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This is a free association between collectors and lovers of antique silver.We have two aims: to promote friendship between our members and to spread knowledge of antique silver items, their hallmarks and their workmanship techniques.

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The first step in deciphering these marks is to learn what kinds of silver are out there.

Some of the oldest American silver is coin, which contains an amount of the precious metal that was set by the U. Mint for coinage after the American Revolution: Coin made from 1792 to 1837 is composed of at least 89.2 percent silver and, thereafter, 90 percent.

Sterling, in contrast, must be at least 92.5 percent silver.

Our invitation is addressed to all private collectors and keen lovers of antique silver.

Professional dealers may join the ASCAS as collectors or for private interest on antique silver, but our website has no link with commercial firms or advertising objectives.

Membership is absolutely free, but the association reserves the right to evaluate the requests for admission of its members.The question I hear most often at antiques shows is, How do you know whether something is silver?People aren't necessarily looking only for sterling; they just want to know what they're buying.Most of the time, you can find the answer simply by turning over the teaspoon, fish fork, ice cream saw, or cheese scoop (antique flatware is that specialized).On the reverse side, you usually find an indented mark or series of marks that holds a wealth of information about the item -- not only what it's made of, but sometimes also where, when, and by whom it was made.This applies to hollowware -- such as cups, bowls, teapots, and vases -- too.