I’ve always been a fool for interesting silverplate at thrift stores, and I’ve collected some nice pieces. Despite my mother’s obsession with regularly polishing silver when I was a kid, I like to leave it somewhat tarnished because I think it adds character and a sense of age. I haven’t paid over $10 for anything yet. Silverplate is beautiful but essentially worthless. The process of separating out the silver is too costly to make it worthwhile. There’s no resale value as with sterling silver, so don’t pay outrageous prices for these pieces.
After years of dismissing pewter as the poor cousin of silver–I’m now also quite in love with it. Over the past several months I’ve picked up some nice items (for a song) at thrift stores, garage sales, and estate sales. Here’s my collection so far.
I really love the subtlety of pewter—it’s got a beautiful sheen that looks great with vintage and Gustavian decor. Be sure to look for the pewter mark on the bottom–there are lots of imitations out there. Also try to buy marked silverplate. Some thrift stores (and certainly big estate sales) know how collectible pewter and silverplate have become and mark it high. You can find it much cheaper if you keep looking.