Sterling silver is and will always be the most popular but silverplate is once again becoming popular. One look on ebay and you can see that with the price of sterling going up and up the more affordable alternative is again gaining popularity. Without looking at the makers mark it is virtually impossible to tell the difference between a solid silver antique and a plated or lower grade silver item. They polish up the same and some of the plated pieces (like the syrup container to the right with the wooden handle) is extremely ornate and very lovely.
We have a number of sterling silverware sets and plate sets and they look the same, feel the same the only difference to the naked eye is the stamps indicating they are solid or plate.
We have a weighted 70+ piece Birks silverplate Regency set for just 225.00 (Very high quality plate) that is pictured below. You would never tell without looking at the stamp that this is not a solid sterling silver set. It is absolutely beautiful! So why spend 1300.00 to 5000.00+ on a solid sterling set when you can have a really nice plate set for 150.00 to 250.00! Now if your looking for a solid sterling set we also have a few of those as well.