I recently bought three old tablespoons on eBay (stop laughing at
me). They were stamped sterling and I think they were. I used them
to cast a bunch of pieces the other day, but when I melted them in
the crucible with an oxy-acetylene torch and a neutral flame, there
was a lot of hissing and some dark smoke given off. After the cast,
the pieces were clipped from the sprues and pickled, and the color
of the parts is a satin white, as you’d expect.
My question is this: is there a plating process that they use in
producing flatware that can explain what I observed? The hissing and
smoking had me thinking that I should abort the mission, but I
continued anyway because of the time spent getting to that point.
Plus I never like to think that things can go wrong.
Thanks for any thoughts,