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However, there's also a lot to know about antique silver, and it's a good idea to educate yourself about this exciting area of antiques.

Over the years, manufacturers have made thousands of different types of objects out of silver and silverplate.

In looking through my cocktail strainer pictures and patents, I came across one that was very similar, a September 26, 1882 patent by Thomas Miller, No. The strainer cut out was different but otherwise, to me, it looked the same. It was for an ale or beer measure and the patent date was February 26, 1878, No. Although this beer measure patent predated the one for the liquor mixer by four years, he didn’t mention anything about the Queen.

If you're considering a piece for your collection, always take some time to examine its condition.

Dents, heavy corrosion, worn silverplate that reveals the base metal, scratches, broken areas, and other types of damage can detract from the value of your item.

These marks correspond to a specific manufacturer and sometimes to a date or location.

When buying antique pieces for your collection, it's important to be able to get a sense of an item's age.

Silver-plated items are almost always less expensive than their sterling counterparts, due to the inherent value of the silver metal.