Silverware Flatware

Different Types of Silverware Explained


Historically, silverware referred only to those household items that were manufactured from silver. This could include anything from candlesticks, tea services, flatware, and cutlery. Today, silverware is a generic term that is used to describe all types of flatware and cutlery, regardless of its composition.

Silverware, as the name implies, was historically made from (obviously) silver. However, being a very soft and malleable metal, it was necessary to blend the silver with another metal to enhance its strength. This gave rise to the alloy called Sterling Silver, which has long been recognized as the 'silver' standard. Sterling Silver contains (by law) 92.5% pure silver and 7.5% of other metals - typically copper. More recently, other metals (such as zinc and platinum) have been used to enhance specific properties, such as resistance to tarnish, but none have been able to replace copper as the standard. So, if you're fortunate enough to have inherited, purchased (or possibly even collect) sterling silver, it contains at least 92.5% pure silver (and as the price of silver goes up, so does the value of your flatware).

Silverplate cutlery is made from a base metal (usually copper, nickel, or zinc) which is coated with a layer of silver. Originally, silver and copper were melted and fused together into a composite, the two layers behaving as one. Around 1770 the 'double sandwich' or Sheffield process was developed, where a copper core is 'sandwiched' between two layers of silver, then heated and formed. This continued until about 1840 when it was replaced by the highly efficient electroplating process. Electroplating deposits a very thin layer (typically 35 microns) of silver onto another conductive metal, as an electrical current passes through them. One benefit of electroplating is that the surface is made of pure silver, not sterling silver. Unfortunately, the silver layer itself is quite thin, so the majority of the part consists of the cheaper core metal.

All other types of flatware and cutlery, typically referred to as 'silverware' contain no silver at all. Today's most common varieties are made of stainless steel, typically the 18/8 or 18/10 alloys. The numbers refer to the composition of the steel alloy. The base metal is iron, and it is blended with 18% chromium and 8% (or 10%) nickel. Higher quality stainless steel flatware will be heavier than 'cheaper' versions.
Other materials from which cutlery has been made include gold (solid and plated), brass, and pewter, all of which obviously contain no silver.

As you can see, just because the flatware or cutlery you purchased is called silverware, that doesn't guarantee it will be made of silver. Depending on the type of silverware you purchase, it may contain sterling silver, silver and copper, or possibly no silver at all.

How its Made - Flatware
gold plated silverware
gold plated silverware
$50.00
Time Remaining: 1h
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22 Piece Stanley Roberts Dalton Set of Stainless Japan Flatware Silverware
22 Piece Stanley Roberts Dalton Set of Stainless Japan Flatware Silverware
$15.99
Time Remaining: 1h 55m
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Barenthal ATELIER 18 10 62 Piece Flatware Silverware Service Dining Fork Knife
Barenthal ATELIER 18 10 62 Piece Flatware Silverware Service Dining Fork Knife
$145.50
Time Remaining: 2h 4m
Buy It Now for only: $145.50
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Fiesta Cambridge Masquerade 20 pc Service for 4 Flatware Silverware Set NEW
Fiesta Cambridge Masquerade 20 pc Service for 4 Flatware Silverware Set NEW
$109.99
Time Remaining: 2h 7m
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former small door silver metal knives are eight ducklings silverware
former small door silver metal knives are eight ducklings silverware
$109.00
Time Remaining: 2h 32m
Buy It Now for only: $109.00
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SILVER PLATED SILVERWARE
SILVER PLATED SILVERWARE
$125.00
Time Remaining: 2h 36m
Buy It Now for only: $125.00
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Silverware Spoon Algonquin Walter C Bowers Stamped X5XXX 02 ONS
Silverware Spoon Algonquin Walter C Bowers Stamped X5XXX 02 ONS
$3.99
Time Remaining: 2h 40m
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36 Pcs Dominion Heavy Wt Silverware Set Knives 55g Forks 20mmTsps20mm
36 Pcs Dominion Heavy Wt Silverware Set Knives 55g Forks 20mmTsps20mm
$17.65
Time Remaining: 3h 9m
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Reed  Barton Francis Silverware Flatware Chest 180 Capacity
Reed Barton Francis Silverware Flatware Chest 180 Capacity
$179.00
Time Remaining: 3h 16m
Buy It Now for only: $179.00
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54 pc Harmony House silverplate silverware
54 pc Harmony House silverplate silverware
$120.00
Time Remaining: 3h 26m
Buy It Now for only: $156.00
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Oneida Radius Dinner Knife Hollow Handle Stainless Flatware Silverware
Oneida Radius Dinner Knife Hollow Handle Stainless Flatware Silverware
$3.95
Time Remaining: 3h 27m
Buy It Now for only: $3.95
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Reed  Barton Falmouth Silverware Flatware Chest 180 Capacity
Reed Barton Falmouth Silverware Flatware Chest 180 Capacity
$149.00
Time Remaining: 3h 27m
Buy It Now for only: $149.00
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Oneida Falkirk Dinner Knife Hollow Handle Stainless Flatware Silverware Deluxe
Oneida Falkirk Dinner Knife Hollow Handle Stainless Flatware Silverware Deluxe
$5.95
Time Remaining: 3h 28m
Buy It Now for only: $5.95
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Mikasa Casbah Pierced Serving Spoon Tablespoon NEW Stainless Flatware Silverware
Mikasa Casbah Pierced Serving Spoon Tablespoon NEW Stainless Flatware Silverware
$6.95
Time Remaining: 3h 33m
Buy It Now for only: $6.95
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Oneida Rose Duet Dinner Knife Hollow Handle Stainless Flatware Silverware
Oneida Rose Duet Dinner Knife Hollow Handle Stainless Flatware Silverware
$3.95
Time Remaining: 3h 37m
Buy It Now for only: $3.95
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Oneida Rose Duet Salad Fork Dessert Stainless Flatware Silverware
Oneida Rose Duet Salad Fork Dessert Stainless Flatware Silverware
$4.95
Time Remaining: 3h 39m
Buy It Now for only: $4.95
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Dansk Skal Cold Meat Serving Fork Stainless Flatware Silverware Designs Ltd
Dansk Skal Cold Meat Serving Fork Stainless Flatware Silverware Designs Ltd
$6.95
Time Remaining: 3h 44m
Buy It Now for only: $6.95
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Oneida Oneidacraft Deluxe CHATEAU Stainless Silverware Pierced Pie Cake Server
Oneida Oneidacraft Deluxe CHATEAU Stainless Silverware Pierced Pie Cake Server
$7.00
Time Remaining: 3h 46m
Buy It Now for only: $11.00
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Oneida Oneidacraft Deluxe CHATEAU Stainless Silverware Flatware Sugar Spoon
Oneida Oneidacraft Deluxe CHATEAU Stainless Silverware Flatware Sugar Spoon
$5.50
Time Remaining: 3h 46m
Buy It Now for only: $8.00
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Qty 8 Oneida Oneidacraft Deluxe CHATEAU Stainless Silverware Iced Tea Spoon
Qty 8 Oneida Oneidacraft Deluxe CHATEAU Stainless Silverware Iced Tea Spoon
$40.00
Time Remaining: 3h 47m
Buy It Now for only: $80.00
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Hampton Silversmiths Nobility Steak Knife Serrated Stainless Flatware Silverware
Hampton Silversmiths Nobility Steak Knife Serrated Stainless Flatware Silverware
$3.95
Time Remaining: 3h 47m
Buy It Now for only: $3.95
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Qty 2 Oneida Oneidacraft Deluxe CHATEAU Stainless Silverware Soup Spoon
Qty 2 Oneida Oneidacraft Deluxe CHATEAU Stainless Silverware Soup Spoon
$14.00
Time Remaining: 3h 47m
Buy It Now for only: $20.00
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Oneida Oneidacraft Deluxe CHATEAU Stainless Silverware Cold Meat Fork
Oneida Oneidacraft Deluxe CHATEAU Stainless Silverware Cold Meat Fork
$11.00
Time Remaining: 3h 47m
Buy It Now for only: $18.00
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Oneida Oneidacraft Deluxe CHATEAU Stainless Silverware Flatware Gravy Ladle
Oneida Oneidacraft Deluxe CHATEAU Stainless Silverware Flatware Gravy Ladle
$7.00
Time Remaining: 3h 48m
Buy It Now for only: $11.00
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Oneida Oneidacraft Deluxe CHATEAU Stainless Silverware Pierced Serving Spoon
Oneida Oneidacraft Deluxe CHATEAU Stainless Silverware Pierced Serving Spoon
$7.50
Time Remaining: 3h 48m
Buy It Now for only: $11.00
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Oneida Oneidacraft Deluxe CHATEAU Stainless Silverware Master Butter Knife
Oneida Oneidacraft Deluxe CHATEAU Stainless Silverware Master Butter Knife
$4.50
Time Remaining: 3h 49m
Buy It Now for only: $8.00
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Silverware Flatware
  • Flatware Silverware
  • Silver Silverware
  • Sterling Silver Silverware
  • Antique Silverware
  • Silver Plated Silverware
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    Filed under: Sterling Silver Flatware

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