It’s sleek, it’s chic, and it looks good anywhere.
Yes . . . use it!

Eat with it, put spoons and forks in the dishwasher (new dishwashers are far more silver-friendly than old ones) or just wash it. Put paperclips in a silver bowl (but not rubber bands), keep your pills in a silver box, your photos in a silver frame, serve gravy in a silver sauceboat – show it off!

Naturally if you are fortunate enough to own a masterpiece of silver or gold it would be irresponsible to use it, for like many things silver gets worn; and you shouldn’t put really good, old, silver in the dishwasher. But don’t be frightened of it; the vast majority of extant silver has been in constant use for many years, sometimes hundreds of years, and is far from being in mint condition – it’s probably been mended, had dents knocked out, been re-polished. It is always difficult, however, to be precise about which silver items should be treated with extra care and which can withstand the wear and tear of daily life – and monetary value isn’t always the criteria. It may help to judge silver like buildings which, in Britain, are protected by a listing system: Grade I (highly important and/or historically interesting, treat with extreme care, damage at your peril), Grade II* (very good, be very careful), Grade II (good and part of the broad heritage, but not of major individual significance) – and then the rest. Most silver falls into the brackets of Grade II and the rest.

And yes, you can eat with silver in the kitchen quite happily. Try it . . .

Much of it is more affordable and more robust than you may believe – it was made to be used. It is only relatively recently that silver has ceased to be part of the daily lives of those who can, and could, afford it. Think of what you spend on computer equipment, on a suit or pair of shoes, on a holiday, on eating and drinking out regularly – and do some comparisons!

And what if an object gets so worn that it’s unusable? Well, those who own silver have known about recycling for centuries . . .

View list of relevant Silver Studies articles