HOME > Chowhound > Cookware >

Can I restore this silver plated flatware?

o
Octang Apr 19, 2012 08:15 PM

Please view the attached photos.

Today I came across 28 pieces of silver plated flatware that is in pretty rough shape. I would like to restore them to look perfectly shiny and new, but I do not know if they are beyond salvageable.

The picture of the two spoons shows an example of a few pieces that are in the best condition. You can see in the other pictures the pieces have a dark tarnish with streaks and splotching. There are rust spots on some and in the big ladle you can see green discoloration of some sort (but I don't know what that is).

I moderately familiar with sticking silver in boiling water with aluminum foil, baking soda and salt to remove tarnish, but given the state of these items will that be enough? Is there any hope to get these looking great again?

I'd appreciate any insight!

 
 
 
  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
Delete
  1. coll RE: Octang Apr 19, 2012 08:41 PM

    I know you can get them replated, if all else fails.....I have some pieces I should do it to but am guessing it's not cheap.

    You made me look it up, and apparently people can silverplate their own pieces. May be a little cheaper? Sounds like a fun project.

    1 Reply
    1. re: coll
      c
      cleobeach RE: coll Apr 20, 2012 05:38 AM

      I contacted a company in Chicago about getting my grandmother's flatware re-plated and I think the cost was $150 per 5 piece set. This was two or three years ago.

    2. s
      sueatmo RE: Octang Apr 20, 2012 07:15 AM

      These look old. Do you know the maker? It should be stamped on the back of the handles, I think.

      I'd have them replated commercially. It may be that the plating company can tell you a bit about them, as well. I'd find a local company if possible. there should be a plater in a sizable city.

      It is tricky to research patterns for which you don't have a name. One site I have used is Replacements. But I don't know if there is way to search without a pattern name.

      If you can find a pattern name, you can search ebay to see what similar patterns are reselling for. Plated pieces are never as valuable as similar sterling pieces are. But I like the look of your old pieces and I would do some research and I definitely wouldn't try plating myself! Leave that to the experts.

      We ate on old silverplate for my entire childhood. By the time my parents bought some stainless to replace them, they were really awful looking. But they were totally better quality than the cheap replacements we then used. These are such pretty shapes. I hope you are able to have them restored.

      2 Replies
      1. re: sueatmo
        o
        Octang RE: sueatmo Apr 20, 2012 05:53 PM

        They are a verity of different manufactures. Some are 1847 Roger Bros, 900 WB, Senate and others.

        Where do I find someone to replate these? I don't know where to begin looking.

        1. re: Octang
          s
          sueatmo RE: Octang Apr 20, 2012 06:05 PM

          Try this google search:

          silver replating (city name) and see what you get.

          If you don't get a business in your city, then try:

          silver replating

          You will get replating places that accept mailed pieces.

          If someone has mailed pieces away, it would be nice to hear your experience.

      2. j
        Jeri L RE: Octang Apr 20, 2012 06:45 PM

        Here's an online place that actually lists prices. Looks like online orders get a 25% discount. That'll give you an idea if it's more than you want to invest.

        http://www.resilver.com/SilverPricesF...

        1. Veggo RE: Octang Apr 20, 2012 07:25 PM

          Octang, you have not provided any hint as to where in the world you are. Re-plating those silver pieces would be an interesting and fairly simple science project at the middle or high school level, if you supplied the very small amount of silver to do it, by example a pre-1964 US quarter, and if you have some inroads to a school system.

          1. Caroline1 RE: Octang Apr 21, 2012 06:23 AM

            Based on your photographs, I'm not convinced that all of what you have is silverplate. The "fiddle back" pieces, particularly the bottom spoon in the two spoon photo, look old enough to be coin silver, as opposed to sterling or plate. I have a couple of such spoons that were my great great grandmother's, and they are a bitch to polish!

            If all of this silver were mine, the first thing I would do with MOST (but maybe not all) of it is to buy a nice big bottle of Tarn-X and follow the directions for cleaning silver. Yes, the aluminum foil and baking soda/salt trick is similar, but not nearly as effective in my experience. Tarn-X also makes a really good "after using" cream that refines the polished look AND retards/delays future tarnishing. DO NOT use Tarn-X on old coin silver flatware! It can come out of the Tarn-X bath/rub looking more like copper or bronze than it will look like silver simply because of the "recipe" that was used for that particular coin silver formulation. Once that happens, you may have a devil of a time ever getting it to look like silver again.

            Every piece you have should have hallmarks on the back of their handles, including any ancient or European pieces in your mix. A web search will often bring information on your particular hallmarks.

            I haven't investigated the price of replating in years, but it is no more difficult than retinning the inside of a copper saucepan, so that means you will find a WIDE range of prices. The only real problem with replating or using Tarn-X on dimensional patterns on the handles of silverplate flatware or holloware is that it WILL remove the intentionally tarnished crevices of the pattern applied by the manufacturer to dramatize depth and accent the sculptured look. But this will eventually return if you revert to polishing it with standard paste type silver polish applied with a cloth and elbow grease.

            One last thought. If you're looking to replate so you can restore it to daily use, once you get a quote for the cost of replating, if that cost is a bit steep, you should also take the time to web browse for the cost of new silverplate. For example, Neiman Marcus has a wide range of prices on silverplated flatware, some of which are damned near as much as sterling and sold by the place setting, to sets of service for four or more at some attractive prices. And it's often possible to beat NM's prices by doing a web search for that pattern/manufacturer.

            Here's hoping things work out for you. Good luck!

            EDIT" A decade or so ago, a kit for replating silver was on the market and did a half decent job for short term wear. Or maybe I simply didn't leave my bronze candlesticks in the bath long enough? I used it to turn some bronze candlesticks to silver for a Christmas table. Turned out well for the first year! Hey, it was under five bucks!

            1. a
              Atochabsh RE: Octang May 8, 2014 02:01 PM

              YOu can go to a music store (one that works with band instruments) and get a silver polishing cloth. That will brighten them up right away. But keep in mind that anything you do that has to do with rubbing takes away some of the silver.

              1. breadchick RE: Octang May 8, 2014 05:32 PM

                I have six of the spoon you have pictured at the top. My late mother and I were, basically, magpies when it came to seeing shiny stuff at estate sales, etc. She found them and gave them to me to add to my collection. I was so pleasantly surprised to see them in your post. At the time, I had tried to find out the pattern name and had no luck. I wish I could be more helpful, but thank you for the memory.

                Show Hidden Posts