Please visit our other websites: Ganoksin Jewelry Making Resource | Orchid Jewelry Making Forums | International Gem Society | IGS Gemstone and Gemology Forums

Silver Collector Forums

Identifying silver marks

I have several older pieces of silver; trays, plate, silverware, and am having trouble finding ways to identify them. They are from a family estate and I don’t know much at all about silver. I would like to start with 2 items and hope I can get pics up.

This small silver tray is a EPC piece but the other markings I cannot find. There is a bearded man, crown and what looks like a fancy (g) with a slash through the middle, then the number 5-276. Can you tell me what this all means. Also, how would one get the black marks out of the center of the tray?

Thank you in advance

ps: I do not know how to make my pictures the size needed for the photos - Help! :blush:

Hi there Jewels, and thanks for joining us. A picture is worth 1,000 words, so perhaps someone more computer literate than me will give you some help on sizing your pictures.

When you say the small tray is “EPC” do you mean it is silver plated? American silver plate marks are hard to decipher because there were so many makers of silver plated goods dating from the 1840s, and of course no uniform system of marking any American silver, sterling or plated. As a general rule, American sterling silver (.925) made after about 1850 or so will have the word “sterling” or “925/1000 FINE” stamped on it. The process of electro-plating silver was developed in the 1840s and the most common mark on it is “EP” in some combination of other letters, such as "EPNS’ for electro-plated nickel silver. “EPC” probably denotes electro-plated copper.

As for cleaning the black tarnish, try washing the tray in very warm water with some dishwashing soap such as Dawn, using a soft cloth, then use some Wright’s silver polish applied and buffed gently with a soft cloth or sponge, then wash again in the warm water and Dawn. The electro plated silver is very thin, so be gentle as you work with the tarnish.


Uncle Vic

Thank you for the quick reply! I will try the solution for cleaning and yes, I’m sure that the EPC means electroplated copper but what about the other marks, no idea? I certainly hope there will be another help on the pics, no one here can help me, we are not that wise in the pc world, I’m lucky to get this far. I have seen other questions regarding the pics with no answers so it is still, " HELP "


If you can’t post the pic, send it to me direct at


Uncle Vic

Hi again and thank you, I will send you the pictures, I appreciate that. It’s not so much the numbers but the makers marks that interest me. This piece has a beautiful lid that matches the tray (I just found it).

If you don’t mind I will also send a pic of a silver plate that has 2 marks but are not legible. One looks like it could be “200”. It could be English silver, measures 11-1/2", weighs 1.75 lbs. and has a lovely design around the edge. Any help here would be great also.

Maybe what appears to be a G is an S?
Check out the Sheffield Silver Company here:

Here’s a picture of their older mark:

I am very excited, I did find the exact match for the marks on the bottom of small tray but no explanation for the numbers or figures and haven’t been able to find much on “Sheffield Silver Co.” and I have searched for hours for the pattern or approx. date etc. of the markings. It defininately is electroplate on copper EPC but the 3 figures I can’t find anything on. I don’t know if it is antique, vintage or just old. I did find out that the serving dish can be used as a lidded dish or 2 serving dishes, very cool!


I realize that this post is very old, but maybe one of you can still help. I have “EPC” on the bottom and the three symbols she described. What do the marks mean? If it is electroplated copper, then can I use the Wright’s silver polish or do I need a copper cleaner? Thank you!

Yes, EPC does signify electroplated copper, or electroplate on copper. As the surface is silver you should use silver polish. If you use anything else (other than soapy water) you run the risk of removing the silver and ruining the finish. Even careful use of silver polish will eventually remove the silver from the surface but at least you will have extended the time before this happens.