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                                 Question & Answers


Table of Contents                                                                                              


  1. What is Sterling Silver ?
  2. What is Flatware ?
  3. What is Holloware ?
  4. What is Oxidizing ?
  5. What is tarnish ?
  6. How can I find out what sterling pattern I have ?

    Ordering Information Page

What is Sterling Silver ?

   Sterling Silver is a precious metal. Like gold and platinum, it has great
intrinsic value in any form and lasts a lifetime.
Because pure silver by itself is too soft for use in flatware, copper is added
to give it a wonderful hardness and durability. This is Sterling Silver. It's
called Solid Silver, too. An alloy of 925 parts of pure silver with 75 parts copper.
This proportion was fixed by law in the United States in 1907 and has never
varied through the years.
    In America, the word "sterling" is used as a hallmark. Stamped on every
piece along with the manufacturer's mark, it keynotes the quality of the metal,.
the excellence of design as well as the reliability of the maker.

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What is Flatware ?

Flatware is a term describing knives, forks, spoons and all the utensils you
use to serve food.

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What is Holloware ?

Holloware is a general term for articles in the form of hollow vessels such
as teapots, coffeepots , salt and pepper shakers, goblets, candy dishes, cream
pitchers, sugar bowls, bowls and pitchers. This term also includes trays,
waiters and sandwich plates.

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What is Oxidizing ?

Oxidizing is that "black stuff" you may find in the pattern of your flatware. Don't try to clean it out. Many painstaking processes are used to put it make the detail of the pattern really stand out. Oxidizing is applied simply to bring out the "character"  of the design.

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What is tarnish ?

Tarnish is caused by the chemical element, sulfur, found commonly in such foods as eggs, mayonnaise and mustard.... it's in the air,  too! You can easily retard tarnish by simply keeping silver a silver chest or drawer with a Tarnish Preventive drawer liner when not in use, or by using Tarnish Preventive Polishes.

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How can I find out what sterling pattern I have ?    

First things first, look on the back and see if your tableware has Sterling, .925 or 925/100 on the back. Then check out the manufacturer's mark. This is a name or symbol .(note: often times there will also be the name of the jewelry store that sold the silver this is not the manufacturer).
If you can't read the mark you may need the help of a magnifying glass as these marks are sometimes very small. If you can't make out what the mark is sketch what you think it may be and send this along with a Xerox of the front of your silver piece to us be either fax at 419-529-0506, e-mail us or send us a letter at the below address and we will be happy to assist you if we can. If you want an inventory of what's available in your pattern please let us know and we will forward one to you.

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Sterling Buffet P.O. Box 1665 Mansfield, Ohio 44901
(800) 537-5783 / (419) 529-0505 / FAX: (419)529-0506

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