Thank you so much for the suggestions! I just posted on Ravelry as I was already signed up there from when I THOUGHT I could learn how to do some of this---- before I realized that yarn and I don't seem to understand one another . I looked briefly at the other links but ran out of time...
The needles themselves are not solid - they are hollow. However, the hollow tubes (I doubt this is the correct terminology, but it is the best I could come up with) seem to be solid silver and not silver plated.
Again, thank you,