First off lets talk about the difference, sterling overlay has been the standard of the industry for many years. What Kathy's uses, which is not always what other companies use, is 25% solid sterling silver that is bonded onto a metal base. We bond it to the metal for strength and durability and can come in different gauges depending on what we will be building.
With Sterling Overlay you will have to clean it as it will tarnish, but it will last a lifetime! It is an investment in your show equipment that you will always have and will retain its value. Even 40 years later we can take older Kathy's halters and steam clean them and mount them on new leather and they will be brand new! Of course anything that will last this long will cost you more in the initial investment, but will pay off in the long run.
Kathy's Santana silver plate, this is a great product that will last a long time if you take the correct care. But, it is not a lifetime product, it can last a lifetime, but it is not a guarantee.
Our silver plate is a hand engraved metal that is then electroplated with 5 microns of pure powdered silver. It is then covered with a lacquer coating to protect it. You DO NOT clean it with any abrasive products or it will impregnate the coating and can turn ugly! We recommend a good wipe down with a damp cloth after showing and wipe it completely dry before putting it in your halter bag. Moisture is its enemy as we find those that live in a drier climate have less issues. You can still have problems and sometimes we honestly do not know why...one of life's mysteries..
We do give you a one year warranty on them to start. On our silver plate we do re plate them all the time, which NO other company will do!
In summary, which do you buy? Well we always recommend that you buy the best, but that is really not reality for most of us. I know personally that our Santana halters are the best out there as we have so many of our customers tell us so. We have actual hoarders out there! You know who you are! And thank you for that! Our leather on the halters, sizing etc is exactly the same on both, so the only difference is the silver. We have so many fun and fresh designs in the Santana halters that will be timeless for you, but if you do get tired of it they are priced well enough that you can sell it and buy a new one. We also have a trade in program and layawy! If you buy the overlay, you probably will not change it up after 2 or 3 years.
So below are 2 pictures, can you tell which one is overlay and which one is Santana??