Super Inox AP 'fake" silver 800 cutlery?

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Greenwood
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Super Inox AP 'fake" silver 800 cutlery?

Postby Greenwood » Fri Dec 17, 2021 2:52 am

Hi all,

I've often seen sets marked ARG800/ARG1000/AMZ800 etc. and always knew them to be misleading knockofs, Swiss and Italian tourist pieces of cheap silverplate (not worth my time basically). However, lately I've come across a similair set marked:

[AP][800 in a lozenge] - which struck me as peculiar. The knife blades are marked [Super Inox]. This cutlery looks the same as some of the ARG800 sets, of poor workmanship. It appears to have occasional blisters on the surface and the seams of the casting process are clearly visible. There are even little seams on the points of the forks teeth. The stem of the soup ladle is so thick it's almost laughable how poorly designed this is.

Image
The back of a spoon showing the markings. Notice the blisters on the bottom of the handle.

Image
This is just so...crude. It look inflated and overdone.

I was about to throw it into the trash but the "800" marking kept nagging at me. What if it is real? . Then I had an idea. Now call me barbarian but I decided to saw a fork in half to see the inside of the piece and commit it to some testing. This is where it gets interesting as I am now pretty dumbfounded at the fact that this set does appear to be solid silver. The AG-fluid tests all come in blood red on the insides. The weight of the pieces also corresponds to that of validated silver pieces. It appears these pieces where cast in 2 parts and then mechanically fused into a whole, leaving the seams on the sides.

My findings:
- AG tests on the insides show a positive result on silver
- The material is way more sturdy/less bendable than other silver pieces I have
- Non-magnetic even on the interior
- Weight corresponds to that of silver


It's just so conflicting. Looking at it I just can't believe this to be silver, but all tests and signs do point to it being so.

Some pictures of the AG-test:

Image
Image
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Just wanted to share this with you all.

Joerg
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Re: Super Inox AP 'fake" silver 800 cutlery?

Postby Joerg » Fri Dec 17, 2021 7:55 am

Hi
very interesting. Yes, here in Central Europe you stumble across these ARG800 sets quite regularly. They also pop up on auction platforms etc.
Your set has quite a distinctive pattern, different from the normal ARG800 type. And it appears your 800 mark is stamped. Usually the ARG800 mark is part of the casting, raised. You are right, the bubbles are disturbing, indicating a base metal and a plating.
For the benefit for the forum, can you post sharp pictures of the marks, and pictures of whole pieces, forks, spoons etc?
And, can you sandpaper deep in the surface where the bubbles are, until the base material is exposed in large? Then make the test there.
It is possible this is an .800 silver set, just cheaply made (such items were produced in the 1950ies), however they should not be very heavy. As you may be aware, most .800 silver sets are galvanized with 100% silver so they do not look reddish, but silvery. So a loose galvanized layer on an .800 silver piece could be possible. However, I have never seen anything like this.
Regards, Jörg

Greenwood
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Re: Super Inox AP 'fake" silver 800 cutlery?

Postby Greenwood » Fri Dec 17, 2021 12:37 pm

Joerg wrote:Hi
very interesting. Yes, here in Central Europe you stumble across these ARG800 sets quite regularly. They also pop up on auction platforms etc.
Your set has quite a distinctive pattern, different from the normal ARG800 type. And it appears your 800 mark is stamped. Usually the ARG800 mark is part of the casting, raised. You are right, the bubbles are disturbing, indicating a base metal and a plating.
For the benefit for the forum, can you post sharp pictures of the marks, and pictures of whole pieces, forks, spoons etc?
And, can you sandpaper deep in the surface where the bubbles are, until the base material is exposed in large? Then make the test there.
It is possible this is an .800 silver set, just cheaply made (such items were produced in the 1950ies), however they should not be very heavy. As you may be aware, most .800 silver sets are galvanized with 100% silver so they do not look reddish, but silvery. So a loose galvanized layer on an .800 silver piece could be possible. However, I have never seen anything like this.
Regards, Jörg


Dear Jörg,

Thank you for your quick and detailed response. Indeed it might simply be a poorly made silver set. The suggestion you did about .800 sets having an extra layer of purer silver added makes sense and could be what is going on here. I sanded the blistered handle down to the base to expose the metal beneath. I did a 30 second touch with a sanding machine and some heavy sanding by hand afterwards, so any layer of plating has to have been destoryed in the process. It does appear as silver to me, and the fluid test once again shows a deep reddish colour, indicating silver.

For the sharing of information's sake, I've added some more pictures.

Closeup of marks (the 800 is engraved) - AP with Dog (a Poodle):
Image


The pieces:
Image

Looking at them this way, they don't look so bad, but the devil is in the detail :)

The deep metal of the pieces:
Image

dognose
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Re: Super Inox AP 'fake" silver 800 cutlery?

Postby dognose » Fri Dec 17, 2021 1:12 pm

Hi,

Interesting topic, thanks for starting it. We've had many posts regarding that AP poodle mark.

Image Image

Just to add, Jörg noted ARG800, but AMC800 has also been noted along with that AP poodle mark:

Image



Trev.

legrandmogol
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Re: Super Inox AP 'fake" silver 800 cutlery?

Postby legrandmogol » Sun Dec 19, 2021 11:40 am

usually, when things bubble up like that, it's because plating over zinc is usually the culprit. Some more things to consider are perhaps your silver acid has gone bad? It doesn't stay good forever and the silver testing acid usually goes bad faster than gold acids. Also, How does your acid react to zinc? all post-1982 US pennies are mostly zinc, you could test it on that, just file into the penny first. I also recommend filing into the piece rather than cutting or sanding. Cutting will sandwich the outer layer over the insides rather than exposing them sometimes. I have been working in the scrap precious metal business professionally for 8 years now and I have this is the most reliable way of getting to the base metal. If you still believe the piece is real, take it to a scrap dealer and see if they'll buy it. If they are willing to buy it (and they didn't just open yesterday) then the odds are pretty good it's real.
On a final thought, is there documentation on the idea that 800 silver is galvanized with 1000 silver? That kinda strikes me as ridiculous but I suppose anything is possible. I would just like to see proof before I'll believe it. I have lots of 800 silver objects that are quite old and when polished look very silver to me and I know they don't have layers of 1000 silver over them. I'm not trying to start anything and I am ready to believe it but not without actual evidence.

Joerg
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Re: Super Inox AP 'fake" silver 800 cutlery?

Postby Joerg » Mon Dec 20, 2021 5:04 pm

Hi
to legrandmogul, on silver plating "massive, 800, 925" silver. See the Youtube video from Robbe&Berking:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5PUDXRsGSVA
in 1:50 they start galvanising, explaining in German they even galvanize 925 Sterling.

then, I think, the set is not silver from all the evidence of the poodle mark
Regards
Jörg

amena
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Re: Super Inox AP 'fake" silver 800 cutlery?

Postby amena » Tue Dec 21, 2021 4:31 am

Very interesting topic.
I must say that in the many years that I have frequented many Italian markets, I have been able to see hundreds if not thousands of cutlery marked ARG 800 or ARG 1000, but I have never seen the poodle mark.
The acid tests of wich Greenwood shows us the photos, seem convincing, and if he doesn't want to play a joke on it, I'm convinced the cutlery is solid silver.
It is possible that that company made silverplate cutlery but also solid silver.
If Greenwood would sacrifice a knife handle too for further test, this could corroborate the evidence.
Best
Amena

Greenwood
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Re: Super Inox AP 'fake" silver 800 cutlery?

Postby Greenwood » Fri Dec 24, 2021 1:10 am

Hello all,

It might indeed be that my acid has gone bad. I've had it for over a year now, so I'll try to get me another bottle soon. Even then though, the test doesn't react on obvious metals even though it's old. Knife blades and the like stay green, and validated silver pieces turn red in an instant. Nevertheless, old acid is a factor that must be ruled out if we are to be certain.

Amena: thanks for your response. I could sacrifise a knife in the name of science, I suppose :) . Even if this set does by the odd chance turn out to be silver 800, selling it might prove very difficult because a lot of people are aware that this ARG800 etc. is somewhat of a scam, really.

Things I'll do to take up the points by legrandmogol and amena:

1. Test my acid on zinc. If the test comes out positive, buy a new AG acid bottle.
2. File down a knife handle.
3. Post back here.

It might take a while before I'll have any results, as with the holidays coming up many shops won't deliver for at least until the 27th. I'll keep you guys posted when I have anything to share!

Greenwood
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Re: Super Inox AP 'fake" silver 800 cutlery?

Postby Greenwood » Wed Jan 12, 2022 3:59 pm

Good evening all,

It's been a while, but I've since done some more tests and can now confidently say that this set is a fake of the worst kind.

I've bought a new bottle of AG fluid as well as a new magnet, and these have given me the following results:

- The fluid does react to the outer layer, albeit very slowly (it takes about 10 seconds for the fluid to turn reddish. With proper silver, it doesn't even take 1 second to turn blood red.. Strangely enough, normal silver plate also reacts instantaneously. Might this be a plating of some kind of silver-alloy?
- The pieces are slightly magnetic.
- The insides of the knive handles are filled with a cement-like substance
- The forks and spoons, too, are filled with this cement, albeit not on the whole of the inside but only at the center of the stems. Outside of this is a non-silver base metal which carries a thin layer of plating.

What I think is going on here:

Instead of being a silver-plated set simply marked as 800 silver, the manufacturer of these pieces actually tried a little harder. The cement inside of the pieces of course is non-magnetic, which might trick some of the weaker magnets like the one I've had before. Now, knife handles being filled with cement, plaster of paris and the like is nothing new, and a standard practise even with silver cutlery. Yet this is done to fix the blade and make the knives a bit weighter and more solid. However, this makes no sense in spoons and forks as base metals like brass, nickel silver etc. are sturdy enough. Unless of course you don't want your pieces to be magnetic, adding another factor that might make people conclude it is 800 silver.

All in all, this has been good fun. I'm happy I finally know the truth behind these AP800 sets.

dognose
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Re: Super Inox AP 'fake" silver 800 cutlery?

Postby dognose » Wed Jan 12, 2022 4:44 pm

Hi Greenwood,

Many thanks for sharing the results of your research with us.

Trev.

amena
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Re: Super Inox AP 'fake" silver 800 cutlery?

Postby amena » Thu Jan 13, 2022 12:09 pm

There is something I do not understand in this matter.
Let's skip the magnetic test, which in my opinion has no value in this case, and let's focus on the acid test.
Silver acid is not a magical liquid, but a simple chemical compound. One day an expert even explained to me how the mixture transformed metallic silver into silver chromate or bichromate, I don't remember exactly.
In any case, the test can be summarized in:
no red, no silver.
Now let's assume that the acid can go bad
It doesn't stay good forever and the silver testing acid usually goes bad faster than gold acids.

I expect a drop of gone bad acid not to turn red on a piece of real silver, but not to turn red on a piece of other metal.
Amena

Traintime
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Re: Super Inox AP 'fake" silver 800 cutlery?

Postby Traintime » Thu Jan 13, 2022 1:39 pm

Tracking the metals is one thing, but tracking the marks is needed too. Note that [AMC 800] is clearly linked to [Poodle AP]. In addition [AMZ crown 800] might relate to [AMZ-in-lozenge 800] by inference only: viewtopic.php?f=18&t=52272&p=170954&hilit=AMZ+800+mark&sid=0181ad332448583190446a2fe3ca0878#p170954

Now, it is not clear if [AMC 800] is related to [AMZ 800], but if so, then we have Poodles and lozenges to suggest a French influence, but not necessarily within France. And the alpine zone subject of the souvenir spoon might further implicate a firm somewhere nearby. Is anyone definitely convinced that Italy is involved, as has been suggested previously? I don't see any clues that may point to Belgium, nor Holland, but Swiss seems possible. If these marks are related, then this might be a matter of 800 alloys with alterations relating to zinc, copper, or whatever designated in the letters.

Traintime
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Re: Super Inox AP 'fake" silver 800 cutlery?

Postby Traintime » Thu Jan 13, 2022 2:35 pm

Here is the [AMZ-in-lozenge 800] Interlaken spoon: viewtopic.php?f=8&t=53910&p=170966&hilit=interlaken#p170966

-Currently listed on a big known hawker's site is a "white flower" charm with that same marking. Looks very "alpine" to me. But is it solid silver alloy?
-Worthpoint holds full sets of [AMZ Crown 800] flatwares in a shell pattern sometimes referred to as Kings. Super INOX has been noted as a marking. Sets often come in boxes, but no maker tags noted. (Hope for the sake of the buyers that this stuff is what it claims to be. A fool and his money are easily parted.) Knife blades are marked with crown but could not read what was in both sides of that. It seems more possible that [AMC 800] is sourced from the same makers. But none of these sellers seems to agree whether Germany or Italy....they just throw out whatever without substantial proof (and some lousy photos).

Traintime
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Re: Super Inox AP 'fake" silver 800 cutlery?

Postby Traintime » Thu Jan 13, 2022 3:10 pm

BTW-Why isn't anyone considering the Austrians as a potential culprit in this one?

Traintime
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Re: Super Inox AP 'fake" silver 800 cutlery?

Postby Traintime » Thu Jan 13, 2022 5:02 pm

If we search for something that looks like mink but smells like rat, then perhaps there is a history before their INOX seemed to aquire Super powers....which leads to the question of what this was all about: viewtopic.php?f=8&t=4152&p=8505&hilit=INOX#p8505

Note the use of a crown? And what of this Sterling 925 claim? ACC mark? And a like, reportedly Italian, piece? Hmmn.

Traintime
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Re: Super Inox AP 'fake" silver 800 cutlery?

Postby Traintime » Thu Jan 13, 2022 5:10 pm

The trail on that leads to Allessio Cesa & Company, legitimate silver makers. Crown trademark. Any chance they were also engaged in silverplate work?

Greenwood
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Re: Super Inox AP 'fake" silver 800 cutlery?

Postby Greenwood » Thu Jan 20, 2022 11:55 am

Hello all,

A final update regarding the cutlery:

I sent 4 pieces (1 table fork, 1 table knife, a table spoon and a tea spoon) to a gold-buyers office who had it scanned using x-ray equipment fit to scan metal for the alloy. The results were:

- Zinc: 74.8%
- Copper: 17.1%
- Nickel: 8%

There is no silver whatsoever, proving both the fakeness of this AP800 cutlery and the unreliability of acid-testing on metal.

dragonflywink
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Re: Super Inox AP 'fake" silver 800 cutlery?

Postby dragonflywink » Thu Jan 20, 2022 3:09 pm

Thank you for posting your results.

~Cheryl

Greenwood
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Re: Super Inox AP 'fake" silver 800 cutlery?

Postby Greenwood » Thu Jan 20, 2022 4:13 pm

Traintime wrote:The trail on that leads to Allessio Cesa & Company, legitimate silver makers. Crown trademark. Any chance they were also engaged in silverplate work?


Hi Traintime, thank you for your contribution. While the matter of silver/no silver has been resolved, I am still curious about the maker of this AP- Poodle mark.

Many people suggest a French influence in these sets, but I would beg to differ. Your clue to the Italian Alessio Cesa might be in the right direction.

This cutlery is obviously imitating an 800 silver standard, common in that region in Germany, Austria, Italy, France and Belgium. Germany, Austria and France are ruled out immediately because of the strict hallmarking laws implemented since the 19th century which would make this mark an obvious imposter. Belgium could be possible, although they too had some regulations. Italian silver tended to have some looser regulation, with some pieces bearing only an 800 hallmark (albeit in an oval). If I would make any educated guess, I'd say this firm tried to market their wares as Italian silver.

One curious find I did was that AMC/AMZ/AMC/800 sets were prevelant in the U.K and Belgium, and are often found in my native Netherlands as well. Tourism to Italy and the Alpine region from these countries has been in place since the 1950's, with the 1950's-1970's probably seeing these countries as the most popular holiday destination. I am inclined to believe they were tourist scams aimed at these populations, hence the prevelance of these sets in dusty attics and flea markets today.


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