Bobbie - “silver plate” is a term that was (is ?) used in England to describe what we call in America “sterling”… The term “sterling silver” in England and the US is the standard 92.5% silver and 7.5% base metal (usually copper) alloy. Silver Plated is (after the 1850s) a reference to a electro plating process where pure (100%)) silver is electro plated in a very thin veneer on the base metal.
In England, the term “plate” is usually used to describe 925 silver, but the English will not use the term “sterling” as marks on their silver, ever. The term “sterling” imprinted on silver is usually American, where we never had a “legal” marking system. There was a multi-nation treaty signed in 1970 that used “925” as a standard marking for silver of 92.5% silver, but it mostly has been used on jewelry and central and south american stuff.
Sorry for the long answer to your simple question…guess the short answer is there is no difference between “silver plate” and “sliver plated” on most goods. English sterling will have the traditional marks, American sterling will have the word “sterling” on it.
I most protest - plated and sterling has nothing to with each other. I am european (on my way to job) so I shall elaborate later.
Sterling is silver - 925 parts of 1000. European standards of silver varies depending on time and place 800, 830 or even 750 but it is still silver. According to standards set up tpo 500 or 600 years ago.
good morning! well - i’m so happy to have this forum to come to for answers! i will be more careful in the future using the term ‘silver plate’. and long answers are fine by me – all the more to learn! thanks so much! bobbie
Uncle Vic is right to say that plate was originally a term which referred to items made from sterling silver. This was before electroplate or Old Sheffield Plate had been invented. For instance, you can easily find old books on Church Plate. These books are about Church silverware - not electroplate.
Old Sheffield Plate and Electroplate were / are techniques for making items that look like they are solid silver (plate) but are not. That is where the plate part of their names comes from.
Over time, people started to refer to solid silver as silver or silverware and old sheffield plate and electroplate as plate. As such the meaning of the word plate changed.
So, today silverplate and silverplated and plate are usually used to refer to electroplate. However, as mentioned before, you may sometimes see old books that use the term plate to refer to silver but in this case, they will not use the word silver.