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Noble and elegant silver flatware turns your dining into a great pleasure and makes food taste especially great. Therefore, for many centuries silver has been preferred among other materials in cutlery manufacture.This metal is acid-resistant, yet it can be affected by such products containing sulphur like fish or eggs. Thus fish silverware made of silver is often also gold-plated, whereas egg and caviar spoons are crafted of horn or mother-of-pearl.
Since the 19th century cutlery items can also be silver-plated through the galvanization process. You can hardly notice the difference in the appearance between real silver and silver-plated cutlery.
To make it easier and more obvious for regular customers what precious or non-precious metals and how much of them flatware items contain, in 1850 a mandatory hallmarking of silver cutlery, which is still in force today, was introduced. Hence, according to the "Regulations on gold and silver fineness in items made of these metals" (in German - "Gesetz über den Feingehalt von Gold und Silberwaren") such flatware should be marked as 'Half Moon' ("Halbmond") and 'Imperial Crown' ("Reichskrone") and bear the manufacturer's trade mark and silver content.
Pure silver is so soft that it is not suitable for the majority of applications. To avoid twisting or bending, it has to be 'alloyed' with other metals.