The price of silver keeps rising. What's a southern girl to do if her pattern will never be completed? Go to eBay, of course. Sterling looks better with age, like you've had it for a while and you know how to use it. But the prices on eBay aren't really any better than anywhere else... unless you aren't afraid of monograms.
Years ago, I typed my pattern ("fairfax gorham sterling") into eBay's search bar, and was disappointed to learn there were no deals. On a whim, I added my initials ("fairfax gorham sterling awp") and still nothing. Then I tried my pre-married initials ("alw") and hit the mother lode — four monogrammed bouillon spoons, in my pattern, for just $28. (Current price on Replacements.com, $55.99. Each.) I love thinking about the other "alw" inviting a few friends over in the afternoon for bouillon, dry sherry and a few games of gin rummy.
Traditional silver is way cooler when mixed and matched, so no need to stick with the same pattern. (On Easter day, we hosted 28 people at five different tables with three different patterns in evidence. Unsurprisingly, no one said a word.) Though your own monogram makes it extra special, many of the fonts are elaborate and hard to read, so it really doesn't matter whose initials they are. Or, for fun, you can make up stories about a great aunt from a random branch of the family who left you her silver.
Vintage silver may need a little polish, but the low price makes it worth the work. And sterling is a fancy thing worth having, because it lasts forever, even if you put it in the dishwasher (which may just wear off that monogram). Now you know my secret!
What are your surprising eBay saved searches?
(Images: Anne Postic)