Frequently Asked Questions
We can plate onto nickel silver, copper, brass and stainless steel.
Unfortunately we are unable to plate Britannia Metal due to the fact that it is a soft metal and may get damaged during the restoration process.
The earliest method of plate is called Old Sheffield Plate this was discovered in the 1740’s and the technique is to take an ingot of copper and an ingot of sterling silver heat them up and fuse the together. Then the ingot is rolled out into sheets and an item is made out of this. This technique was used up until around about 1840’s when electro plating was discovered.
If your item is Old Sheffield Plate, you may find that restoring the silver (ie silver plating) the item actually de values the piece, we can silver plate these items but we want our customers to be aware of the above before we proceed.
In the 1840’s electro plating was discovered. An item that is made of either nickel, silver or copper is then immersed in a vat of silver cyanide where pure silver is used. A current is then put across which deposits the silver onto the copper. This is known as the modern method and the method that is still used today.
Unfortunately all types of silverplating will tarnish eventually, how quickly will depend on the makeup of the original metal the item is made from.
Silverplating does need a regular polish. We use items such as Silvo, Brasso or Town Talk Silver cloths to restore the original shine. These can be purchased from your local supermarket.
In terms of cutlery, although in theory silverplated cutlery can go in the dishwasher the prolonged length of time the cutlery is left with food substances on and the acidity in the washing tablets/powder, will tarnish the plate quicker so we would always recommend handwashing silverplated cutlery.
A very general rule and this is based on cutlery which is washed everyday they say a micron a year. So 10 microns should last Approximately 10 years.
When we refurbish old items of cutlery the silver plate can only be as good as the surface we silverplate onto.
To make sure we get a good finish your piece must first be polished. This levels off the surface we plate onto.
We then silverplate your work.
It is the silver finished after plating and warehoused.
The Polishing and silver finishing is mainly done at the weekends so it can take up to 4 weeks to restore your items.
We will always try and meet our customers’ needs but would ask them when sending old pieces for restoration you bear this time frame in mind.