What is Nickel Silver?

Hi, I am wondering whether there is any value in recycling flatware that’s marked nickel silver, Panama silver, Brazil silver, Yukon silver, or Alaska silver? From Brandon in Wichita, Kansas

Hi Brandon,

Thanks for your question.. Nickel silver is named for its silvery appearance, but ironically it actually contains no elemental silver.

Nickel silver is different from plated silver in that nickel silver is not plated with silver and does not contain any real silver at all. Plated silver is metal that is actually covered in a very thin layer of silver. EP and EPNS are other markings that indicate plated silver.

Given that nickel silver has no actual silver content, it is not worth anything to precious metal refiners. Unfortunately, there is nothing of value to extract. With that being said, your pieces still might be worth something if you try to sell them on eBay or to a scrap metal dealer. Good luck!

If you have questions about silver war nickels visit our blog post “Silver Recovery from War Nickels
Or visit our website for silver items that are valuable for their silver content on our Silver Refining webpage.

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16 Responses to “What is Nickel Silver?”

  1. Catherine says:

    The flatware that I have is by Eldan, and is labeled “Silver Nickel” not nickel silver. You said there was NO silver in nickel silver. Is there a difference? This tarnishes and polishes up the same as silver and silverplate.
    Thank you, from Birmingham, Alabama.

  2. steelydan says:

    a lot of silverplated will sell as “clean brass” seeing how as that is usually what is underneath,ask your recycler, but mines buys it as clean brass, about 1.95 a pound

  3. Pam says:

    I have some solid brazil silverware and would like to know the value of it. I have 6 knives, bread knife and spoon, 6 spoons and 6 forks.
    Thank you kindly,

  4. admin says:

    Hi Pam,

    In our experience what some people call “solid brazil silverware” is actually another name for nickel silver. Nickel silver ironically contains no silver at all. If that is the case, your pieces actually do not contain any real silver and have no silver value. They may however, be valuable based on other criteria such as rareness, collectability or age. Here is a post about nickel silver that may help, http://www.precious-metal-refining.info/what-is-nickel-silver/.

  5. jenny says:

    i wannt to know the value of the following items
    gilson A epns 3dwtsa per doz, nickel silver wears/white,arthur krupp 1810 spoon italy gilson a epns 2dwtsa per doz gilson A 6 dwtsa per doz emiates spoon 0(small smybol

  6. Rose says:

    I have some silver teaspoons, Marked as follows:Federal Solid Nickel Silver,L Barth and Sons,Inc Nickel Silver,Bass & Bass New York,Simpson Nickel Silver,A.L. Cahn & Sons New york,W Nickel Silver 18 any value in these

  7. admin says:

    Greetings @Rose,

    Nickel silver is named after it’s appearance, but not content. Unfortunately there is no elemental silver in these items if they are, in fact, nickel silver. Here is some more info about nickel silver http://www.precious-metal-refining.info/what-is-nickel-silver/. That being said, these pieces could still fetch considerable value on eBay or to a collector. Good luck!

  8. kenny says:

    all of these items can be worth whatever anyone will pay or take it to the junk yard for scrap , you may be surprised at what you can get for 20 pounds of junk brass or copper

  9. (Retired) SFC Ivan L. Baros Sr. says:

    I have 20oz of dental material (tooth filling) that look like silver or nickel from a retired dentists office? The small round pellets are marked “W” on top and “LC” on bottom and the square pellets are marked “NC”! They do not stick to magnet so it has to be an alloy but what is it and is it worth anything to refiners? – Sarge

  10. Shopping for Vintage Native American Jewelry Online? Facts You Should Know | Cherokee Blue Trading Post says:

    […] What is Nickel Silver? […]

  11. Dave Esterly says:

    I have some spoons marked Chilian Silver with a Hallmark D&A nice silver patina and very heavy. Any information would be much appreciated.

  12. admin says:

    Hi Dave,

    If your silverware does not have any markings that would indicate it to be sterling, there are better chances that your pieces are NOT sterling. While we are not familiar with Chiliam Silver or the D&A Hallmark, other types of silver such as Peruvian silver, Alaskan silver, German silver are NOT sterling.

    Thanks for your question!

  13. Mary Schorr says:

    I have flatware, bought in Germany, that has prunis 90 on the back of each piece. It does tarnish. Can you help me determine the metal use in making the flatware?

  14. admin says:

    Hi Mary — There are several metals that are used in the manufacturing of silver flatware. Sterling silver flatware is normally indicated by some variation of a “925” marking that would indicate it being 92.5% silver and alloyed with 7.5% of something else that is usually copper or nickel.

    Because we are not experts in silver hallmarks, we don’t know what the “prunis 90″ marking means on your flatware. If you do find that it is in fact sterling, please contact us http://www.archenterprises.com/contact-us.html


  15. Phyllis Haskell says:

    I have an old compact stamped “nickle silver”. It is square (2″ on all sides)and has the typical Victorian milkweed with butterfly under celluloid lid. That is exactly how “nickle” is spelled. Is there any significance in this?

  16. admin says:

    HI Phyllis. Even though it may be spelled “nickle” verses “nickel” what you have is still a type of silver that actually has no silver content. The post here explains a little more about it. http://www.precious-metal-refining.info/what-is-nickel-silver/. But the spelling of Nickel got us thinking and so we looked both of them up and got the SAME definition for the both words. However, “nickel” is the more common use which is what we use here.

    noun nick·el \ˈni-kəl\
    : a hard silver-white metal
    : a U.S. or Canadian coin that is worth five cents

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