Sterling or not? JCM for Tiffany, Young, & Ellis

Hello everyone,
First post! Thanks for having me! I am new to silver collecting. I love this service I see for sale. It is advertised as five piece sterling by JC Moore for Tiffany Young & Ellis, 129 oz, 1848-1852. From what I can tell, the hallmarks agree with the dates, but Tiffany adopted the sterling standard in 1851, right? So are these sterling or something else? Would something else be plate or a lower standard (<.925)? Anyone know the pattern? Is that what the “40” stands for? Lastly, price: it is advertised for $6800 pretax. Is this fair?, a steal?, overpriced? Thanks so much for any advice offered. :slight_smile:
single piece.jpg

Hi there and thanks for joining us. My reference gives the date that Tiffany adopted the English sterling standard as 1852. According to Dorothy Rainwater’s treatise, the mark you show was used 1850-1852. The “40” is most probably a size or pattern as the mark shown pre-dates the Tiffany marks that contain a pattern and order number. Tiffany did make silverplated holloware until the 1930s, so it is possible the set is plated, although I suspect it is solid silver. If it pre-dates the “sterling” standard introduced in 1852 it would most probably be “coin silver” or 90%.

The only way to tell for certain would be to have each item tested for purity by an independent, trusted jeweler. There is too much money at play to do otherwise.


Uncle Vic

Uncle Vic,
Thanks so much for the quick reply and your expertise. If anyone has any additional thoughts or info, please do post.