Zilverstad was founded in 1875 and was one of the many silversmith companies in Schoonhoven at that time. The name Zilverstad originates from 1953. Prior to that, the company carried the name of the founder, Pluut. The name Zilverstad was a deliberate choice to make the link to Schoonhoven, the place to go to for metalwork in as early as 1375. A guild was formed in 1640 and since then the silver industry has been greatly expanded. This is why Schoonhoven, to this day, is still the best-known ‘Silver Town’ of the Netherlands. As of 2012, Zilverstad operates as a brand name under the Bredemeijer Group BV umbrella.
The Zilverstad brand, as you may conclude from the name, is very well represented in the product categories Children’s gifts, Photo frames, Home Collection and Promotional gifts. The majority of the products are silver-plated (B90), silver plated lacquered or stainless steel.
When a new world citizen is born, the Dutch tradition is to present the parents with a gift such as a small children’s cutlery set, a rattle or money box. To also engrave the name and birth date of the child adds something special and unique to the gift. With its extensive collection of children’s gifts, Zilverstad is the leading gift company in the Netherlands. The assortment comprises of, among other things:
• Children’s cutlery
• Money boxes
• Little boxes for teeth and hair locks
• Baby cups
• Music boxes
• Photo frames
Materials used by Zilverstad
Metals are called precious when they do not oxidise or, in other words, bind with oxygen (rust). In their pure form precious metals are easy to work with due to their relative softness (silver in particular). This softness, however, will also make silver vulnerable to scratching, wear and bending. For this reason silver is hardened by mixing it with another metal, namely copper. The standards in relation to the minimum quantities of silver are:
Fine silver 100% (1000/1000)
1st content 92.5% (925/1000)
2nd content 83.5% (835/1000)
3rd content 80.0% (800/1000)
Silver-plated is metal covered by a thin layer of silver. In many cases the items are varnished as well, making polishing unnecessary. Items that come into contact with food are often not varnished or use is made of a food-safe varnish.
Stainless steel is also called inox. This metal comes in various qualities. Our cutlery is 18/10 stainless steel. Stainless steel of this quality is food proof and approved by the Dutch Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority (NVWA).
A thin layer of silver is applied to our items using electroplating. This technology involves metal particles being transported to the items to be plated via a direct electric current. The items are immersed in a tank containing a chemical solution that will conduct the direct current necessary for this process. The solution also contains additives for gloss and stability. What is important is that the items to be plated are thoroughly clean. They are first degreased and then immersed in an ultrasonic bath and soap solution. After this, they are rinsed with water and dipped in a solution of acid. The acid ‘opens’ the outer layer for better facilitating of the electroplating.
Silver plated lacquered
Many silver plated items have a layer of lacquer. The advantage being that the items do not require polishing as silver has the tendency to discolour. Items that come into contact with food will not be lacquered or will be coated with a food-safe layer of lacquer.
B90 or heavy plated means that the item is coated with a layer of silver, expressed in microns (mu). We use the following layer thicknesses: • 15 microns : Rattles, letter openers • 25 microns : Teaspoons, children’s cutlery