I am not an employee or a vendor of fine stemware and tableware. I was a buyer for many years in those products in previous years, but the shop I am currently I am manager of does not carry any of the products I am going to talk about and am not disclosing my location .
On this board discussion does come up with bridal regestries and what one should or should not seek to acquire. On the subject of sterling silver flatware, find a pattern you like and be grateful if someone buys you a teaspoon, the price of sterling silver is going through the roof like gasoline. On the other hand it always increases in value and is replaceable unlike silver-plate (okay you may get lucky on an auction site with it) sterling, plate, or stainless, if you use it fairly often it rarely needs polishing. The only pieces I hand wash are knives. The dishwasher is bad for the cement that holds the stainless blade to the sterling handle.There are some companies like Gorham that never completely retire a pattern. If you were lucky enough to inherit your mother's or great aunt 'Tildy's Gorham, for example, Gorham Nocturne. Gorham accepts orders and compiles then and makes a run of the pattern so you can replace missing pieces once a year. In the same vein is Waterford stemware. They collect requests for retired patterns and make a run of the requests once a year or more if necessary.
I am only bringing this up because I frequently get questions from bridal couples or their parents on the wisdom of registering for or trying to fill in inherited sets.
Remember, colors and patterns run in 10 year cycles, when selecting expensive collectibles such as table top, be conservative. A color or pattern that is hot right now may not be what you want to present in the future. Yes, Fiestaware made a comeback, but very few of the totally contemporary patterns will withstand time. If you are looking for something like that look at Georg Jensen. Many of the products by his company have withstood the aging process of time and are great classics.