Women's Tips

Pros and cons of nickel silver appliances

If in plain language and unequivocally say what melchiorthen it is an alloy of copper with nickel of white color. It is very similar in color to silver, so it is successfully “adopted” in the jewelry industry, the production of coins, dishes and other products with the original goal of replacing silver with a cheaper analog.

The introduction of nickel silver has been very successful, since with proper processing, nickel silver products are very difficult to distinguish from silver, at least in color and basic properties. The most noticeable difference from silver - nickel silver is noticeably superior to silver in mechanical strength.

In addition, various components, electrical appliances, etc. are produced from nickel silver.

It is generally accepted that the fusion Melchior was created by the French inventors Maillot (Mayo) and Chorier (Shore) in the 19th century, and it received its name from the combination of their names, distorted in German. Maillot-Chorier eventually turned into Melchior.

The French initially called their alloy just as “Myshor,” but this name did not stick.

However, according to other sources, nickel silver was known in the third century BC under the name "white copper", but for unknown reasons it was forgotten for two thousand years to be rediscovered under a different name, which turned out to be very pleasant to the ear and became very popular.

Also, a similar alloy was known in medieval in China as “pakfong” or “Chinese silver” - presumably an alloy based on bronze, nickel and zinc. Pakfong is considered the progenitor of nickel silver alloy, which is also very similar to nickel silver. Despite the fact that the creation of the alloy is attributed to the French scientists, cupronickel is often referred to under the name "German silver."

The word “Melchior” itself was not invented in the 19th century. According to Western European church traditions, Melchior is the name of one of the three wise men who came to the newborn Jesus with gifts for Christmas.

In the Gospel, the names of the Magi are not mentioned, it is believed that their names "appeared" in the Middle Ages. By coincidence, the name Melchior seemed to someone consonant with two names, more precisely the names of the inventors who discovered this alloy.

The resulting name of the alloy has taken root so much that, by habit, some similar alloys are called by tradition nowadays.

Melchior - alloy composition

The composition of nickel silver is the basis of copper and about 5-30% nickel, as well as small fractions of some other metals that are inevitably present in the composition of any alloys. The most noticeable impurities in cupronickel are iron (up to 1%) and manganese (up to 0.1%).

Roughly speaking, the most common type of alloy is 70% copper + 30% nickel. Crockery, cutlery and jewelry are made of nickel silver with a composition of 70/30.

More precisely, they were made somewhere in the beginning of the 20th century and today are replaced by other similar alloys with similar properties. For example, in the mid-20th century, Melikior cutlery, known to many, was produced from the ISC 15-20 (Nickel Silver).

The composition of nickel silver can change in the direction of reducing nickel and adding copper, as the alloy becomes more and more saturated yellow-red (copper) shade.

Melchior Alloys

In addition to nickel silver, there are many copper-based alloys, and some of them are sometimes called "nickel-silver alloys". Melchior alloys - solid solutions that are easily processed in both hot and cold states. Nickel is responsible for corrosion resistance and strength, with the increase in its share, these parameters also improve.

Most similar to melchior alloy under the uncomplicated name "cupronickel" (chemical Cu-Ni) with the same copper and nickel in the composition, only two elements this time in approximately equal proportions.

Monel is a kind of cupronickel with a nickel fraction of up to 67%.

Constantan - an alloy of copper with nickel 59% / 41%.

Melchior - Nickel silver - Brass

Since our site, let's say, is more devoted to dishes than to jewelry or technical products, we are most interested in three kindred metal - nickel silver, nickel silver and brass. Because the dishes, cutlery and interior items are mainly made from these alloys.

Brass is again a copper based alloy. Unlike nickel silver, copper and zinc plus impurities are part of brass. Brass is classified into many grades, the most interesting for us are L68 and L63 (the composition is about 68% or 63% of copper and 30-35% of zinc, respectively).

Nickel silver (literally translated from German as “new silver”) is an alloy based on copper with nickel and zinc. Again, there are several brands of nickel silver with a slightly different composition, the most interesting for us is MNC 15-20 (composition - 65% copper, 15% nickel, 20% zinc).

Brass and nickel silver of the indicated grades differ little from nickel silver in properties and characteristics, therefore products made of brass and nickel silver are very often called nickel silver. Especially if it is nickel silver products with an external coating of silver, chromium, nickel, etc.

Perhaps these products were called Melchior because of a certain illiteracy of the population of the 19th and 20th centuries, but rather simply the word “Melchior” was more pleasing to the ear, with time it got accustomed and remained in that form. Later, brass and nickel silver almost completely replaced nickel silver.

Today, nickel silver, as such, is used very rarely, at least for the production of household goods.

The differences of the three alloys in simple language: Melchior = copper + nickel Brass = copper + zinc

Nickel silver = copper + nickel + zinc

Melchior is a common name

Today it is quite natural to hear that nickel silver cutlery is made of nickel silver, and nickel silver cup holder is made of brass.

Actually, this is the case in most cases; the words “Melchior” and “Melchior” have become common nouns for a long time and are simply descriptions of a certain group of goods (mainly various dishes, tableware and interior items), which are made from different alloys like Melchior.

It is very simple to find out from which alloy the base of this or that product is made - normal manufacturers must put the appropriate stamp (sample) from the letter designation of the alloy and the numbers - its composition, for example, the same MNC15-20, L-68, MN-19.

MN is exactly the brand of nickel silver (copper-nickel), the numbers are the percentage of nickel content, the remaining abbreviations are described a couple of paragraphs above, we will not repeat.

The only thing is that on the nickel silver table knives there is no stamp, as a rule, only the blade, which is usually made of stainless steel, is marked.

Melchior cutlery is necessarily covered with a layer of silver, and the dishes are covered with silver or cheaper chrome and nickel. Also, silver-plated and nickel-plated products are often covered with a layer of gilding.

The inner surface of chrome-plated and nickel-plated nickel-plated crockery, which is in contact with food, must be tinned (covered with a layer of edible tin). In a silver-plated nickel silver dish, the inner surface often also silvers.

In such a performance, a specific alloy of the base of the nickel silver item (brass, nickel silver or nickel silver itself) is no longer so important - they are almost identical in properties, and from above, in any case, the other metal is in contact and we already see silver or something else.

Melchior - Silver

Today, as we have already mentioned above, cupronickel is almost never used in its pure form. As well as nickel silver. Well, not counting the technical products, complex parts and electrical circuits.

Almost all the products that it makes sense to compare in the format of "differences of nickel silver and silver" are made of nickel silver or nickel silver with a silver coating.

Let's try to consider the main points in the differences of nickel silver and silver.

  1. Useful properties of silver.
    Everyone probably heard about antibacterial, disinfecting, cleansing, etc. properties of silver. And here, I think, you still need to pay extra and buy silver cutlery or dishes. But no matter how. Oddly enough, but nickel silver in this regard is better than silver. The reason is commonplace. Silver products are made of silver 925 (the so-called "sterling") or lower, which is 92.5% silver and 7.5% copper. On the contrary, nickel silver cutlery and dishes are covered with a layer of pure silver, 999.9 samples (99.99% silver, 0.01% impurities). As a result, according to the useful properties of silver, nickel silver is more useful than silver.
  2. Strength.
    Above we have already written that nickel silver exceeds silver in strength, nickel silver and brass have similar properties. This means that, for example, nickel silver cutlery will be more resistant to bending and bending, which means that they will be more durable and will most likely retain their original shape longer. Here again melchior ahead.
  3. Thermal conductivity.
    Silver is one of the metals with the highest rates of electrical and thermal conductivity. Melchior and similar alloys have lower indicators. It would seem that they caught Melchior, but no. Lower thermal conductivity is just better for dishes and cutlery. The walls of dishes and cutlery will be slower and to a lesser extent heated when in contact with hot foods, which means using nickel silver in this case will again be more comfortable than silver.
  4. Price.
    Here it is unequivocal - Melchior is much more accessible than silver.
  5. The thickness of the products.
    From the lower price of nickel silver comes the fact that nickel silver products, as a rule, make more massive due to greater availability of material. This usually means that using such products will be more comfortable. For example, the thickness of cutlery - one of the main indicators of their quality.
  6. Premium.
    The only thing left for silver after the widespread introduction of nickel silver is its high price, which means silver utensils and cutlery remain premium-segment goods and goods of symbolic value and are used by those who need to emphasize their status or the status of a certain event. Silverware was, is and will be. Melchior in this regard for silver never keep up.

Harm nickel silver for health ... or benefit?

It is believed that cupronickel is harmful to health. Of course, if you eat Melchior every day, the harm will definitely be more than just your teeth.

In fact, the harm of nickel silver is due to its composition, more precisely, the main component of the alloy - copper, which, when in contact with many foods, especially hot dishes, can be toxic. Therefore, copper dishes must be tinned (covered inside with food tin).

Melchior dishware is treated in approximately the same way, as we have already mentioned above - they tin, nickel, chrome, silver, gild. Melkhiorovye cutlery - cover with silver.

From this it follows that the harm of nickel silver is nothing more than a myth and horror story from manufacturers of silverware and expensive stainless steel products. Silver-plated silverware is even more useful than all silverware.

If you do not expose the dishes and cutlery from nickel silver to super-aggressive cleaning, they will serve faithfully for several generations of your family, and there will be absolutely no harm for you.

Just do not use abrasive cleaners - metal and other hard scrapers, brushes, powders and pastes that are not specifically designed for silver, and you will get only use from Melchior cutlery and dishes.

Buy cupronickel in our online store

In our catalog, nickel silver is presented in a wide range. You have the opportunity to buy a nickel silver set of cutlery or nickel silver spoons, forks and knives by the piece, glass holders, trays, teapots and other items made of nickel silver, nickel silver, brass, copper, etc.

coated with silver, gold, nickel, chrome or uncoated. We are sure you will find for yourself a lot of nickel silver items that will fill your home with comfort or will be an excellent gift to a loved one. Silver-plated nickel silver is not only not completely inferior to its silver counterparts, it also has a number of significant advantages.

Choose the best, surround yourself with beautiful things.

Nickel silver jewelery

Melchior is an alloy of copper and nickel, sometimes with the addition of iron and manganese. There are alloys with the addition of zinc and silver.

Outwardly, this unusual metal is similar to silver, but it can be of different shades - depending on the composition of the alloy. If the composition includes a bit of silver, then new products from nickel silver can hardly be distinguished from pure silver ones.

Melchior is a very ancient metal, which was known as early as the 3rd century BC. In those days, the alloy of copper and nickel was called nothing more than “white copper.” According to historical evidence, the metal got its name in honor of the sorcerer Melchior, who came to worship the newborn Jesus.

Melchior fans admit that they feel particularly comfortable in these decorations. They seem to warm, radiating some kind of special, radiant energy.

Melchior is protected by the planet of love Venus and Saturn. As a result of such a union, the metal is characterized by inexhaustible and balanced energy, so it is often used in performing magical rituals.

Melchior is considered the metal of wisdom, which gives this quality to its owners. Most of the nickel silver jewelry is suitable for Taurus, Cancer, Lion, Virgo, Libra, Scorpio, Capricorn and Pisces.

Metal has a powerful effect on a person - increases the concentration of thoughts, opens up new areas of activity. Strong energy of the alloy is provided by its composition. Metal adds a sense of balance and stability.

Melchior jewelry is recommended for people with a soft character, natures melancholic and controversial. This will help them to become more resolute, solid, allow them to keep themselves within strict limits, and work more productively and orderly.

But overly tough-minded people, Melchior gives such qualities as insight, understanding and patience.

Melchior is widely distributed throughout the world. In many countries it is called "German silver", because at one time it was the Germans who produced it in large quantities. Mostly cutlery and decorations are made from nickel silver. Most modern silver coins are made of nickel silver.

This is an excellent substitute for silver - the cost of the alloy is lower, the strength characteristics are higher. The mechanical strength of nickel silver is several times higher than silver, which means that the decorations are not deformed - such jewelry can not be demolished in decades.
Melchior has its own special charm.

Artists-jewelers create real masterpieces of this energy-powerful and durable metal. A fantastic combination of colors and textures are amethyst earrings made from nickel silver. Traditionally recognized classic is turquoise in nickel silver. All shades of agate look very gently in a nickel silver frame.

The noble pomegranate, sunny citrine, transparent quartz, radiant tourmaline look spectacular in this design.

Melchior acts as an excellent natural regulator and has a positive effect on many stones: it improves, strengthens and fully reveals their properties. Stones with a calm energy Melchior activates. Too aggressive stones soothes, harmonizes their harsh nature. Melchior alloy is a very useful filter for natural stones.

Melchior earrings and rings in ethnic style look incredibly interesting. With a silver or bronze tint, nickel silver jewelry is very similar to silver or bronze with a patina. They look almost like ancient artifacts that archaeologists find during excavations. Noble and very unusual shade.

Especially valuable property of nickel silver - very high anti-corrosion properties. Metal does not rust both in air and in water, including marine. Corrosion resistance is provided by nickel and iron supplements that are in the alloy.

This is a very important quality of the alloy, thanks to which your earrings or rings will retain their original appearance for many years.

Silver plated Melchior

The silver-plated surface of Melchior has not only excellent aesthetic characteristics, but also unique antiseptic properties. Not without reason table silver has always been present in the homes of wealthy people from time immemorial. Silver ions effectively take care of your health, strengthen the immune system and protect against infections.

The excellent brilliance and healing properties of silver are added to all the positive qualities of nickel silver. Due to the high plasticity of nickel silver, jewelers are provided with virtually unlimited possibilities for creating unique jewelry with sophisticated patterns and ornaments.

Openwork earrings, ornamental rings - such items leave no one indifferent.

Alloy characteristics

Основные свойства мельхиора – высокая прочность получаемого соединения, пластичность и коррозионная устойчивость к агрессивным средам, в частности, к морской воде. Характерная черта — цвет мельхиора, визуально его трудно отличить от серебра. Такая особенность послужила, с момента изобретения, широкому распространению в ювелирном деле в качестве дешевого аналога серебра.

В состав сплава входят такие металлы:

  • Медь – от 70 до 95%,
  • Никель – до 30%,
  • Железо – до 0.8%,
  • Марганец – до 1%.

Initially, the composition of the alloy was zinc, but currently the composition of copper, nickel and zinc are called nickel silver. Being slightly cheaper nickel silver due to the replacement of nickel with zinc, nickel silver was widely used in the production of coins.

The thermal conductivity of nickel silver compounds is one of the lowest among all copper alloys and significantly lower than that of pure copper, and even more so, silver. And since the thermal conductivity of silver is the highest among all metals, this fact can serve as the main distinguishing feature of silver and nickel silver items.

Nickel Silver

The specific heat of the alloy is approximately equal to the average heat capacity of copper and nickel and is 0.4 kJ / (kg ° C) for nickel silver.

The melting point of alloys of copper and nickel depends on the percentage composition of its constituent components, but remains in the range of 1150 - 1230 ° С.

Resistance in seawater served to the wide distribution of nickel silver alloys in the manufacture of nodes operating in seawater.

Attractive appearance allowed the copper alloy to occupy a stable niche in jewelry no longer for fake silver products, but as an independent alloy. Together with high wear resistance, the attractive appearance of nickel silver made it the dominant alloy in the manufacture of coins in different countries.

Nickel silver with a similar composition serves as the basis for the manufacture of precision resistors in electrical and radio engineering.

As before, and now Melchior is actively used in the manufacture of tableware. Spoons of nickel silver have a low cost and are distributed quite widely.

It should be noted that nickel silver vessels, especially forks and spoons, are often covered with a layer of silver. This is done not only for aesthetic reasons or for deception.

The fact is that pure melchior gives a noticeable and unpleasant metallic taste.

Spoons from nickel silver. Tableware from nickel silver

The use of copper-nickel compositions in industry has allowed to increase the operational qualities of the components and at the same time reduce the cost and manufacturability.

Brands of nickel silver

There are several dozen alloys in the group of nickel silver. All of them have similar characteristics, but it is the individual differences in characteristics that are used for application in a particular industry. So the content of iron and manganese reduces the plasticity of products, but increases wear resistance and hardness.

The basis of marking are the symbols of MN, where the letters denote, respectively, copper and nickel. The symbols Ж and Мц indicate the presence in the alloy of a ligature of iron and manganese. The numbers after the letters show the content of impurities.

The first is nickel, and subsequent iron or manganese. For example, the marking of the alloy MNZHMTS 30-1-1 shows the content of 30% nickel and one percent of iron and manganese. The rest is copper, as the basis of the alloy.

How to distinguish cupronickel from silver

It is difficult to distinguish melchior from silver with the naked eye, especially in the absence of experience. There are several techniques that allow you to almost completely avoid errors:

  • Sample availability. The sample is placed only on products made of pure silver. Melchior is labeled MN. Thus, if the product has such symbols, then the metal from which it is made is nickel silver, regardless of whether the product is silver plated or not.
  • A drop of water on the surface in a few hours will give a spot of green on nickel silver. The surface of the silver will remain clean.
  • Lapfolder leaves a dark mark on the alloy, not changing on the silver surface.
  • A drop of iodine has the opposite effect. Keep in mind! Experience with iodine should be carried out in an inconspicuous place, since it will be very difficult to remove the dark mark on the silver thing.
  • Thermal conductivity. Spoons of nickel silver and silver are heated in a glass of water differently. The silver spoon will heat up much faster than the nickel silver. Of course, this experience can be performed subject to the availability of an object for comparison with a known composition and a similar form and mass.

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Melchior - alloy composition, properties and applications

French scientists Mayo and Shore in the beginning of the 19th century explored the possibility of modifying copper alloys. Four years of experiments have shown that the addition of nickel to the composition of the alloy increased the corrosion properties.

The fusion was originally named Mayshor, after the first three letters of the inventors. The active use of the alloy in Germany transformed its name, taking into account the German pronunciation - nickel silver, which is still used today.

The fact that it is a fusion and for what reasons he was so fond of the Germans, and will be discussed below.

Physical and mechanical characteristics

Melchior alloy looks like silver, but has a lower density value, which is 8900 kg / m3. The melting point of nickel silver depends on the grade of the alloy and varies between 1190-1230 ºС.

The electrical resistivity of nickel silver is 285 nΩ * m, which is almost 20 times higher than the same indicator of copper. The decrease in the alloy content of iron and manganese contributes to the property of conducting electrical current.

Melchior has a high value of the temperature coefficient of linear expansion of 16 * 10-6 1 Co. The alloy does not respond to a magnetic field.

The strength characteristics of nickel silver are comparable to those of steel Art.3. Temporary resistance to rupture is in the range of 390-400 MPa. Melchior alloy does not have high hardness. On average, it is 65-70 units on the Brinell scale.

To increase the hardness of the alloy is subjected to heat treatment, which includes heating to a temperature of 250-300 With and slow cooling in the furnace. Also, the mechanical properties of nickel silver increases the hardening of its surface.

Melchior is considered highly plastic alloy. The relative elongation in compression MH19 is 35%. The introduction of manganese and iron in the composition of nickel silver reduces plasticity. Thus, the relative elongation in compression of the MNZhMts 30-1-1 alloy is already 25%.

Chemical characteristics

Melchior belongs to the group of corrosion-resistant materials. Its distinctive feature is the increased resistance to the effects of sea and fresh water, as well as saturated water vapor.

Melchior is not soluble in salts, does not enter into chemical reactions with most organic acids. The alloy does not oxidize at temperatures up to 150ºС.

Technological characteristics

Melchior alloy undergoes all types of technological operations. Due to the presence of high ductility, it is easy to hot and cold press: forging, forging and chasing. It has a high speed of machining this alloy.

Also nickel silver lends itself well to soldering. In order that the seams are not inferior in their strength properties to the main alloy, special tin-lead and silver solders are used.

Application area

Because of all the above qualities, nickel silver alloys have found the following uses in various industries:

  • In the manufacture of components and parts of the marine industry: coolers, expansion barrels and more.
  • In electrical equipment, nickel alloy is used to produce devices for converting thermal energy into electrical energy - thermogenerators. In addition, nickel silver is a material for the manufacture of highly accurate resistors.
  • Melchior serves as a raw material for the manufacture of medical instruments: surgical tweezers, scalpels, ophthalmoscopes, and more.
  • The aesthetic properties of Melchior allowed him to occupy a certain niche in jewelry, making jewelry.
  • Produce cutlery and dishes.
  • Melchior is widely used in numismatics in the manufacture of coins. So, in the plan for 2018 of the Central Bank of the Russian Federation, it is indicated about the minting of commemorative coins of 10 rubles in nickel-nickel alloy worth 15,000,000 rubles.
  • Melchior used in the manufacture of pipelines. Moreover, they produce both pipes and fittings for their connection. These include adapters, tees, crosses, nipples, cap nuts, ball valves, chokes, and more.


The cost of nickel silver alloys is formed based on the value of quotations of copper and nickel on the world non-ferrous metal exchanges. Basically, scrap metal collection points are oriented towards the London Stock Exchange.

The most valuable nickel silver, in which more nickel content in the composition. This is due to its high cost.

Particular attention should be paid to the condition of the surface during the delivery of nickel silver scrap. Traces of rust removal, and even more so its presence, greatly reduces the cost of scrap in the market of non-ferrous metals.

Also important is the form of hire. The nickel silver circle is considered the most valuable, since with the same weight the nickel silver tube takes up more space during transportation. Accordingly, the costs of receiving points for moving scrap metal increase.

Also affects the value of the volume of deliveries. As a rule, metal receivers are made an extra charge when working with nickel-silver scrap over 50 kilograms. This happens due to the reduction of time for the sale of products: the more scrap, the faster it can be sent for recycling.

Melchior costs less than pure metals. The reason for this is the high cost of processing: the separation of the original components from each other. As of October 2017, the average price of nickel silver per gram in Russia is 0.2 rubles.

How to distinguish silver from nickel silver

The determination of the type of material occurs in the evaluation of the value of the product. It is worth noting that you can get the most accurate information about this directly from jewelry specialists. But there are also several ways to distinguish silver from nickel silver at home:

  • The simplest thing is to inspect the product for the presence of silver samples. Melchior alloy, as a rule, has only the stigma, for example, "MN" - copper and nickel.
  • Also the type of metal is determined using water. The product is immersed in water for several hours. If after the time the surface of the water is covered with a greenish film, it means melchior.
  • One of reliable methods for determining nickel silver is to use a lap-up pencil. When rubbing it against an alloy, dark spots appear on the metal surface.
  • Putting a drop of iodine on silver will leave a stain on it, while there is no melchior. The disadvantage of this method is the difficulty of removing this spot later.

What is melchior?

Melchior is an alloy of copper and nickel, which may also include other metals, such as iron, manganese, and zinc. In the last century, products made of such material were very, very popular and practically the only available for ordinary people.

By the way, Melchior got its name thanks to two French inventors who discovered this alloy: Mayo and Shore.

Advantages and disadvantages

For starters, it is worth listing the advantages of nickel silver devices:

  • Spoons of nickel silver do not heat up as quickly as, for example, silver, which is associated with the properties of the metals that make up the composition (the thermal conductivity of copper is slightly lower than silver). That is, if you dip a spoon in hot tea to stir the sugar, you will not burn it when you get it.
  • Affordable price. Yes, such devices are much cheaper than, for example, silver ones. But at the same time they have about the same qualities, and even surpass them in some characteristics.
  • Attractive appearance. Devices look truly elegant, and sometimes just gorgeous.
  • Security. Some believe that nickel silver is harmful and even dangerous, but this is absolutely not the case. The components of this alloy are present in the human body and perform certain important functions, so that even if their smallest particles fall into it, they will definitely not cause harm. And in the environment, nickel silver does not emit any hazardous substances. In general, fear and fear is definitely not because of what.
  • Corrosion Resistance. In other words, nickel silver does not rust, which is good news.
  • Strength. Yes, this material can be called very durable. Spoons and forks do not bend even with a significant mechanical action, such as aluminum or the same silver.
  • Durability. If you contact your parents or simply decide to open an old chest with family values, then among other things you will certainly find a set of nickel silver instruments. And you will be surprised to notice that time has not changed it at all. Yes, it is likely that a raid has formed on the surface, but it is easy to get rid of it if you know some secrets.

  • Unfortunately, any nickel silver devices rather quickly lose their original appearance. And this is completely unrelated to care, as previously thought. Dark scurf that appears on the surface is the result of completely natural and inevitable oxidation processes. And this feature, of course, is a drawback, and a significant one.
  • Requires special care. Since the devices periodically darken, then, accordingly, they need to be cleaned regularly to return an attractive appearance.
  • Unfortunately, today it is not as easy to find devices made of melchior, as it was before. If, for example, in the USSR they were practically the only available for the majority of the population, then today they have ceased to be so popular, therefore they are not produced in such volumes or in such a form as several decades ago. And if you find a set in a regular store, then it probably will not be as exquisite as it was before. Of course, the times and tastes change, but those elegant spoons, forks and spatulas used by our mothers did not leave anyone indifferent.
  • Some may find that nickel silver devices are old-fashioned and completely irrelevant. But this disadvantage can be turned into dignity, if you count the Soviet spoon antique, not old.

How to care for such devices?

Basic rules for the care of nickel silver devices:

  1. How to clean nickel silver cutlery? To do this, you can use toothpaste (or powder, if you can find it) or a special composition for cleaning jewelry made of silver and other metals. Chlorine and acid-containing products are best not to apply, otherwise a scurf will form. Soda, too, does not fit, it can leave rough scratches on the surface. But there are other effective and harmless ways. So, boil water and add to it the shell of two eggs (pre-crush it to a powdered state), as well as a tablespoon of salt. Immerse the devices in the boiling solution and boil for about two minutes, then remove and blot with a soft cloth. You can also use saline. To do this, add three to four tablespoons of salt in boiling water and in this composition hold spoons and forks of nickel silver for about two minutes. There is another method. Cover the bottom of the pan with foil, pour the water and bring it to a boil. Put the devices in the container, pour three tablespoons of salt and boil all together for three minutes. Instead of salt, you can use baking soda. You can also mix these two components in equal proportions. Alcohol will help to remove stains.
  2. To preserve shine and beautiful color for a long time, wash the devices with a soft cloth in a mild soap solution. It is better not to use ordinary detergents, their components may oxidize the alloy. Dipping forks and spoons in the dishwasher is also not recommended.
  3. After each wash, wipe each unit dry to prevent water from remaining (it will cause plaque to form). In this case, in order to avoid scratches, it is desirable to use a soft cloth.
  4. It is advisable to store the kit in a special case that will protect the devices from oxidation, mechanical effects, dust and other contaminants. If there is no such box, you can wrap each spoon in a soft cloth. In any case, do not put appliances near household chemicals, as they oxidize and darken.
  5. If the device is heavily scratched, then try to polish it carefully using soda, finely ground salt or fine-grained sandpaper.
  6. Do not store the kit in a wet room, in a plastic bag, as well as in an airtight container.

Let your devices serve for a long time and delight you with their elegance!

What is nickel silver, its pros and cons

Melchior is an alloy based on three components: nickel, copper and zinc. Sometimes it includes some other components, such as manganese or iron. Melchior can be distinguished by its characteristic appearance, resembling silver. He is obliged by this sign to his second popular name - “the silver of the poor”.

Just in case! How and what to clean the silver we wrote in this article.

Products from this material have many advantages:

  • Low cost
  • Presentable appearance,
  • Strength,
  • Long service life
  • Rust resistance,
  • Low thermal conductivity.

But there are two big minuses:

  • Regular care
  • Rapid loss of gloss and appearance of blackness.

Now, consider how to clean the cupronickel, so that it acquired the former gloss.

Ammonia or soda

This is the easiest way to clean.

  • Warm water - 1 liter,
  • Soda - 50 g or ammonia - 50 ml.

Чистка мельхиора в домашних условиях:

  1. Растворяем пищевую соду в теплой воде в любой глубокой посуде,
  2. Столовые приборы моем в содовом растворе,
  3. Далее тщательно промываем в холодной воде и протираем насухо.

Нашатырный спирт служит хорошей заменой соде. Эти известные средства прекрасно очищают с ножей, вилок, ложек небольшие загрязнения. Dull items from nickel silver, treated in this way, will receive a soft sheen.

Egg shell decoction for darkened products

Such an effective method can even remove very old stains and clean nickel silver forks, knives, spoons without any problems and efforts.

  • Boiled water - 1 liter,
  • Table salt - a tablespoon,
  • The shell of two chicken eggs.

How to clean the devices from nickel silver shells from eggs:

  1. Shred the shell to a powdery state,
  2. Pour water into a shallow flat container and set it on a flame
  3. After the water boils, pour shells and salt into it,
  4. We put the devices into hot water and boil for 2 minutes,
  5. Then we get them, rinse under running water and wipe with a soft cloth.

Removal of darkening with food foil

  • Litere of water,
  • Food foil,
  • Table salt - 3 large spoons.

  1. We cover the bottom of the pot with food foil and put all the cutlery from nickel silver on it,
  2. We fill the container with water so that our products are completely closed, then we add salt,
  3. Put the pan on the fire and bring the liquid to a boil, boil for 3 minutes.

In the process of boiling a chemical reaction occurs, the result of which is the darkening of the foil. And cutlery, on the contrary, brighten. If you do not clean black nickel silver from black stains because of difficult stains, you must repeat the procedure.

Chalk polishing

The most common chalk can polish table items to a shine, and remove small dirt from them.

  1. Chalk grind to powder,
  2. Pour some water to get a viscous slurry,
  3. We take a soft cloth (without lint) and apply on it a mixture with which we polish the products.

If you do not have chalk, then non-abrasive toothpaste with silicon oxide in its composition is perfect for this purpose. It is applied to a damp cotton pad, and it can be used to clean nickel silver spoons, forks and knives.

Cleaning appliances with gold

For luxury gold-plated objects, there are several simple methods for removing dirt. Consider how to clean the cupronickel in this case:

  • We moisten a piece of cotton in turpentine or wine vinegar (or a napkin in alcohol) and wipe the gilding with them. But you can not rub too hard - such products do not tolerate mechanical impact, because gilding can quickly erase,
  • Rub the alloy with a flannel rag coated with egg white.

Just in case! How and what to clean the gold we wrote in this article.

What should be done to prevent black bloom on melchior table objects

How to take care of nickel silver to provide products with an excellent appearance:

  • We wipe knives, forks and spoons from nickel silver, always just dry,
  • Products are stored in zip-packs with a convenient lock that will perfectly protect the contents from moisture and dust,
  • Table items should be regularly cleaned with a soft, soft woolen cloth or use a special cloth to clean silver,
  • Also well suited for storing appliances wooden box, which is tightly closed. Inside it is necessary to put a piece of chalk, which will protect products from oxidation.

These methods are very effective and not at all laborious.

Cleaning Melchior Utensils

Cookware from nickel silver is cleaned by the same methods and means as described above. But what to do if decanters, glasses, jugs, cups have complicated patterns? In addition to the sponge, two brushes or brushes are required to remove the dark patina layer. One is of medium hardness, consisting of kapron threads, for rubbing darkening in complex patterns, the other with a soft natural bristle, to remove water from small gaps.

How to clean jewelry from nickel silver with stones

Corals, pearls and turquoise are considered the most gentle and capricious in matters of care. They do not tolerate foam, hot and soapy water, alcohol, and vinegar can completely dissolve the pearls in them. For such products, only one remedy is ideal - salt.

  1. Let's make salt strong solution without heating of water.
  2. Put your jewelry from nickel silver in well-salted water and take out after 2 hours, rinse thoroughly and wipe dry.
  3. And if after such a procedure to cover turquoise with a thin brush with a small layer of animal fat, then it will perfectly retain its original appearance.

Amber, moonstone, opal, malachite do not like humidity, but they wonderfully wash themselves in soapy water, to which ammonium alcohol solution is added. Then they are quickly rinsed and wiped with a hygroscopic and soft cloth. For melchiorovogo alloy does not hurt ammonia.

Special tools for cleaning items from nickel silver

To care for such products, you can buy household chemicals in any household goods store.

  • Be sure to purchase when buying instructions and composition. The most dangerous substances for a delicate coating are abrasive particles and chlorine,
  • The most popular chemicals are Amethyst emulsion, Polimet paste, Sif gel. You can use gel "Fairy", which gives a good effect in the care of products consisting of precious metals,
  • On external signs, the coating of nickel silver devices is almost the same as that of expensive products. At specialized points you can buy a jewelry tool that will also help maintain the beauty of the serving items.

For the purpose of prophylaxis, serving items are washed in this solution: add a glass of warm water to a small spoonful of shampoo, peroxide and sal ammoniac. From this dining items will shine and shine. If you remove them for storage, be sure to wrap the paper.

Pros and cons of nickel silver

Melchior is an alloy of copper and nickel, sometimes with an admixture of other components, such as iron and manganese. It is similar in color to the third noble metal in importance - silver. For this feature, he received another name - "silver poor".

It is believed that the first alloy, similar to silver, appeared in China long before the new era. The alloy was called Pakfong and was used for minting coins, creating jewelery and other things. Then Pakfong was in Europe, where he gained extraordinary popularity. It was ridiculous: the products from the package cost more than silver ones. After all, the Europeans did not know that bright beautiful metal looks like silver only externally, and as a part of it there is not a grain of precious metal - only copper and nickel, with insignificant admixtures of other metals.

The European birth of the alloy took place in Germany, where he was dubbed the German silver - "new silver". But then there was a war with Napoleon, during which all the documentation on the promising rafting came to France. After some time, two Frenchmen, Mayo and Shorye, took up the alloying of copper with nickel. Without the slightest doubt, they called a successful metal a new name in which they combined parts of their surnames - Mayshor.

But the Germans reared up in protest against such insolence. Unable to return the metal given their name, they alter the French: instead of Myshore, the metal became known as nickel silver. According to Christian tradition, Melchior was called one of the wise Magi who brought gifts to the newborn Jesus in Bethlehem.

Since German terminology always dominated in metallurgy, Pakfong-Myshor became Melchior.

Great Soviet Encyclopedia

    accessibility: budget nickel silver is an excellent alternative to table silver, which is not inferior to either aesthetic or mechanical properties,

Cons of cutlery from nickel silver:

  • quickly lose their original luster and are subject to the formation of black spots,
  • require constant care.

Where do black spots come from on melchior

Melchior is 50% copper - an easily oxidized metal. Despite the fact that the alloy also includes nickel, manganese and iron, the oxidation process remains unchanged, since these components have virtually no effect on it. As a result of oxidation, brownish spots appear on the instruments, which eventually darken and turn a bluish-black color.

Darkening most often occurs due to non-compliance with storage conditions or inadequate care. It is not recommended to wash the devices from copper-nickel alloy in the dishwasher. Metal does not tolerate contact with chlorine or abrasive cleaners. Cleaning products with chlorine cause an oxidation reaction, and abrasives scratch the finish.

Cleaning cupronickel with soda or liquid ammonia

For the simplest cleaning method, you will need:

  • 50 g of soda or 50 ml of ammonia,
  • 1 l of warm water.

  1. Dissolve baking soda in warm water. A solution of baking soda otltchno washes pollution from the products of cupronickel
  2. Wash devices in soda solution. Baking soda is diluted with warm water and tableware is washed in the solution.
  3. Rinse thoroughly with cold water. After cleaning, the soda is washed with cold water
  4. Clean appliances dry.

Instead of soda, you can also use ammonia. Both of these tools are well cleaned with spoons, forks and knives minor contamination. Washed in such a way dull nickel silver will acquire a soft sheen.

Eggshell decoction for heavily darkened products

The method is effective even for the most inveterate spots. You will need:

  • the shell of two chicken eggs,
  • 1 tbsp. l salt,
  • 1 liter of boiled water.

  1. Pour water into a flat, shallow dish and put it on a fire.
  2. Bring the water to a boil, add to it the shell, pre-powdered, and salt. Add to the water the shell of two raw chicken eggs, pre-powdered
  3. Dip the devices in hot water and boil for two minutes. We boil the devices in a solution of crushed eggshell and salt
  4. Remove the appliances, rinse and wipe with a soft cloth.

How to get rid of darkening with food foil

For this cleaning method you will need:

  • food foil,
  • 3 tbsp. l salt,
  • about 1 liter of water.

  1. Put food foil on the bottom of the pan and place the appliances on it.
  2. Fill the container with water so that it completely covers the products, add salt. Food foil will help cutlery from nickel silver to shine with original brilliance
  3. Put the pan with the appliances on the fire and bring to a boil. Boil for about three minutes.

As a result of the chemical reaction that occurs in the process of boiling, the food foil darkens and the cutlery brightens. If melchior strong darkening, repeat the procedure again.

How to clean appliances with gold

For smart devices with gold plating, there are several simple ways to remove pollution:

  1. Wipe the gilding with a piece of cotton dipped in vinegar or turpentine.
  2. Rub the nickel silver devices with gilded egg white deposited on a flannel rag.
Gilded instruments are cleaned with vinegar, turpentine or egg white

What to do to avoid black plaque on cutlery

Use a few simple rules to ensure that cutlery from nickel silver always has a flawless appearance:

  • store products in zip-bags: a convenient lock will completely protect the contents from dust and moisture,
  • also use tightly-sealed wooden caskets for storage of devices with a piece of chalk inside: it will protect the devices from oxidation,
  • always wipe dry spoons, forks and knives from cupronickel,
  • regularly wipe the product with a coarse wool, soft flannel cloth or a special cloth for cleaning silver.

The described methods of cleaning nickel silver are effective and not time consuming. Each hostess will be able to choose for themselves the most suitable and always keep their cutlery in perfect condition.

History of nickel silver

Melchior is a metal alloy, the main components of which are copper and nickel. According to legend, it was invented in the VIII century BC in China and was called “pakfong”. Melchior cutlery came to Europe in the thirteenth century and was called "Chinese silver" products. However, all attempts by European alchemists to unravel the compounding and technology for producing a alloy for a long time remained unsuccessful. Mass production of nickel silver cutlery was launched in Germany in the XIX century and almost immediately they got into the Russian Empire. At the same time, copper, zinc and nickel were used to produce cupronickel. Despite the attractiveness and similarity with silver products, they were not popular with the Russian nobility and were considered “the dishes of the poor”.

Properties of nickel silver ware

Melchilor alloy received wide distribution for the manufacture of dishes (plates, trays, dishes) and instruments in the Soviet Union. Today, German silver cutlery is considered rare and can be a wonderful gift to any collector of antiques.

The production of tableware is widely set in modern Russia, where this alloy is used both in mass production and is one of the favorite materials of the masters who create their own collections of nickel silver cutlery. The undoubted merit of nickel silver is that the surface of the metal, unlike silver, is easily anodized and can change shade when interacting with harmless acids.

Metal, in comparison with silver and other semi-precious and precious alloys, is more plastic, which allows you to create deeply embossed coinage and tracery metallic ligature. Today, the term “table cupronickel” has appeared - an alloy in which zinc is absent, and copper and nickel are supplemented with iron.

The special properties of nickel silver include:

  • after high-temperature processing, nickel silver tableware acquires increased strength, which increases their service life,
  • a certain strictly standardized percentage of copper, nickel and iron allowed us to create a non-corrosive material,
  • Copper, iron and nickel contained in the alloy are the trace elements that are necessary for the normal functioning of many organs of the human body,
  • According to psychologists, the constant use of dishes, spoons, forks and knives made of nickel silver helps to reduce nervousness and prevent aggressiveness.

Modern products from nickel silver

Today in Russia a rather wide assortment of creative, highly aesthetic dishes is produced, among which nickel silver tableware occupies a worthy place. The use of modern technologies and innovative approaches to the treatment and decoration of the surface has increased the durability of products and their aesthetic appeal.

All currently produced sets of dishes can be divided into the following categories, characterized by the design style:

  • classic designs with blackening,
  • modern appliances with a polished surface
  • pompous tableware from nickel silver using natural gilding, intended for special occasions.

In modern Russia, products of their nickel silver, belonging to the category of consumer goods, are produced by the Kolchugin plant of non-ferrous metals.

Melchior cutlery care

The durability of products from nickel silver depends not only on the manufacturer, but also on the quality of care for them during operation. When choosing crockery or cutlery, or single objects should pay attention to the composition of the alloy, which should be specified in the certificate of quality. If information is missing, then it is likely that counterfeit products are put up for sale. Therefore, you should give preference to dishes from well-known manufacturers, marketed under the trade brands Kolchugino and Mstera (Russia), Volnyansk (Ukraine), Sarmet (Estonia).

What is Melchior?

Melchior is an alloy of copper (80%) and nickel (18%). This metal was discovered at the time of Napoleon by the French scientists Mayo and Shore.

Important! They named it in honor of the scientists "Myshor", but this name of the alloy did not stick in European territory because of the inhabitants of Germany, who called the alloy "Melchior" in honor of the wise biblical sorcerer. And this name was subsequently popularized.

Shelves of pure nickel silver ceased to be released in the last century. It was replaced by a new, improved and completely safe alloy, which is called “nickel silver” in most countries, which means “new silver”. It consists of an alloy of red copper (50-60%), zinc (20-30%), nickel (15-20%) and silver. In the old manner, in the CIS countries, dishes made of new metal are still called melkhiorovoy.

Each metal has its own energy, and this is a scientifically proven fact. Surely you have items in the house not only from nickel silver, but, for example, jewelry made from precious alloys. Then you probably will be interested in information about their features. Right now you can familiarize yourself with the following:

Useful properties of dishes from nickel silver

“Melchior is harmful to health” - this statement is not only erroneous, but also fundamentally wrong, because this reference is not only not harmful, it is useful for each of us. To substantiate this opinion, each component of this alloy should be considered from the point of view of its influence on the human body.

  • Накопление этого микроэлемента происходит в основном в поджелудочной и паращитовидной железе. Он способствует длительному сохранению низкого уровня глюкозы в крови путем усиления положительного действия инсулина.

Важно! Это свойство никеля особенно ценно для людей, болеющим сахарным диабетом.

  • Nickel ions also oxidize vitamin C and have a beneficial effect on the functions that enzymes perform.
  • Metal improves the condition of hypertensive patients.

This metal in microdoses is present in the blood of each person. It is an important component of a large number of enzymes and has antibacterial properties.

Important! The daily required dose of this trace element for an adult organism is 0.9 mg. Lack of (“copper starvation”) or excess of the norm can adversely affect a person’s health. Read more about whether copper cookware is actually beneficial or harmful.

Melchior and youth

Nothing betrays a person’s age in the way that skin does. Melchior as a whole contributes to the maintenance of youth and beauty of the skin. To make sure of this, wash yourself daily with nickel silver ions and you will forget about skin diseases and premature wrinkles.

Important! To saturate the water with Melchior ions, leave a metal product in a vessel with water for several hours.

The advantages of nickel silver ware:

  • Melchiorovye devices do not heat up as fast as silver ones. This property is associated with the thermal conductivity of copper, because it is much lower than that of silver. The practical side of this plus is that by putting a spoon in hot tea, you will not burn it if you decide to use the device after some time.
  • Beautiful appearance. Dishes from this alloy looks rich and elegant.
  • The myth that nickel silver is unhealthy has long been debunked. The components of this alloy are present in the body of each person and perform their important functions. Therefore, if we assume that a small amount of metal enters the body, then it definitely will not bring harm. For the environment, nickel silver is also safe as it does not emit any harmful substances.
  • The alloy does not rust, which is just perfect in the case of cutlery.
  • This metal can surely be called durable. Forks, spoons and knives from nickel silver do not bend even as a result of a significant load, which cannot be said about aluminum and silver devices.
  • The durability of devices and dishes from this alloy is simply amazing. The formation of plaque is possible, but this defect is easy to remove if you know simple methods of taking care of nickel silver dishes.
  • The cost of dishes from nickel silver is much lower than silver. Although, as you can see, the quality and characteristics of the metal are about the same.

Disadvantages of nickel silver ware:

  • A significant drawback of devices and dishes from nickel silver is the rapid loss of the original appearance. Unfortunately, all alloy items are quickly covered with blue-copper stains, which is the result of a natural process - oxidation.

Important! This defect is not related to care or storage methods, as previously thought.

  • From the first drawback follows the next - the need for special care. Items from this alloy should be cleaned regularly, so that they always look beautiful.
  • Find dishes from nickel silver for today is problematic. If earlier, for example, in the USSR, it was practically the only option for tableware available to the majority of the population, but now Melchior does not enjoy such popularity and is not produced in such large volumes. And if you still found nickel silver spoons and forks, then their appearance is probably not so refined, which is remembered from childhood.

Important! Some people may find dishware from this alloy unfashionable and irrelevant. But this opinion is one-sided. Antique things are always an integral part of modern fashion.

How to properly care for nickel silver ware?

Consider the basic rules of care for such devices so that you can admire them and they did not cause you dislike during use.

To clean cutlery, you can use tooth powder, paste, chalk, or a special tool for cleaning jewelry made from precious metals.

Important! Means containing acids and chlorine are best not to apply, since plaque may subsequently form on the metal.

Soda solution

You can clean the fancy metal without the help of household chemicals. To do this, use soda solution.

Important! You can not clean the nickel silver with soda in its pure form, as the devices can form ugly scratches.

To implement this method, you do not need special tools and knowledge of secrets. Everything is very simple:

  1. In 1 liter of warm water, dilute 50 g of baking soda.
  2. Wash the nickel-dishware in the resulting solution, then rinse with clean water.
  3. Dry with a soft towel all washed items.

Important! In no event it is impossible to leave devices from this alloy wet. This will cause the appearance of new divorces and spots.

To implement this method, you will need an aluminum pan, a piece of foil and, of course, soda:

  1. Place a sheet of foil on the bottom of the aluminum pot.
  2. Pour the prepared soda solution into the aluminum container and place in it all items that require cleaning.

Important! Instead of soda in the solution, you can use table salt (3 tablespoons).

  1. Boil the whole pot.

Important! After this procedure, the devices will regain their radiance and will look like new.

Terms of storage of dishes from nickel silver:

  1. Store storage devices only dry. The place for this should also not be wet.
  2. It is best to store such dishes in the case-boxes in which it was sold. If you do not have such, then contact any china store. Such boxes will protect devices from dust, moisture and mechanical stress.

Important! Make sure that there is no perfume and household chemicals in the storage area. Such substances can cause darkening and oxidation of the metal.

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As you can see, dishes from nickel silver are not only not harmful, but also to some extent useful. And the rules of caring for her are not particularly difficult. So if you like these cutlery, feel free to use them. And if you want to refine your utensils, then you can turn to a jeweler and make additional coverage of it with silver.