Vintage Metal Decor for Your Home

by Dick Stoner 06/02/2019

Wanting to add some vintage metal to your décor? An aged silver-framed mirror, glossy wall plate, or glowing trio of candlesticks might be just the thing to pull it all together. Silver tableware adds an elegant touch to a party and a beautiful silver tray on the entry table is perfect to collect your mail.

Beautiful silver pieces of all kinds show up in vintage and antique stores to catch your eye. Sometimes the distraction of the shine hides its true self, so use these suggestions to help you find the real deal.

Silverplate versus sterling silver.

Silverplate, a thin layer of silver applied as a coated or electroplated over a base metal, was popular over the past couple centuries and allowed folk to obtain silver's elegant look at a lower price Sterling, on the other hand, is 92.5 percent pure silver.

Sterling silver holds its value and stands up to the rigors of aging much better than silver plate, which can wear through to the base metal and require re-plating to bring back its original beauty. Sterling silver lasts for generations when cared for properly.

How can you tell?

When shopping in antique malls, flea markets, and vintage stores, bring a small magnet with you. Sterling silver is not magnetic, and therefore, the more silver the object contains, the less likely your magnet sticks. When a magnet adheres, the likelihood of base metal under a silver coat is high. 

Look for silver marks too. In the United States, both sterling silver and silver plate usually bear identification markings. Sterling carries the numbers 925, meaning ninety-two and a half percent silver and just seven and a half percent of some other metal. English sterling, on the other hand, frequently shows the image of a lion along with markings specific to the city of origin, the year of crafting, and the king or queen in power at the time.

What should you pay?

Silver's value fluctuates based on the current metals market, so its price rises and falls frequently. Since markets post the price of silver daily, use this to your advantage as you bargain on the amount of your piece of sterling silver.

The price for plated silver depends more on the design and quality of the underlying piece and the amount of silver remaining in its surface. If you like the piece and it fits in your décor, then, by all means, offer the dealer a price befitting your budget.

About the Author
Author

Dick Stoner

Reist Corporation was incorporated in 1994 to renovate and restore commercial, industrial and residential buildings. Working from a 200+ year old farm in Washington County, MD , we have restored barns, warehouses, and even WWII Army buildings in Central MD. We maintain expertise in zoning and land use issues, and we stay abreast of market conditions and changing market statistics. We welcome the opportunity to work with buyers and tenants who wish to take advantage of current market conditions to lock in long term deals at favorable rates. Those able to sign 5 - 10 year leases in commercial transactions right now, are able to obtain the best rates in over 10 years, and those able to purchase are able to get pre-2005 prices on many types of buildings and land. On residential transactions, we continue to help buyers of bank-owned and short sale properties. We welcome the opportunity to work with you on your challenges, and we pay generous referral fees to agents from other areas who wish to utilize our services on Maryland property transactions

Certifications

Since 2002, I have worked on some of the largest real estate database systems in America. I have introduced online marketplace products to areas that were using residential MLS products for commercial real estate information, and I have worked on the expansion of some of America's largest real estate data systems in some of the largest MSA's in the country. Research is key to many commercial real estate valuation projects, and our firms' knowledge about how these systems work can help you reach the best information about other transactions in your area. We are active in Land Preservation programs and environmental offsets which can sometimes bring additional revenue that is crucial to making a transaction work. Nutrient offset credits in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed have become a new component in the valuation of active farmland and for many rural properties which involve environmental features like streams, woodlands, pastureland, etc. We've partnered with the experts at Blueline Conservation Incentives, LLC in Northern Virginia on nutrient offset and land preservation programs and together we are part of a team with expertise in all of the Middle Atlantic States as they strive to meet WIP - Watershed Improvement Plans in order to meet the 2017 and 2025 water quality goals that were set by the 2010 Chesapeake Bay Plan. 

Awards

2009 -MD Historical Trust -Award for Project Excellence in the Restoration of Frieda's Cottage at Chestnut Lodge in Rockville, MD