How to Identify an Antique Silver Cigarette Case

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A cigarette case is any little box used for storage of cigarettes. Cases vary in style and size depending on what year they were produced, but silver cases have been timeless in their popularity. Silver-coloured metal may be a mix of silver and another metal, or another mix of metals entirely. When examining a cigarette case to approximate its age and value, look for a stamp or brand on the piece. Not every piece will be marked, and some older pieces may have the mark worn away, but such marks offer good clues to the country of origin.

Look and feel for a mark around the back, edges and interior of the piece. Often you will find stamps or brands on the inner sealing edge of the case.

Identify the mark. Common marks include "925," which is found on sterling silver, and "EPNS," which stands for electroplated nickel silver (nickel with a thin silver finish). Other markings require a guide to define because silversmiths used personal stamps and marks to indicate that they were the maker. Silversmiths also often dated the piece with the year in which it was made.

Attach a magnet to an unmarked piece to determine if it is actually silver. If it is steel or iron, the magnet will stick.

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