Silver Plate or Silver Plated
Because of the misuse of these descriptions the Joint Committee of the Assay Offices of Great Britain has issued the following notice:
'For many centuries the words "silver plate" and "gold plate" have been used to denote wares made of silver or gold. These words have been used in the sense over the years in many of the hallmarking statues. Under the Hallmarking Act 1973 it is an offence (subject to certain exemptions and permitted descriptions) to apply, in the course of trade or business, to an unhallmarked article a description indicting that it is wholly or partly made of gold or silver. "Silver" and "gold" are permitted descriptions if qualified by the word "plated". It follows that base metal wares coated with silver or gold by electro-deposition may not be described as "silver plate" or "gold plate" but may be described as "silver plated" or "gold plated". The words "silver plate and "gold plate" may only be used to describe wares which can lawfully be described as silver or gold under the Hallmarking Act 1973.'
Source: The Retail Jeweller's Guide - Fifth edition - Kenneth Blakemore - 1988