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Silver and Flatware/Gorham sterling markings and weight knife

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Question
Hello,
I recently purchase a flatware sterling setting Gorham Buttercup pattern. Some of the knives were sealed in packages stating Gorham with the picture of the lion G and anchor. I sold a few knives on eBay and was accused of selling a fake. It was a French knife in package. I didn't open it because I sold it as unopened. The buyer stated that it was lighter than her knives and it said stainless and lightly nearly readable Sterljng on side of handle of knife.
The spoons, forks, other peices I have are marked and some of the knives are marked Gorham Sterljng too but a few like she bought do not have markings but were in packages with markings. I am confused. I know they can't be fake and now I feel like my reputation is being ruined.
Thank you
I can send pictures.

Answer
Hi, Kathy.

Here's an article I wrote on this subject about four years ago: http://www.examiner.com/article/i-can-t-find-hallmarks-on-my-sterling-knives . The problem still exists! Here are some comments to add to or reinforce what's in the article.

1. On knives of the age you sold, the handle might have any one of "Sterling", "Sterling Handle" or "Gorham Sterling Handle". It was not until the second half of the 20th century that Gorham started placing all the information on the blade.
2. The weights of knives varied over the years. One reason is that the cement inside the handle that holds the blades in place has had different formulas, and weights, over the years. Other things could have changed also, such as the length of the stainless steel rod that goes down into the handle embedded in the cement.

Unfortunately, there is no good way to be absolutely certain. One common sense answer is that since used knives generally do not bring high values (as compared to a 7.5-inch dinner fork), it would not make economic sense for a counterfeiter to make knives! If I was a counterfeiter, I'd focus on dinner forks, soup spoons, serving pieces, etc.

I know my answer does not provide a solution here but I hope it provides a better context for the problem. Here's another article that might be of interest: http://www.examiner.com/article/how-much-silver-is-a-hollow-handle-knife . It links to other articles of interest.

Feel free to refer your buyer to this answer. It is posted publicly.

Best wishes,

Jim


How you can help me - I get asked often by questioners regarding how they can help me. There are two easy ways.
(1.)   Visit my web site, http://www.SilverChatter.com , and check out some of the ads at the top and right side of that page.
(2.)   Read some of the articles in the list below.



FREQUENTLY ACCESSED REFERENCE INFORMATION:

OTHER WEB INFORMATION SOURCES WRITTEN BY ME
-- My blog: http://www.SilverChatter.com     
-- Examiner.com articles: http://www.examiner.com/sterling-silver-in-national/jim-stringer
-- My booklet, “Selling Your Silver”:  http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/georgiasilver

IDENTIFYING WHAT YOU HAVE
-- Sterling vs. silver plate: http://www.examiner.com/sterling-silver-in-national/sterling-vs-silver-plate
-- Locating your silver pattern:  http://www.examiner.com/article/identify-your-sterling-or-silver-plate-flatware-
Marks found on bottom/back of silver pieces: http://www.examiner.com/x-26031-Sterling-Silver-Examiner~y2010m1d13-Where-can-I-
-- Code letters on silver plate pieces: http://www.examiner.com/sterling-silver-in-national/what-does-this-mean-on-my-fl
-- The “Rogers” silver companies: http://www.examiner.com/sterling-silver-in-national/rogers-the-silver-industry

VALUE OF STERLING AND SILVER PLATE PIECES
-- Calculating the value of your sterling flatware: http://www.examiner.com/x-26031-Sterling-Silver-Examiner~y2010m4d21-Cheap-approa
-- Calculating the scrap value of sterling flatware: http://www.examiner.com/sterling-silver-in-national/calculating-the-scrap-value-
-- Value of sterling pieces:  http://www.examiner.com/sterling-silver-in-national/what-s-my-sterling-silver-fl
-- Value of silver plate flatware: http://www.examiner.com/sterling-silver-in-national/what-s-my-silver-plate-flatw
-- Value of gold plated flatware: http://www.examiner.com/sterling-silver-in-national/what-s-the-value-of-my-gold-
- Silver content in knives: http://www.examiner.com/sterling-silver-in-national/how-much-silver-is-a-hollow-

SELLING YOUR SILVER
-- Things to consider when selling your sterling: http://www.examiner.com/sterling-silver-in-national/things-to-consider-when-sell
-- Selling sterling silver for scrap: http://www.examiner.com/x-26031-Sterling-Silver-Examiner~y2010m1d11-What-is-the-
-- What to do with plated silver: http://www.examiner.com/sterling-silver-in-national/what-to-do-with-plated-silve  
-- Selling used silver plate flatware: http://www.examiner.com/sterling-silver-in-national/selling-used-silver-plate-or
-- Tips on getting the best price when selling silver plate flatware:   http://www.examiner.com/article/selling-silver-plate-flatware-for-the-best-price
-- Ads from businesses near you who BUY SILVER: http://www.silver-buying.com/      

eBay
-- Buying sterling silver flatware on eBay: http://www.examiner.com/examiner/x-26031-Sterling-Silver-Examiner~y2010m5d26-Buy
-- Locating sales on eBay: http://www.examiner.com/x-26031-Sterling-Silver-Examiner~y2009m12d30-How-do-I-lo

CARE AND CLEANING
-- Care of silver: http://www.examiner.com/sterling-silver-in-national/how-should-i-clean-and-polis




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Silver and Flatware

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Jim Stringer

Expertise

I answer questions about sterling flatware and other sterling pieces........... I answer value questions at http://whatisitworth.lovetoknow.com/questions/categories/silver. I also author a blog at http://www.SilverChatter.com and write articles about silver at http://www.examiner.com/sterling-silver-in-national/jim-stringer ........... Thanks to nominations from questioners, I'm listed in the Top 50 Experts for 2014 and 2015.......... NOTE: Please do not give me a verbal description of a pattern and ask me to identify it. Attach a picture if you need such help..........

Experience

Buyer and seller of sterling pieces for over ten years. Author of the blog, www.SilverChatter.com. Sterling silver writer for www.Examiner.com.

Publications
Examiner.com; SilverChatter.com; "Selling_Your_Silver: A Guide to Finding a Buyer and Getting a Good Price (www.lulu.com/spotlight/georgiasilver)

Education/Credentials
BS, University of Alabama; MS, University of Maryland

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