Genuine Sheffield cutlery
When buying Sheffield cutlery it is important that all your questions are answered before you make the purchase that will last many years. We have compiled a list that should hopefully help with this.
What marks should be on my cutlery?
All Genuine silver-plated Sheffield cutlery should carry the “EPNS A1 Sheffield England” mark. Genuine Sheffield sterling silver cutlery should carry the Sheffield assay mark.
What does my mark mean?
EPNS stands for electro plated nickel silver, this means your base metal below the silver is 12% nickel silver NOT stainless steel.
Why should my cutlery be nickel-based?
Traditionally Sheffield cutlery has always been manufactured with a base metal of nickel silver. This gives maximum strength and durability as well as providing the best adhesion for pure silver coating. Nickel silver also allows for more crisp detailing when stamped.
I’ve been told my base metal is stainless steel?
Stainless steel base metal has long had a bad reputation for poor adhesion qualities which include peeling of the silver coating. Some companies sell stainless steel plated as it is a cheaper option but the quality you get from nickel silver is far superior.
how do I know if my cutlery is manufactured in Sheffield?
This is a question that is asked most frequently, Here at Inkerman Silver we offer the opportunity to come and visit our factory in Sheffield to see your newly purchased cutlery being manufactured. There are 5 main elements that a genuine Sheffield manufacturer will need to produce Sheffield cutlery;-
1) Die shop- This is an area in which tooling is located that embeds the pattern on cutlery blanks.
2) stamping shop- All your cutlery has to be stamped and to do this large presses are needed.
3) polishing shop- All cutlery goes through a polishing stage once stamped. There is many polishing processes to achieve a finished article.
4) plating shop- An area with large vats, Your cutlery has to go through at least 10 silver vats to achieve the silver thickness.
5) woodworking shop- A fully equipped wood facility is needed to manufacture quality cabinets and tables.
If your supplier is a genuine Sheffield cutlery manufacturer then you should be able to see all these elements in their factory.
How do I know if my silver thickness is correct?
All silver thicknesses can be tested with an XRF machine, this sends x rays down to the silver and will give the thickness reading to the nearest micron. Inkerman silver offers a free report on request which will be included in dispatch with your new purchase.
Inkerman Silver say they are one of the last remaining Sheffield manufacturers of cutlery, but there are many that say this on the internet?
Many claim this but how many can back this up? Inkerman Silver are members of the Sheffield Chamber of commerce, Made in Sheffield Organisation, BSI and Made in Britain along with the guarantee that you can visit us here in our Sheffield factory, we believe that this heritage cements our company as the last remaining complete in house manufacturer.