FAQs

FAQs

Sterling Silver

How should I store my sterling silver?

Store sterling silver in an airtight silver chest or protective bags made of tarnish-proof cloth made especially for this purpose (the pieces you purchase from Lifetime Sterling will come with protective flannel bags, and we also sell a complete line of storage products). Choose a dark, dry storage place for your flatware to help prevent tarnishing. Learn more.

How do I clean my sterling silver?

Promptly wash or rinse your sterling silver with hot water after each use. We recommend hand washing in hot, sudsy water (if necessary, clean crevices with a worn toothbrush or fine natural-bristle brush). Rinse in clear, hot water, and immediately dry the pieces with a chamois or soft cotton cloth to avoid spotting. Sterling silver can also be washed in the dishwasher, though keep sterling silver and stainless steel flatware in separate baskets in the dishwasher, and keep detergent to a minimum (avoid lemon scented detergents and those containing chloride as they can cause damage). Remove sterling silver from the dishwasher before the dry cycle and dry items immediately and completely with a soft towel to avoid spotting. Make sure your sterling silver is completely dry before you store it. Learn more.

What causes sterling silver to tarnish?

Exposure to air, dampness, and light causes sterling silver to tarnish. Tarnish is a chemical reaction between a metal and a nonmetal caused by chemicals in the air, such as sulfur. Oxygen and sulfur dioxide react with sterling silver to produce a dull grey or black film over the surface, which can be polished off. Daily use will help prevent this oxidation process and require little to no polishing. See Silver Care products.

How do I keep my sterling silver from tarnishing?

Daily use of your sterling silver will help prevent it from tarnishing. Also, keeping your sterling silver stored in a dark, dry place will help prevent tarnishing as exposure to air and light promotes tarnishing. Protecting your sterling silver in tarnish-proof cloth or in an airtight silver chest is also recommended to reduce tarnishing. See Silver Storage products.

What is the difference between a 4-piece and 5-piece setting?

A 4-piece setting includes one each of the following utensils: a knife, fork, salad fork, and teaspoon. A 5-piece setting includes a knife, fork, salad fork, soup spoon, and teaspoon. See Flatware

What are the different sizes of flatware?

Sterling silver flatware is available in three different sizes: "Place Size" is the most common and the smallest of the three sizes. "Dinner Size" is the middle range in size with a larger fork and knife. "Continental Size" is the largest, with a longer fork, knife, and soup spoon. All of the other pieces in each setting are the same size. Learn more

"Place Size" is the most common and smallest of the 3 sizes; "place" was historically the luncheon-size flatware, thus the fork and knife are smaller. "Dinner Size" is the middle range in size; the fork and knife in dinner size are a half-inch larger than place size. "Continental Size" is the largest size flatware; continental size features a longer fork, knife, and soup spoon than the other sizes. All of the other pieces in each setting are the same size. Learn more

What if one of my pieces gets damaged?

We warranty all of the sterling silver we sell at Lifetime Sterling. If a piece you purchased from us gets damaged, simply send it to us and our experts will inspect the piece and replace it if necessary. To learn more, see our full Warranty.

What if my silver gets scratches?

It is the natural progression of sterling silver flatware to develop a patina with use over time. This adds to the beauty of the pieces. Remember to rotate the use of your pieces so they wear evenly. If you clean your sterling silver in the dishwasher, keep it in a separate basket from stainless items to help prevent scratching. Also, to prevent scratching, do not store sterling silver loose in drawers, or in a drawer that is opened frequently; we recommend storing sterling silver in an airtight silver chest or protective bags made of tarnish-proof cloth made especially for this purpose (the pieces you purchase from Lifetime Sterling will come with protective flannel bags, and we sell a full line of storage products).See Silver Storage products.

How is sterling silver made?

All the sterling silver flatware and tableware from Lifetime Sterling is crafted with the utmost attention to detail, combining 0.927 parts pure silver with 0.73 parts nickel alloy, which provides strength and hardness. There are several steps involved in creating each piece of sterling silver flatware, starting with blanking, then rolling, cutting out, striking to form the pattern, then finishing and trimming. Learn more

Where is the sterling silver flatware from Lifetime Sterling made?

All of the sterling silver flatware offered from Lifetime Sterling is proudly made in the USA by our master craftsmen in our own company-owned manufacturing facilities.

Can I get individual pieces of my sterling silver pattern?

All of the sterling silver patterns sold by Lifetime Sterling are available in sets or complete place settings, as well as individual pieces.

How can I identify the pattern I have?

Our experts can help you determine the pattern and the brand. Send us a photo of your piece of flatware by email or fax it toll-free to 1-800-717-2481 along with your contact information and our customer service department will research it for you.

Is one brand better than another?

No. All of our brands of flatware are made in the same factory. Each receives the same high quality workmanship and attention to detail.

Why do some patterns cost more than others?

The cost of sterling silver flatware is determined by the silver content. Since silver is a precious commodity, and the pieces vary by weight, the heavier the piece, the higher the cost.

Is the sterling silver I buy on this site new?

Yes, all of the sterling silver sold by Lifetime Sterling is brand new. And all of our sterling silver flatware is manufactured by master craftsmen in our own manufacturing facilities right here in the USA. We make it, we stock it, and it's shipped to you directly from us. Learn more about why to buy from us.

What is my sterling silver worth?

You can determine the value of your sterling silver by consulting a local professional appraiser.

 

STAINLESS STEEL

How do I care for my stainless flatware?

Stainless steel flatware is so easy to take care of. It's hand washable, dishwasher safe, and requires very little care. Since it's so durable, it will last for years if you follow a few simple rules. To learn more, read How to care for stainless steel flatware.

What do I do if there are rust spots on my stainless?

If your stainless steel flatware does stain or develop rust spots, using a worn toothbrush or fine natural-bristle brush, gently scrub the stains with a paste made from water and baking soda, and rinse thoroughly with warm water. To learn more, read How to care for stainless steel flatware.

Where is the stainless flatware made?

All of the stainless offered from Lifetime Sterling is proudly made by some of the best factories around the world.

Can I get individual pieces of my pattern?

All of the stainless steel patterns sold by Lifetime Sterling are available in sets or complete place settings only.

Is one brand better than another?

No. All of the stainless steel brands sold by Lifetime Sterling are of the highest quality available, crafted from 18/10 stainless steel, 18/8 stainless steel or 18/0 stainless steel.

 

ORNAMENTS

How do I care for and store my ornaments?

Sterling silver ornaments will require very little care if properly stored. All Lifetime Sterling ornaments are shipped with our signature protective flannel storage bag and gift box in which we recommend you can keep your ornament stored when not on display.

Can I get previous year's ornaments?

Lifetime Sterling currently does not offer past editions.

How much are my ornaments worth? Do they increase in value?

While we don't offer sterling silver appraisals, series sterling silver ornaments can be expected to increase in value due to their collectability. You can determine the value of your sterling silver by consulting a local professional appraiser.

 

GENERAL QUESTIONS

What type of warranty do I have?

All sterling silver and stainless from Lifetime Sterling comes with a Lifetime Limited Warranty. During the warranty, we will repair or replace a defective item, at our option, without charge. This warranty does not cover any damage resulting from the improper use or any other cause not arising out of defects in materials or workmanship. To learn more, see our full Warranty.

How long does it take to receive my purchase?

Orders shipped standard ground typically leave our distribution center in 1-2 business days, and should be delivered to your door within 5-10 business days. Orders shipped priority should be at your door within 3 business days. Orders shipped Rush should be at your door within 1-2 business days. To learn more, read our full Shipping Policy.

Is my credit card purchase secure?

Yes, you can rest assured all of your credit card and private information for purchases on Lifetime Sterling is fully secure. To learn more, read our Privacy Policy.

Is my personal information secure?

Yes, you can rest assured all of your private information for purchases on Lifetime Sterling is fully secure. To learn more, read our Privacy Policy.

How much are the shipping costs?

Lifetime Sterling uses UPS as its preferred shipper, and shipping fees vary depending on the cost of the items purchased and the delivery method you choose (standard, priority, or rush). To learn more, read our complete Shipping Policy.

Will I be charged a sales tax?

Merchandise and delivery charges are subject to state and local taxes for shipments to NY and PA. Merchandise ONLY is subject to state and local taxes for shipments to CA, MA, and NJ.

What is your return policy?

We offer you a no hassle return policy. If you don't like it or want it, we'll take it back, no questions asked! The only items excluded from this return policy are monogrammed and used pieces, which are not returnable. Unused items should be returned within 90 days. Read our complete Return Policy.

How do I replace lost pieces?

An outstanding feature of sterling silver flatware is the availability of open stock. Individual pieces of sterling silver patterns featured on our site are readily available or can be special ordered.

How can I contact the manufacturer?

Lifetime Sterling is a division of Lifetime Brands, the manufacturers of Wallace, Gorham, Towle, Kirk Stieff, International, and Tuttle sterling silver brands; so when you buy from us, you're buying directly from the source. We'd love to hear from you! You can reach us via email, or call us toll-free at 1-(800) 264-0758 Monday through Friday, 9:00am to 7:00pm ET. 12/22 and 12/29, 9:00am to 3:00pm ET. Closed 12/25 and 1/1.

Do you offer repair services?

Our Lifetime Sterling warranty covers all of our sterling silver brands and we repair or replace any piece found to be defective. See our Warranty.

Where can I purchase discontinued items?

You can find some discontinued items in our clearance section

How many placesettings do I need?

The number of placesettings you need depends on the number of people in your household, the size of your table, and your entertaining style. Typically, we recommend two extra placesettings above the number that fits at the size of your table. Also, if you entertain often and serve buffet-style, you may consider doubling the number of placesettings. Many people purchase double the number of teaspoons and double the number of salad forks, or purchase dessert forks to supplement their placesettings.