Although they're solid metal rather than plated, they contain less silver than sterling does.
Some of the oldest American silver is coin, which contains an amount of the precious metal that was set by the U. Mint for coinage after the American Revolution: Coin made from 1792 to 1837 is composed of at least 89.2 percent silver and, thereafter, 90 percent.
Sterling, in contrast, must be at least 92.5 percent silver.
The question I hear most often at antiques shows is, How do you know whether something is silver?
Most of the time, you can find the answer simply by turning over the teaspoon, fish fork, ice cream saw, or cheese scoop (antique flatware is that specialized).On the reverse side, you usually find an indented mark or series of marks that holds a wealth of information about the item -- not only what it's made of, but sometimes also where, when, and by whom it was made.