Coin Silver Flatware

Coin Silver Flatware

Of all the items made from coins in America, flatware is by far the most common. Some colonial spoons still exist that were made in the 17th century, and these can bring 5 figures. Silversmiths were commissioned to create usable treasures from their client’s coins. Until the industrial Revolution in the early 19th Century, all flatware was made by hand. A spoon was created by a silversmith using skills and processes learned from years of training. A small block of silver; hammered, annealed, filed and shaped on steel stakes would be the normal process. By the early 19th century, machinery was used in conjunction with the traditional silversmith skills to produce utensils. A typical mid 19th century coin tea spoon could be made from a half dollar.

Many 18th and 19th century spoons have decoration and designs added to the handle and back of the bowl. One of the misconceptions that continued over the years is the fallacy that spoons were made in two pieces and later joined. This error was caused by the wrong interpretation of the drop or rat tail on the back of the spoon-bowl is for decoration and strength . You have to go back prior to 1650 in order to find spoons made in two pieces.

American forks and knives are extremely rare prior to 1800. Coin tea and butter knives existed in good quantities after 1835 while coin dinner knives were almost nonexistent until 1865. American coin dinner forks became more common with the advent of stamping machines in the 1830’s.

Most of the Early American silver flatware followed English designs—the same with furniture. During the Early 19th century, American patterns emerged such as “Basket of Flowers” and “Sheaf of Wheat.” Later with the advent of die stamps, more complicated patterns such as “Kings”, “Jenny Lind”, “Olive” and “Medallion” became fashionable.

Browse the Coin Silver Flatware Catalogue