We've mentioned several times the importance of understanding the length and width of sterling flatware pieces before buying. For example in "Measure that sterling fork or knife before buying", we discussed the fact that a pattern might include multiple sizes of forks and/or knives.
However, we have not spent much time on the weight of pieces. We have mentioned weight marks in articles such as "Gorham sterling flatware weight marks" but we haven't talked about difference in weights of pieces which don't have weight marks.
Perhaps the generic piece with most weight variations is the teaspoon. I don't know why but teaspoons weights have varied significantly over the years. Here's a concrete example involving four different Gorham Chantilly teaspoons I have. They all measure 5 3/4 inches in length.
- Teaspoon 1 - 18 grams Marks: "Lion/Anchor/G Sterling" plus "T" weight mark
- Teaspoon 2 - 26 grams Marks: "Lion/Anchor/G Sterling" plus "E" weight mark
- Teaspoon 3 - 28 grams Marks: "Gorham Sterling"
- Teaspoon 4 - 31 grams Marks: "Gorham Sterling"
That's a pretty wide variation. And, it's interesting to note that the lightest spoons were the oldest!
The story here is that if you plan to add to your existing set and if you want consistency across all pieces, you should weigh the pieces you already have and compare what you find with the weights of pieces you are considering. You won't be able to tell much difference between two teaspoons weighing 28 and 31 grams, respectively. But you will be able to tell the difference between that 31-gram teaspoon and one weighing 18 grams.
Now, the point is, does all this really matter? When teaspoons are sitting beside plates at the dinner table, they all look pretty much alike. And, one dinner guest probably will not be picking up his neighbor's teaspoon. So, who will know? You'll probably be the only one. But, that may be important to you.