ALLOY: A metal resulting from the mixture of two or more metals.

BALANCED PLATING: Oneida Silversmiths' exclusive silverplating process which deposits 50% more pure silver on the back of each piece than on the front. This additional silver protects the area most subject to wear.

BRIGHT FINISH: The finish that imparts to metalware a highly polished, mirror-like surface.

BUTLER (OR SATIN) FINISH: The care of silverware was one of the duties assigned to the English Butler. In the course of years of hand rubbing, the silverware took on a distinct luster which today in modern sterling ware is simulated by a process of manufacture known as "Butler Finish". This finish is sometimes called Grey Finish or French Grey Finish, but more commonly called satin finish.

CASTING: The process of pouring molten metal into molds and so reproducing the models from which the molds were made.

These reproductions are called castings.

DIE CUTTING OR SINKING: The process by which a design or pattern is cut out of a piece of steel to form a "die" from which a quantity of similar articles can be stamped out or impressed.

ELECTROPLATING: The process was introduced in the year 1842 and is used in making silver-plated ware or gold-plated ware. By this process a layer of silver or gold is electrically deposited on a base metal.

EMBOSSING: The process of decorating by striking or impressing the metal into a die with force.

ENGRAVING: A process of hand decoration produced by cutting into the surface of the metal with engraving tools.

ETCHING: A process of decoration produced by what might be properly called "chemical engraving". The silver is covered with a protective coating through which the desired design is cut and the design is eaten into the silver by nitric acid. Electrolysis marking by the "Electromark" process produces permanent mark on metal - no acids used - Blackmark if AC is used - White mark if DC is used.

FLATWARE, FLAT SILVER OR SILVERWARE: The trade name for knives, forks, spoons, etc.

FORGED: A forming process which dramatically changes the length and cross contours of a material to form highly sculpted shapes.

H.H.: Means Hollow Handle. These handles are made of two hollow halves and soldered together. All the patterns included in our Patterns for a Lifetime program have hollow handle knives. All pieces in the LTD line are hollow handle.

HALLMARK: The official mark of the Goldsmith's Company or other assay office or "Hall" in England, stamped on articles of gold or silver to indicate their purity. In America the Hall Mark is the word "Sterling" accompanied by the name or mark of a reputable manufacturer.

HOLLOWARE: The trade reference to tea and coffee services, trays, beverage pitchers, candelabras, or any other piece that serves as a container or means of conveyance.

MONOGRAMMING: A once-common practice of adding initials to flatware and holloware.

MOTIF: The dominant feature of a design or theme.

OXIDIZING: Method of accentuating and enhancing the beauty of ornament by the application of an oxide which darkens the metal whenever applied. Some methods of cleaning silver will remove this oxide.

PATINA: The finish or surface texture. As applied to silver, it refers to the soft lustrous finish the metal acquires with years of usage.

PEWTER: A soft greyish-colored alloy having tin as its chief component. Originally used as an alternative to sterling, prior to the invention of silverplate.

PIERCING: A form of decoration produced by cutting away parts of the metal with cutting dies, punching tools, or in the case of hand piercing, with a thin steel blade with fine teeth.

SILVERPLATE: Articles made on a non-precious metal on which is deposited pure silver by the electroplating process.

SPLADE: A combination knife, fork and spoon.

SPORK: A combination slotted spoon and fork.

STAINLESS STEEL: A highly durable chromium alloy steel practically immune to rusting and ordinary corrosion. Extremely popular for flatware, also used in holloware.

STERLING SILVER: The word "Sterling" is the best known and most respected marking in use today. Pure silver alone is too soft for everyday use. Copper is the metal commonly used to give "Sterling" its added stiffness and wearing qualities. Sterling is often referred to as solid silver. It is composed of 925 parts pure silver in every 1000 -- this proportion never varies -- it is fixed by law.

TARNISH: A discoloration that can build on silverplate or sterling if left exposed to the air or if brought into contact with certain foods and chemicals. Can easily be prevented by everyday use or protective storage and is easily removed by commercial silver polishes.

KENIZED: Fabric treated to prevent tarnish.

DUVETYN: A smooth, lustrous velvety fabric.

APPLIED BORDER: A cast or rolled wire border or edge soldered on an article.

CERAMIC: The term used to describe all kinds of fired clay products.

DECAL: A decoration applied to ceramic dinnerware prior to being fired.

EARTHENWARE: Also known as terra cotta is a clay product fired at the lowest temperature and is slightly porous and very delicate.

PORCELAIN: Is a clay that is fired at a higher temperature than earthenware and stoneware resulting in a hard, strong, translucent final product.

STONEWARE: Is a clay that is fired at a much higher temperature than earthenware, resulting in a harder and more durable product.

CUTLERY: Knives with cutting edge, (e.g., dinner, dessert, carving knives). In Europe this term is used to refer to flatware or silverware.

PARING: They look like a smaller version of the chef's knife, and are used for peeling/slicing small fruits and vegetables, removing stems and other small cutting tasks where control is essential. 2" to 4" in length.

UTILITY: Will slice through small pieces of meat, cold cuts, or fruit. Also referred to as sandwich knives. Generally 4" to 7" in length.

CHEF: Also known as cook's knives, and are the most versatile, indispensable, "workhorse" of knives. They can be used for virtually any type of cutting task. They range in size between 6" and 14" inches, but most home chefs will use the 8" and 10" versions.

BONING: Does just what its name suggests, separating flesh from the bones of meats and poultry. Its special "S" shaped edge and stiff thin blade is designed to pierce the flesh and then closely follow the contours of bone. 5" to 8" in length.

BREAD: Serrated or scalloped edge slicers, can be used on anything with a tough skin or crust protecting a soft interior. Great for a large cantaloupe or pineapple. 8" to 10" in length.

CARVING (Slicer): Used to carve your turkey, roast or ham. Ham slicers have a long thin blade and rounded tip for safety. The rounded tip also gives a very straight cutting edge to maximize contact with the food. Salmon slicers are thin, long and flexible to provide the thinnest slicing in one continuous stroke.

SANTOKU: The santoku knife is also known as a Japanese Cook's knife. Its unique shape makes it great for doing large amounts of chopping. The wide blade allows you to easily scoop what you have sliced. “Kullen's", or hollowed-out areas, can be found on some styles. These minimize friction and allow your knife to glide through meat with ease. Great for all-purpose chopping.

ROCKWELL SCALE: The hardness of steel or other metals is usually measured on a scale called the “Rockwell Scale”, this scale gives a number value to the hardness. This number is preceded by the letters Rc (for example Rc58). High numbers indicate harder material. If a knife is too “soft” meaning it has too low a Rockwell hardness, it will probably not hold an edge and will bend quite easily. If a knife is too “hard” meaning it has too high a Rockwell hardness, it will probably be very brittle and difficult to re-sharpen. (Our knives are between 52~55)

FORGED KNIVES: Formed by smashing a hot piece of steel in a knife mold. This allows for a thick bolster between the knife handle and blade. The excess metal is trimmed off and the knife is then machined to have a smooth bolster and a taper-ground blade. The bolster and handle have to be carefully shaped so they fit precisely with no gaps. (Molten steel poured into molds)

STAMPED KNIVES: Cut from a sheet of metal like cookies from dough. Then they are machined to be taper ground so the blade tapers from (a) the handle to the tip and (b) the back of the knife to the edge. Punched out of a sheet of steel.

POM: Polyoxymethylene; plastic resin.

EURO BLADE: A slightly curved up blade that will keep knuckles and fingers from scraping on cutting boards.

STRAIGHT BLADE: Traditional straight shaped knife blade.

TANG: Part of the blade extending into the handle, designed to give the knife balance

BOLSTER: Thick band of steel present on forged knives (stamped knives do not have bolsters). Helps balance knife and protect hand from accidental slips across the blade.

CARBON: For sharpness and edge retention.

Cr: Chromium for stain resistance.

Mo: Molybdenum enhances stain resistance.

V: Vanadium for improved edge retention.

TAPER GROUND: The blade is ground vertically against the wheel of the grinder and the blade is tapered to the edge line gradually.

HOLLOW GRIND: The hollow grind is done by taking two concave scoops out of the side of the blade. Many production companies use this grind because it's easier to design machines to do it. But many custom makers grind this way as well. Its great advantage is that the edge is extraordinarily thin, and thin edges slice better. The disadvantage is that the thinner the edge, the weaker it is. Hollow ground edges can chip or rollover in harder use. And the hollow ground edge can't penetrate too far for food-type chopping, because the edge gets non-linearly thicker as it nears the spine. For designs where slicing is important, but the slice doesn't need to go too deep, this grind is an excellent choice.

FLAT GRIND: The flat grind endeavors to provide an edge that is both thin and strong, and leaves a strong thick spine. The grind is completely flat, going from the spine to the edge. This grind is harder to make because a lot of steel needs to be ground away. However, the edge ends up being fairly thin and so cutting very well. Because the bevels are flat, there is plenty of metal backing the edge, so it's much stronger than a hollow grind. The edge on this design also penetrates better for slicing and chopping. Kitchen knives are usually flat ground because when chopping/slicing food you need to push the blade all the way through the food. This grind is an outstanding compromise between strength and cutting ability, sacrificing little for either.

SERRATED BLADE KNIVES: have a wavy, scalloped or saw-like blade. Serrations make knives ideal for cutting things that are hard on the outside and soft on the inside (such as bread or tomatoes) that might otherwise be ruined by a slightly dull knife with a plain, flat-ground edge. They are also particularly good on fibrous foods like celery or cabbage. Serrated knives cut much better than plain edge blade knives when dull, so they may go longer without sharpening (some serrated blades are claimed never to need sharpening.)

GRANTON EDGE: Granton edge or kullenschiff blades have a number of hollow scallops machined into one or both sides of the blade above the edge. These are normally found on meat carving knives, but have recently appeared on other types of knives, especially Western copies of the Japanese santoku. The granton edge is an attempt to improve the cutting and separation of sliced meats, cheese, and vegetables.

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