Sterling silver, also known as .925 Sterling Silver is made up of a minimum 92.5% pure silver with the remaining content usually 7.5% copper for strength. Sterling silver is the most expensive in price, but provides the best medium for manufacturing flatware – it is very pliable and lends itself to intricate designs that cannot be made from any of the other common metals. The consumers who purchase Ricci sterling silver, are doing so because it has prestige, it is elegant, and it endures. Daily usage of sterling silver actually helps to prevent harm to the sterling silver and brings out its natural patina, that people find so beautiful.
Before using your sterling silver for the first time, we recommend that you hand wash it and dry it thoroughly. After every use, sterling should be washed in hot, soapy water, and then rinsed in clear, hot water. Sterling should be dried immediately using a soft towel. Air-drying causes almost all metals to water-spot.
Never leave sterling unwashed overnight, as acidic foods will stain or pit the sterling or the stainless steel knife blades. Prolonged soaking should also be avoided. Never use abrasive sponges or harsh detergents on your silver. Ricci sterling silver may also be washed in a dishwasher without other metals; however, it should be removed from the dishwasher after the rinse cycle and dried immediately to avoid spotting by detergent or water. Overall, washing them in a machine is not recommended and hand washing is preferred.
After washing and drying, Ricci sterling silver should be stored in a clean dry place and in a tarnish resistant box or flatware chest. Your sterling should only require polishing a few times a year, using polish that is specifically made for sterling silver. When polish is needed, polish with long, horizontal strokes, rather than a circular motion. Wash off the polish, carefully, in hot soapy water, then rinse and dry.
To enhance the surface luster, rub with a soft flannel cloth. Do not use rubber bands when storing, as the sulphur in rubber causes staining that cannot be removed. Any minute bits of salt that come in contact with your sterling, will cause pitting.Using your sterling silver on a daily basis is the best way to keep your sterling bright and shining. When tiny surface scratches, which are bound to occur, gradually build up, they give the sterling the patina that makes sterling so classically beautiful.
Remember to rotate the use of your sterling silver place settings to ensure even wear.
Following these simple steps, and your Ricci sterling will give you a lifetime of enjoyment, growing more beautiful and valuable with each passing year.
Silver, Gold and Copper Plated Flatware -
Silver, gold and copper plated flatware is made from a base metal, with a layer of silver, gold or copper electroplated over it. The most common base metal is a nickel silver alloy, but often stainless steel is used. Nickel silver, made up of nickel, copper and zinc, is the best base for plating with silver or gold, as it is more pliable than stainless steel. This allows more of the finer details to come out in an intricate design.
Stainless steel as a base metal for the silver, gold or copper plating can also be used with excellent results when the design is simple and clean in detail. Ricci uses both materials as base metals, depending on the intricacy of the pattern.
While massed produced silver plated flatware is usually only electroplated with a very thin coating of 1-2 microns or less, Ricci flatware is very heavily plated at an average of 10 microns, and the finish will last for many years to come. Gold and copper plate do not wear off as quickly as silver plate, thus requiring a much lighter layer when going through the electroplating process. Ricci gold and copper plating is at .1o microns, whereas most other gold and copper plated flatware is only covered with .03 or even more commonly, only .01 microns! Ricci is committed to producing a high quality product that
will last a lifetime. That is the difference that clearly shows the high standards put into each and every piece of Ricci flatware!
Washing and drying your silver, gold and copper plate should be done in the same hand-washed manner as sterling flatware. Before using your plated flatware for the first time, we recommend that you hand wash it and dry it thoroughly. After use, the plates flatware should be washed promptly in hot, soapy water, and then rinsed in clear, hot water. It should be dried immediately using a soft towel. Air-drying causes almost all metals to water-spot.
Never leave plated flatware unwashed overnight, as the acids in the foods could stain or pit the plating or the stainless steel knife blades. Prolonged soaking should also be avoided. Never use abrasive sponges or harsh detergents on your silver.
After washing and drying, your Ricci flatware should be stored in a clean dry place and in a tarnish resistant box or flatware chest. The plated flatware should only require polishing a few times a year, using polish that is specifically made for silver, gold or copper plate. When polish is needed, polish with long, horizontal strokes, rather than a circular motion. Wash off the polish, carefully, in hot soapy water, then rinse and dry. After, enhance the surface luster by rubbing with a soft flannel cloth.
Never use rubber bands when storing, as the sulphur in rubber tends to cause tarnishing which is virtually impossible to remove. The same applies to minute bits of salt that come in contact with your silver or gold plate for prolonged periods of time. Using your flatware on a daily basis is the best way to keep it looking bright and shining. When tiny surface scratches, which are bound to occur, gradually build up, they give the flatware the patina that makes silver and gold so classically beautiful.
Remember to rotate the use of your plated place settings to ensure even wear.
Stainless Steel Flatware -
Stainless steel is usually made up of steel with a portion of chrome and nickel added. The best quality, 18/10 stainless, is made up of 18% chrome, 10% nickel, and 72% steel. The steel itself is extremely hard, and the chrome gives it its high resistance to rust and corrosion, while the nickel adds some brilliance to its look. Also, because of its high strength and hardness, usually only less intricate designs can be made from the stainless. Lastly, contrary to popular belief, stainless steel is NOT stain-proof, but is stain-LESS, as it is spelled.
Quality stainless steel is identified by its finish, size and weight. Ricci stainless is European sized, made with the finest materials available, creating the distinctive look and feel that Ricci is known for.
When caring for stainless steel, contacts with other metals, such as silver, during washings can cause discolorations or pitting. Discolorations can also be caused by certain foods such as salt, tea, coffee, salad dressing, vinegar and mustard that are absorbed by the oxide film on the steel. To avoid this, your Ricci stainless should be washed and dried promptly after every use.
When washing, do not rinse and stack. If using a dishwasher, do not overcrowd flatware, and leave room for water to circulate. Remove after the rinse cycle and dry immediately.
Stainless steel derives its protection from the oxide film that is inherent in the metal itself, which under certain conditions, tends to absorb any discolorations. The fact that the oxide coating discolors is a result of a chemical reaction in the metal and in no way reflects the quality or the finish.
Pitting and spotting are usually the result of a high mineral content in the water, as well as detergent with a high chloride amount and food with a high content of salt. Prolonged contact with dissimilar metals during washing also contributes to pitting as the metals react to one another.
An occasional cleaning with a good polish specifically made for stainless steel should quickly restore your Ricci stainless flatware to its original lustrous finish.
Knife Blades -
Knife blades on sterling, plated and stainless flatware are made from hardened stainless steel. This grade of stainless, while it is resistant to most foods and chemicals in the home, is subject to spotting and pitting under certain conditions. The conditions that most commonly cause the spotting or pitting are prolonged contact with foods that contain chloride such as salt, salad dressing, etc., or soaking in water overnight. Spotting will also occur if the blades are not dried promptly after washing. Prolonged soaking in water should also be avoided, especially where the pieces touch each other, as the metal can also react to other metal when warm and wet for long periods. The best policy is to wash and dry your flatware as soon as it is practical and not leave it standing. The “rinse and hold” cycle in automatic dishwashers is especially hard on the sterling and stainless flatware, because it keeps the pieces in just the type of conditions that should be avoided, warm and wet for long periods.