Silver: plated vs sterling?

How can you tell the difference? Please don't tell me it's as simple as plated can peel off. If so, be nice. I've seen wrapped silver and it was too obvious (and sad), but I have a silver tray.
17x13 inches. 3lbs 13oz. Engraved, Embossed with it's stamp. Old, but bought at a thrift shop.
I want to know if I can be fooled with a heavy tray that's just a heavy metal, or if it's real solid silver.
It say 1847 Rogers Bros. on it, but not sure how important that is.
Also, depending on what exactly it is... what the best method in cleaning it is. It looks in very good condition, but it seems to have a nasty (patina type) stain and stain marks on it. Not sure what it is, so not sure how to deal with it.
Yes, I just got done looking at cleaning methods, but that only make my dilemma worse.
Advice appreciated.
The ONLY other marks on the bottom is:
Above the name says AncestraL.
Below the name is 00594. Like it's a counting number.
If they didn't mark silver until 3 years later, then ?? I guess I did good, will try to hope for the best cleaning this and be grateful.

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Categories : Q&A


  1. extex_cop says:

    You can actually clean silver with some lemon and salt. Roger Bros is good quality….but there should be some other marks on bottom which will tell you if it’s solid sterling….or plated.

  2. iluvreesespbcups says:

    try using tarn x if it comes off it’s silver and it could be copper with silver plating on it which isn’t bad either. it would still look like silver

  3. ohhhdear says:

    Make a paste of white vinegar and baking soda, and rub the silver with a soft cloth to remove the tarnish.
    If the silver is rubbed off in the high wear areas and it’s silverplate, you’ll see the yellow brass beneath it.
    Sterling won’t have any yellow under a wear area, it will just be silver throughout.
    If it is sterling, there will be some tiny letters near the maker’s mark and date. You can do a google search on sterling silver antiques and Rogers Bros.

  4. leslie says:

    Sterling made in the USA after approximately the 1850′s always has a sterling mark. It may say Sterling. It may be .925 or show the fraction 925/1000. If it does not have this mark it is not sterling. Rogers Bros, an American company, became famous for their outstanding silver plating in the mid 1800′s. Their pieces are highly collectible.