Silver was expensive for a reason
Silver was widely bought as it held value, which would not decrease because the percentage of silver did not change.
Anastasia was not the only female silversmith
Anastasia Fleming wasn’t the only female silversmith working in Ireland at the time, another was in Dublin - Catherine Fox.
Henry Alcock became Mayor of the city of Waterford and served a term of one year.
Silversmith Anastasia Fleming was commissioned to make silver presentation pieces for the outgoing Mayor. The fact she was Catholic and a woman and still received the commission points to Waterford’s tolerance relative to other cities in Ireland at the time. Anastasia’s Father-in-law, husband and son all were silversmiths too, so evidently this was a family business.