Silver is a metal that has been highly regarded by empires for thousands of years. It is a chemical element which means that it cannot be split into any other chemical substance. It's chemical symbol is Ag (from the Latin Argentum).
As we all remember from our school physics lessons (ahem) the properties of a metal element are that it is sonorous: which means that it gives off a sound when struck, ductile: meaning it can be stretched into lengths, and malleable: It can be bent to different shapes. Silver's reflective properties makes it an excellent material for jewellery and cutlery.
However, its softness is too great for it to last for long as a cutting material so you will find that all cutlery for sale on this web site will have stainless steel knife blades. The handles will be the parts made from silver, or plated with a generous coating of silver (EPNS: Electro Plated Nickel Silver). Even the silver plated knives will have a Stainless Steel blade. For more details about silver plate, see our EPNS Information Page.
Silver and precious metal alloy manufacture has been carried out at one of our suppliers' sites since 1760. Their unique historical experience, coupled with state-of-the-art technology ensure production of all materials to the highest international standard.
Quality Control is registered to ISO 9002 supported internally by analytical and metallurgical laboratories to ensure tight controls on alloy composition, impurity limits, metallurgical structure and gold/silver plate standards. Approved status for Good Delivery is provided by the London Bullion Market Association (see "Thessco").
Click below to check the range of cutlery available in our Showroom.
Today, although it's not as widely used as it was during the Victorian era, there are many different ways you can revive the tradition of incorporating pure sterling silver tableware into a fine dining setting. Sterling silver flatware continues to make a grand impression and serves as a luxurious wedding or house-warming gift.
We offer a wide range of silver cutlery and gifts from this web site. Please check prices for cutlery patterns and gifts in sterling silver here -
In 1238, King Henry II commanded six reputable craftsmen in the silversmith trade to control and regulate standards. This was to stop greedy and unscrupulous manufacturers defrauding the public by substituting white base metal for the prized and much sought after precious metal silver. Thus was created the British Hallmarking System which is probably the earliest recorded piece of consumer protection, and over 750 years later, is unquestionably the most enduring.
A hallmark gives the purchaser a visible guarantee of quality. Before any piece of Silver can be hallmarked, it is individually tested at the Assay Office to determine its purity, and if found to be of the required standard laid down by statute, then, and only then is the silver hallmarked.
Sterling silver is rated as 92.5% pure silver which is as high as it can be without the metal becoming too soft for everyday use. Note that silver jewellry also tends to be rated as "925 silver" which means the same level of purity. With its polished luster and timeless elegance, the addition of silver has the power to turn any ordinary meal into an elaborate event. Although used more sparingly today, the precious metal was historically a key component in setting a proper table.
Fine Silver: This type of silver has a silver content of 99.9% or higher. This class of silver is used to make bullion bars for international commerce.
Britannia Silver: Britannia has a silver content of at least 95.84%. Originating as a standard in Britain as far back as 1697, Britannia silver is denoted by a hallmark stamp of "958" to indicate its silver content, sometimes accompanied by the symbol of Britannia.
Mexican Silver: Mexican silver consists of at least 95% pure silver and 5% copper. Not in wide circulation.
Coin Silver: (90% silver and 10% copper). Coin silver is made from melting down standard silver coins. Lower in silver content than sterling, this metal was widely used as silver tableware in the United States between 1820 and 1868, and as common currency until 1964.
German Silver: Either 80% or 90% silver content. This version is commonly used for silverware, tableware and decorative accents.
Have a look at these videos for help in determining whether an item is Sterling Silver or not:
Silver is a precious metal that is traded by investors worldwide. If demand grows, the commodity price will rise and this will affect the prices of silver goods on our web site. To see how the rate has been changing over the last year, click here for the Silver Bullion Price. When prices are high, we may have to pass on a silver surcharge and you should check for graphics placed on our site for the latest information. Note that silver plate is not surcharged. Latest: silver surcharges are re-appearing. Please ask before ordering sterling silver cutlery (EPNS is not affected).
This sterling silver cutlery is hallmarked at the Sheffield Assay Office. There are 4 Assay Offices in the UK. These offices control the regulation of silver quality and content in manufactured items. To learn more about hallmarking on your silver goods, click on the links below :-
Elkington invented the process of electroplating and James Dixon Ltd is a company name with an international reputation for its sterling silver. The silverware of these companies can to be found in palaces, embassies, top hotels, cruise liners, restaurants and many discerning houses throughout the world. Products from these companies can now be ordered directly from this web site. See here for more information about the History of Elkington.
To check the latest prices of silver cutlery for sale on our site, please visit our Showroom or see individual item prices at our Loose Items page.
NB - There may be a silver surcharge on sterling items that we offer for sale - See the graphics on site for the latest rate.
Latest: Silver surcharges are re-appearing. Please ask before ordering sterling silver cutlery (EPNS is not currently affected).
Here are some interesting facts on, and uses for silver that you may not have known:
You may also be interested in the About Stainless Steel & About Silver Plate pages.