I've posted about coin silver before, I know. I'm just such a fan. It's easy to find and can be cheaper than sterling. I have a set of sterling flatware, but I find that when entertaining, I rely on my coin silver strays most often. Besides, I'm young and I don't have a huge dining room, so the kind of entertaining I do is of the buffet variety, no seated dinners. I tend to prepare food that doesn't require a knife and I have a julep cup full of forks, all mismatched. And for dessert, a julep cup full of spoons is ready for serving homemade lemon lotus ice cream, a Southern delicacy. Doesn't that have so much more character?
Coin silver is often embellished with hand chased monograms that just can't be duplicated today. Pick up singles or small sets where you can and mix and match. It will look better as a mismatched set, trust me. It looks like silver several different great- great- grandmothers buried to hide from the Union soldiers. Invent your own story and use your coin silver often.
A note on buying: sets of spoons are fairly easy to come by. Pick up a few sets and singles where you can. Don't ever eat cereal from stainless steel again. Just quickly hand wash your coin silver - don't throw it in the dishwasher. I know, I know... it's it a bit of a pain in the neck, but a little sacrifice is necessary for beauty. Forks and knives are harder to come by and are therefore a little pricier. Be patient but be ready to buy when you find a set you like.