Sterling Silver Knives

Written by Blaire Chandler-Wilcox
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Sterling silver knives are a very popular collectible. Cutting knives, steak knives, bread knives, butter knifes--all have a unique charm. Some people find they enjoy collecting knives of a particular variety, i.e., cheese knives; others enjoy rounding out a table service; still others like collecting knives with various historical monograms.

If you're considering collecting sterling silver knives for daily use, most experts recommend sticking with a theme of some sort. Traditional collectors may select knives from different periods, but within a single manufacturer's pattern. Others enjoy multiple patterns by a single manufacturer.

There are four types of sterling silver knife blades. The oldest is referred to as the "Blunt" blade. Blunt blades are perfectly symmetrical and balanced. The next oldest designs are "French" and "Old French." These two blades show the gradual design change from perfectly symmetrical to the arced angle we're more familiar with today. The final, and most recent blade style, in use in nearly all contemporary silver and other flatware patterns, is referred to as the "Modern" blade.

Sterling Silver Knives: A Word on Authenticity

Be advised that purists discourage the collection of vintage sterling silver knives which have been replaced with stainless steel blades. Stainless steel is a newer material (introduced in the 1920s), and therefore corrupts the authenticity of Victorian, colonial, or other pre-20th century pieces. If you are collecting for the sake of investment, it is best to acquire knives with their original silver or silver-plate blades. However, if you are collecting with the intention of daily use, then the blade replacement issue comes down to personal preference.

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