1. Looking Up
The question I hear most often is "How much is this silverware?" You'll find me looking up almost constantly to see which piece they are holding. This lady had more than one piece. She, like most shoppers, was holding the items in such a way that the pattern on the handle was covered up. The price of a piece of silverware is determined by a combination of pattern, piece function, and condition.
Another very common question is, "Do you know the name of this pattern?" With the question they show me the piece they have brought from home, or sometimes a picture of it they have taken with their phone. I know the name of most of the patterns from many years of working with them, but if I don't, I can look them up in my pattern book. This nearly always sheds some light on the question. The pattern of the two pieces shown in this picture are Daffodil and Heritage. Both are very popular patterns.
3. Favorite Mobile Device
My first cell phone was similar to the small one in this photo. I have had several styles since that first one. The larger phone is a Galaxy Note 3. I like it better than any phone I have ever had. The display is big enough to read easily and when a customer sends me a picture of the piece of silverware they are looking for I can easily see it to determine the pattern.
One of my favorite things to do with my favorite mobile device is to make a note of the prompts for each week of SHS so I can look at them quickly any time I want. The little rectangle of light on the phone must have reflected from the lights that were very high up above my booth.
A lot of people ask how to tell the difference between sterling silver and silver plate. "Is it that sterling tarnishes?" some ask. The answer is that both sterling and silver plate tarnish. They look the same on the outside. Both of these pieces happen to be sterling, but one is tarnished and one has been recently polished.
The difference in sterling and silver plate is what is on the inside. Some of these pictured are sterling and some are silver plated, some are tarnished and some are not, some are in good condition and some show plate wear. The second piece from the top, a spoon, and the knife below both have large areas of the inside metal showing. Sterling will not do this. It will be the same all the way through.