Silver Plate refers to a metal item that has been coated in a fine layer of silver - usually through electroplating. It is a cost-effective method in which the appearance and surface feel of solid silver can be achieved without the use of actual solid silver. Many examples of silver plating can be found from watches to cutlery of all different nations and eras - one of the most common uses would be to plate knives, forks and spoons.
Above is a silver plated snuff box. Upon inspection, some areas can be seen where the silver plate has worn off and the base metal underneath is present (different colour).
This is one of the disadvantage of silver plating upon comparison to solid sterling silver.