was stupified that someone would insinuate that using inherited anything is pretentious. Seemed way past bizarre to me.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I have no thoughts about folks who live beyond their means other than to wish them well and hope that some fiscal maturity comes their way before it is very late. What others buy or don't buy is beyond my scope of influence/interest.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: BlogZilla

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Not sure where you're coming from as very, very, very few people are still buying brand new silver these days. The market for silverware really has collapsed compared to its heyday so I find it surprising you're running into people who are buying silver to impress just as they buy Louis Vuitton bags to impress even though they only have an income of $30,000. There's plenty of stories of people running up huge debt on expensive clothes and bags but preciously few stories of people running up debt on buying silver.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Then again perhaps your friends with the new silver genuinely wanted it and appreciate having it and you're reading it completely wrong. Given how much a niche market silver has become I'm inclined to think this is the case.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          By the way, it's pretty hard to damage silver while hand washing it. It's metal. No different from washing regular stainless steel. So what's your fear? Sorry for saying this but you sound like a poor guest. Next time your host asks you to help out with the washing, it's fine to say you're not comfortable washing the china in fear of breaking it but that shouldn't prevent you from volunteering to wash the silver.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: BlogZilla

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Wow - that's some serious judging happening.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I have a lot of things that were expensive or I collect and put in the treasure box. Just because I don't use them all the time or they're put away doesn't mean I don't enjoying having them or getting them out for a special occasion.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I enjoy having things I only use for special times and I enjoy sometimes just getting my treasure box out and looking at what's in it and daydreaming.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Doesn't have anything at all to do with other people and everything to do with how those things make me feel and what they make me dream of.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: BlogZilla

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          One man's 18/10 is another man's silver. That said, I love high quality stainless for its heft and durability and I love sterling for the way it feels when I eat. Both get used whether I have company or not. Most people outside my immediate family have never seen the sterling. People spend their money on things that mean something to them; I don't speculate on their motivation. I doubt anyone I have over would recognize or care about what I have in the way of kitchenware, dinnerware, glassware or flatware, or why I insist on using them. And I'm ok with that. I just enjoy their company.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. If I had it I would use it.Same as the fancy china....

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. And silver is a natural antibiotic....in the Civil War they would tape a silver dollar over a bullet wound to help prevent infection. In fact there are silver impregnated wound dressings available today.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: BiscuitBoy

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Silver is used in a balm for patients who have had radiation and burns. It must have some therapeutic effect.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. Well, something Chinese Communists would value, the criticisms of those appreciate the finer things, and something for most, no worries:


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. We use ours every day. I bought my own sterling flatware and am adding to our collection whenever I find a good deal. Sterling can be a (relative) bargain on eBay. It's a pleasure to use, and I feel that it will hold its value over the years.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. My mom used her silver all the time, and when it was passed to me, I put my flatware in storage 15 years ago, and replaced it with her silver. I put it in the dishwasher. I usually have to clean it once or twice a year to get rid of tarnish, but it seems the more it's used and put in the dishwasher, the longer it is before having to polish it. So my mom used it all the time.....so why have something so expensive that is just in a drawer??

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. I do. I even have a set at work so I can eat my lunch with them. I appreciate proper utensils.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: EarlyBird

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Very elegant dining, a concept lost on many of us.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. Yes, we do every day. It is a lovely way to honor the beauty of food and our gratitude for it. We hand wash it (but really that's because we don't have a dishwasher).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: faraboverubies

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I agree with ALL you have spoken,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I feel the same way..Could NOT have said it better :)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        AND NO dishwasher here either :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. I use mine every day for every meal. So did my mother and my grandmother. I don't even own must stainless flatware. And what I do have I use to cook with.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. I HAVE BEEN ASK IF I AM GAY BECAUSE I USE STERLING CHINA AND CRYSTAL . NO, I JUST LIKE GOOD STUFF I HAVE IT AND I USE IT. MY TWO DUMB DAUGHTERS IN LAW ARE TOO LAZY TO ENJOY IT. IT WILL BE SOLD WHEN I AM DEAD AND GONE ANYWAY. SO I ENJOY IT AND PAY SOMEONE TO POLISH IT. YOU ONLY COME AROUND ONCE.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: johnturner

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Amazing. Men are supposed to be crude slobs.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. Yes everyday every meal and snack! My mom always said if you have it use it! Why keep it locked under glass for a special day. That day may never come. Everyday should be a special day! ~K

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Knightingale

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Honey, is that you?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Just kidding (I think) but your mother and I must be sisters... or doppelgangers.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. We have three complete sets (2 from my mother-in-law and one from Mrs. Potato's first marriage). Mrs. Potato has decided that as soon as we use up the stores of Lemon-juice (which is bad for real silver) laced dish washing liquid that we are going to start using the "good silver" as our everyday utensils.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. Yes, every single day & thought I had ruined it by putting it in the dishwasher, but found a miracle. Used Brillo pad to bring back the luster. I am so happy & will continue to use it everyday, but no more dishwashers!!!!! Now that I have it restored, I am now trying to find something to put over it in the drawer so I want have to go through this again. Any suggestions?

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Lindycole

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Lindy - swathed in high quality blue velvet (why blue? who knows). check the content and thread count. or ask at a jewelry store or better housewares place for a recommendations.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    and all metal tarnishes/oxidizes with time. most hardware stores sell a jar of wipes/pads infused with polish that are as easy as it gets.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I'd use Brillo sparingly even on solid and be darn sure it's not plate.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. By the way, everyone realizes that "silver knives" are actually stainless made to look like silver. A jeweler told me this and I was surprised. A silver knife would bend so the blade is stainless!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: DanT2590

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      That's always been the case. Silver handle, non-silver metal blade.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Really old sets of sterling silver often have had the knife blades replaced once or twice over the years as the blades wore down.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Roland Parker

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        And, if it's old silver, you may want to wash the knives by hand even if you put the other silver pieces in the dishwasher as the higher temperature of the DW water will eventually cause the glue to degrade that holds the blade and handle together. My understanding is that more modern silver knives are manufactured in a manner that avoids this issue.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Roland Parker

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          My mother's wedding gift Sterling was made during WWII. The quality of the stainless blades available for consumer use was poor. The best quality metals were going to the war effort. By 1974 (30 years after purchase) the knife blades were all pitted. She contacted the local jeweler who handled Manchester Sterling and was quoted a price of $12 each to replace the blades. Mom though that was outrageous. So she made a long distance call to Manchester Sterling in Providence, RI. They said that if you bring us the knives we'll replace the blades for $2 each. Mom made the 101 mile drive from New Haven to Providence with the 24 knives. She paid the $48 and left them at the factory for repair.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Two weeks later she got a package with the knives with new quality blades. Manchester Sterling enclosed a matching wedding cake knife as an apology gift for the low quality WWII blades and for her inconvenience.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          It's now 70 years since the set was purchased and they grace my Sabbath Table every week.