Friday, March 31, 2006

Silver Coin Spoon

A silver coin spoon is not what many think. It is not a coin in silver similar to a bezel perhaps.

It is simply a spoon. The term coin silver refers to silverware produced in America during the early colonial times. European silver coins were brought over by colonists and the silver was used to make American silverware. Partially to use the silver as the coins were not really of any use outside of Europe and partially to retain the value of the silver.

There was also silver plate being produced (as it is now also) and here another metal is coated or plated in silver. This is known as EPNS, an abbreviation for Electro Plated Nickel Silver. Often found on silverware or hollow-ware like teapots or heavy serving bowls. This is nickel alloy covered with a layer of silver using the electroplate process.

Sometimes it can be difficult to tell the difference between real silver and silver plate but coin silver should have a silversmith stamp consisting of the first letter and last initial stamped on the piece. Sometimes the city of manufacture was also stamped on the piece and there are also catalogues and books available to consult whenever there is a query regarding a coin silver piece.

If there is no such mark then it is likely not coin silver. Of course silver coin spoon is simply spoons of this genre as distinct to knives, forks etc.

Silver coin spoons are actually collectors items and some people make a hobby of collecting then and love to displace a cabinet of fine silver coin spoons from various manufacturers. The cost is generally not large and a silver coin soon can be bought for anywhere from 50 to 200 US dollars.

Some of them tend to be fairly ordinary but sometimes you will fine a very fine example of patterns characteristic of the manufacturer.

Silver coin spoons can be bought from antique dealers and also on eBay. In all cases ensure you know what you are buying and that it can be established beyond all doubt that what you are getting is truly a silver coin spoon

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