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Removing silver plate

Hopefully you will all forgive me for being slightly off the jewelry
topic, but does anyone know how to remove silver plate? I have a
beautiful teapot which is silver plate on copper with pewter handles
which I would rather have with the copper finish. I’ve seen this done
before but don’t know how to remove it. Should I just use my jewelers
torch to melt it off or is there a chemical process which would be
safer to the copper and pewter? My guess is that the pewter would
melt before the silver plate would, but I don’t really know. Thanks
for any help!

Cheryl Ford

DON’T USE A TORCH!!! You can abrade the silver off the surface
with wet and dry paper but it will take a long time. Electrostripping
will work (it’s a send away job) but it too is complex.

Your best bet is to use your flex shaft to grind the surface off
slowly and carefully. Look forward to a couple of days hard, messy
work…unless someone else knows better?

Tony Konrath
Gold and Stone

Cheryl, your right. The pewter would melt before the silver. There are
a few ways to remove the silver. The first would be sand blasting.
The second would be buffing it off with a combination of compound
then Tripoli and then rouge.the third is with chemicals. This
requires a rectifier, a combination of cyanide and water and lead
anodes using reverse current. If your not familiar with cyanide,
don’t use this method. If you would like to call me to discuss this,
feel free to do so. Raymond at Trio Silversmiths 215 925 8746

cheryl - the only experience i’ve had was with a large antique dining
room chandelier that was silver plated over brass & had some cast
parts of either pewter or britana. it had been replated early in the
20th century & needed it again right at the time silver shot up so
high. the silversmith we routinely used for other big items suggested
the whole thing be ‘brushed’ down to the brass & only the
pewter/britana parts be plated.

you could just have someone do the same with your tea pot without
plating the handle. (the chandelier turned out beautifully)

good luck -


    does anyone know how to remove silver plate?  I have a beautiful
teapot which is silver plate on copper with pewter handles which I
would rather have with the copper finish. 

G’day. My first suggestion is that you should certainly NOT get
strong heat near your teapot. There is more than one way of stripping
silver plate from a base metal; one is by standing the article a short
while in a special chemical strip, but unless you are familiar with
working with strong acids and other chemicals, you should not attempt
it yourself. Another is electrolytic stripping - literally ‘plating
off’, and again, unless you have chemical experience, don’t do it! It
could also be abraded off, but this could provide an unsatisfactory
finish. The pewter handles would have to be removed; I suspect that
they are riveted in place, and the rivets would be simply drilled out
and then replaced when the processing is completed.

Finally, there are many companies who are prepared to strip and even
replate metal articles, and the charge isn’t very great; to them it
is a simple everyday process. I suggest you contact one.
Unfortunately I can’t give you any addresses as I live too far away
from you. Cheers,

John Burgess; @John_Burgess2 of Mapua Nelson NZ

When I first started doing jewelry, I bought a polishing arbor and
various types of bar polishing compounds. Being eager to check out my
new toys, I put a polising buff on the machine, turned it on, and
touched this gold bar labelled “bobbing compound” to the buff. I then
picked up a silver plated cup that I had won at a dog show and
proceded to “polish it.” In about 10 seconds, the bobbong conpound
had cut down to the brass.

Bummer! But it sure did remove the silver plate!

Virginia Lyons

I think that you’re right about the pewter melting before the
silverplateing. I would try some elbow grease with my finest sandpaper
or better, just buff it off if you have a buffer. I suspect that
either bobbing compound or gray star would take it off.

Marilyn Smith