Silver Plated Compared to Nickel Plated

Plating metal is a common way to enhance the look of objects. Precious metal markets fluctuate. As the price of precious metals goes up, there is always increased interest in plating jewelry, flatware, serving pieces and other household goods. Both silver plate and nickel plate create a shiny, silver-toned object.

Silver Plated

Silver plating is the process of putting a thin silver layer over an object. Silver plating is usually done over base metal, but it is possible to silver-plate nonmetallic items as well.

Nickel Plated

Nickel plating is the process of putting a thin nickel layer over an object. Nickel plating is also usually done over base metal, but it is possible to nickel-plate nonmetallic items.


Many people are allergic to nickel and avoid nickel-plated items. For persons with nickel allergies, silver plated items are preferred.


The cost of plating depends on the cost of the metals used. Although the metals markets fluctuate daily, silver usually costs more than nickel. It is, therefore, usually more expensive to plate an item with silver than with nickel.


Silver plate looks like sterling silver. Nickel plate, although it has a silver tone, looks less like sterling silver. People who want the look of sterling without the cost often select silver plate.

About the Author

Rebecca Suzanne Delaney began publishing in 1980. She is a university-trained artist and the author of dozens of books and articles on a variety of topics, including arts and crafts, law, business and public policy. Delaney earned degrees in liberal arts, psychology and law.