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Silver and Flatware/sterling plate


Does it ruin the value/appearance of old sterling plate items (here I am talking about holloware--teapots, etc. not flatware) to have them re-plated?  How do you know when something plated is too tarnished for home polishing?


Generally speaking, tarnish can be removed at any point from silver plated items at home. The problem arises when the plating has worn off. This often manifests itself as a dark spot that could be mistaken for tarnish.

Having a piece re-plated makes the piece look like new except for dents, deep scratches, etc. So, you lose the patina that comes with long use. It will develop again over time.

For the most part, the value will not change significantly. Silver plate items do not hold their value all that well and re-plating does not change it significantly. There are some exceptions. A silver plated piece might have more value because of some historical connection or because it's in a very desirable pattern. These are not very common but I'd think twice before having such a piece re-plated.

Best wishes,


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Jim Stringer


I answer questions about sterling flatware and other sterling pieces........... I answer value questions at I also author a blog at and write articles about silver at ........... 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..........


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

Publications;; "Selling_Your_Silver: A Guide to Finding a Buyer and Getting a Good Price (

BS, University of Alabama; MS, University of Maryland

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