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Silver Collector Forums

Hotel Creamer

Hi everyone! I recently came across a creamer that is marked IS International Silver Co. Silver Soldered Hotel Westward HO Phoenix, Arizona 05007A 3 oz. and a box with a 50 in it. As far as I can tell it is the year 1950 (from the box) and it capacity. I have had a couple of different answers on the Silver Soldered part though. It is quite heavy at approximately 6.8 oz. The original owners believed it to be pure silver but I doubt it because of it being a hotel piece. I don’t see any plating that is worn or lifting. Any answers will help!


Hi there and thanks for joining us. International - and several other US makers - used the term “silver soldered” on some of their silver plated wares such as your creamer. It is electroplated and has little commercial value, but if the hotel is still in business it may be a prospective buyer for display purposes.

The rule of thumb is if its American and does not carry the word(s) “sterling”, “sterling silver” or “925/1000” it is not solid silver and most likely plated or some othter white metal.

Regards,

Uncle Vic

Thanks for the info. I had read somewhere that Silver Soldered meant the seams where soldered for additional support and also I read that it was termed silver soldered due to a heavy silver dip process. Thanks again and I am glad to have found such an informative site!

Silver soldering uses a much harder solder alloy and higher heat than “soft” soldering in which the solder alloy is a mix of tin and lead. Silver solder - often an alloy of silver, copper, and tin - is used in almost all silver holloware assembly, and you are correct that it makes for a much stronger joint than “soft” soldering.

I’m not aware of the term being associated with how much silver is plated on the base metal. In electroplating, the finished base metal item (often made of copper or brass) is suspended in a tank of chemicals containing some silver and an electrical current is passed through the tank and the silver is plated on the base metal item. The thickness of the plating deposited is very thin, in the range of less than one thousandths of an inch. Multiple layers can be applied to provide a thicker silver plating. The silver that is deposited is pure silver vs. the alloys we see in most solid silver, such as sterling, which is 92.5% silver and the rest another metal, usually copper. Because the silver plating is pure silver, it tends to tarnish slightly differently from sterling and other silver alloys. I notice that silver plate tends to tarnish a purple color whereas sterling tarnishs more a black-ish hue.

There are mnay fancy terms various silver plate makers have devised over the years to try to distinguish their wares from their competitors, such as “A-1”, “quad plate”, “extra plate”, and so on. I’ve not seen any real difference in the quality of the silver plating, other than very old electroplated wares seem to hold up better than more modern stuff, for some reason.

Regards,

Uncle Vic

Thanks again Uncle Vic! I am always out looking for collectibles and its great find someplace that I can go to increase my knowledge on the items that I come across. Take care and again many thanks, Mike