Australian Sterling Silver Antiques
The market for Australian sterling silver antiques is diverse, because while some choose to focus their attention on antique silver tea sets, others prefer to collect antique silverware. These silver antiques are appreciated for their beauty and rich history. When shopping, familiarise yourself with the myriad items available as well as with the proper care that goes into maintaining the value of each.
Can I Get My Sterling Silver Antiques Authenticated?
Before purchasing any Australian sterling silver antiques, it is a wise idea to make sure the item is authentic, especially in the case of larger-priced items. Appraisal services are available, so as you search, look for a qualified professional who is certified and has experience dealing with sterling silver antiques. The professional should be able to tell you the value of your antique as well as confirm the type of silver from which it is made.
What Are the Australian Laws on Hallmarking?
There are no Australian laws that regulate hallmarking, or the marking of sterling silver, especially when it comes to antiques. Instead, each silversmith has the authority to mark their pieces as they see fit. As such, when searching for Australian sterling silver antiques, familiarise yourself with the marks of popular silversmiths. This will help you discover the period in which the silver was made. In 1988, the Gold and Silversmiths Guild of Australia was founded, and guild members each have their own official hallmark that is recorded along with their name and date of manufacture to indicate their work was genuinely made in Australia.
How Do I Care For My Sterling Silver Antiques?
Although resistant to corrosion, silver may begin to tarnish over time. This occurs when the silver surface of the Australian antique comes in contact with sulphur. To keep your antiques looking their best, make sure to periodically polish them with a top-grade silver polish and a soft cloth. You should also store your antiques in a safe place to minimise scratches and other damage. Keep in mind that sterling silver flatware, such as antique silver spoons, is not dishwasher-safe and should always be thoroughly dried after use. With proper maintenance and storage, it is possible to keep your Australian sterling silver antiques in pristine condition.