The term silverware is used generically to describe various eating utensils like knives, spoons and forks, and other items such as platters, bowls, pitchers, ladles, candlesticks, and cups. However, just because it is being referred to as silverware, it doesn’t by any means mean that it has been manufactured from real silver. These days, materials such as stainless steel, silver-plated metal, or even pewter are sometimes used.
Genuine silver flatware will be that which comprises 92.5% silver, with 7.5% of another base metal such as copper. In addition, real silver items will either carry a mark reading, ‘Sterling Silver,’ or 925 to indicate its authenticity. If no such marks can be found anywhere on your item, chances are that it will not be made from real silver. In cases where you’re unsure, it’s recommended that you have your items inspected by an antique expert.