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Odd pieces wonderful addition to sterling collection

Pierced serving spoon. (photo/sarah towey rainey)
Pierced serving spoon. (photo/sarah towey rainey)

Let’s look at individual silver serving pieces and other items helpful to any hostess in fleshing out her sterling silver flatware collection. The days of receiving silver for thirty at marriage are over, I hear, and waiting to inherit the works takes forever, so the best method is to collect pieces as you go. The items needn’t all be of the same pattern; in fact, diversity adds to the charm.

Because it’s easy to pick up a serving spoon here or a set of seafood forks there, collecting is most of the fun. Look for your existing pattern – or one you expect to inherit – or search for patterns that will mix attractively with what you’ve got. There’s a rule that one shouldn’t mix patterns at a place setting on the table; feel free to ignore it especially in regard to the tiny pieces, such as salt spoons and the like.

Some people collect monograms, regardless of the pattern, and this can be fun, too, while still others look for sterling produced during a certain time period (date engraved or look for the appropriate hallmark).

Coin silver is a wonderful and affordable way to add to your collection now, just as it was in your great-grandmother’s day. Coin silver contains only the amount of silver needed to make silver coins (not as much as for sterling) so pay accordingly, bargaining if necessary.

Don’t forget to use your silver! The best way to never have to polish silver is to use it every day. The oils from your hands and the constant washing prevent tarnish build up while allowing for the beautiful patina of age we all desire. If you have a great deal of silver, just remember to rotate and be free from polishing evermore.

So remember, nothing dresses up a plain meal more than the dull glow of sterling.  Happy hunting.