What Is EPNS?
Here's a question we get a lot on the phone and our website.
So here is a bit of info about EPNS.
EPNS stands for Electro Plated Nickel Silver.
Electroplating is the application of a very thin coating of Silver on to base metal, often with some Nickel content, it was invented by Elkingtons in 1840 and the stamping of Silver-plate was brought in around 1896, to prevent Silver-Plate being passed off as Sterling Silver.
So any items marked EPNS date to after 1896 and they sometimes also feature the A1 stamp.
If you have a set of stamps, you should check to see if there is the Britania or Sterling Silver hall mark, in which case they will be Sterling Silver. The the marks are not Sterling Silver marks, then they may be older Silver Plate.
Most EPNS is not massively valuable, but, is often very pretty and useful.
EPNS can be cleaned, although if you put it into a dishwasher with stainless steel it can mark bady, so better to hand wash it.
The other great thing about EPNS is that it is quite inexpensive and you can pick up some really pretty antique and vintage pieces.
EPNS cutlery sets are worth buying, they're pretty, useful and hold their value well.
I also really love Victorian Silver Plate vases, they're really pretty, add real charm to your home and don't brake if you drop them or knock them over - very handy in my house!