Why choose a silver plated rose over one in gold? Well, why not? Dipped in silver so as to preserved it for a lifetime, a silver plated rose is as rich and breathtaking as a rose in gold. It makes a wonderful anniversary gift or even a gift for a birthday or special 'holiday' like Mother's Day.
Sterling silver is actually an alloy of silver which contains 92.5 percent [of silver] with the rest being made up of copper. Pure silver (99 percent) or fine silver is usually too soft to be able to produce anything functional, thus the metal is alloyed with copper so as to make it stronger.
It is generally agreed that the alloy of sterling originated in continental Europe, where, as early as the 12th century in what is now northern Germany, it was being used for commerce. When it came time to set what was referred to as a proper table, from about 1840 to around 1940 in both Europe and the United States, flatware made of sterling silver was the thing to use. During that period, silver companies increased exponentially.
For a 50 year period, from 8170 to 1920, there was a silver craze; in lines of flatware found during this period, there were often up to 100 different types of pieces. At the same time, the 'usual' three dinner course meal went to ten and more courses; it included: a soup course, a salad course, a fruit course, a cheese course, an antipasto course, a fish course, a main course, and finally, dessert. The different utensils used included forks (place fork, dinner, fork, salad fork, shrimp or cocktail fork, pastry fork), knives (place knife, dinner knife, fruit knife, butter spreader, cheese knife), and spoons (coffees spoon, teaspoons, bouillon spoon, demitasse spoon, teaspoon, iced tea spoon, gumbo soup spoon). During the Victorian period, etiquette required that one's fingers should never be used to touch the food, therefore all of this pieces of cutlery would have been used.
Sterling silver flatware sets often also came along with other [sterling silver] sets such as tea services hot water pots, goblets, trays, cups and saucers, egg cups, plates, napkin rings, coasters, center pieces, candelabra's, to name a few. The sterling craze also carried over into business with sterling page clips, letter openers, and mechanical pencils, to the bedchamber with mirrors, manicure sets, hair brushes, powder bottles, and perfume bottles, and with children (rattles, cups, and christening sets).
Around the time of World War II, sterling silver became increasingly unpopular thanks to labor costs (pieces made form sterling silver were mostly hand made). In addition, it was only the very rich who could even afford the amount of servants required when serving ten course meals, not to mention that people began to want dinnerware that was much easier to clean.
With a hand-picked real rose and a 40 step hand-crafted process, a silver plated rose can go on to to be preserved for eternity all the while leaving the delicate details of the petals and leaves visible and intact.