Whether a flatware set has been passed down as a family heirloom or you bought an urn at a yard sale years ago, you may be curious if your antique silver is worth selling. Not all silver is the same, so it helps to learn how to evaluate pieces before making a sale. Here are four questions antique dealers most commonly hear from hopeful silver sellers.
Antique Silver FAQ
Are certain silver objects more valuable than others?
In the hierarchy of silver objects, flatware – forks, knives, and spoons – tends to be the least valuable. You’ll likely receive a higher price for larger items, such as a complete tea set or a jug. In general, items with more unique designs fetch better prices. Age is also a key factor; the older the item, the greater its value is likely to be.
How can you tell what type of silver you have?
There are many varieties of silver. The distinction between sterling and plated silver, for example, often proves key to determining an object’s value. Plated silver has a thin layer of silver over less valuable metals, like brass or nickel. Sterling silver has a much higher percentage of silver. You can check by looking for small numbers inscribed somewhere along the item — sterling silver will often be marked with “925” or “.925,” an indication of the 92.5% silver it contains. In other cases, you may see the word sterling, which also signifies that you should be able to earn a better price. Be mindful that sterling silver markings can be faked, so it’s best to take your silver object to a professional for appraisal.
Where can silver be sold?
Silver can be sold online, but without much knowledge about pricing, you may end up selling an item for much less than it’s worth. Pawn shops are another option, though they generally offer lower prices and lack expertise. Antique shops pay best and have a keen eye to recognize value.
What will happen to my silver once it’s sold?
There are two possible pathways once a vendor purchases silver. For less expensive items like flatware made of plated silver, the buyer may have the materials melted down and receive a fixed price for a certain weight. If the silver is a more valuable antique, they may keep the object as part of their collection or resell at a higher price.
If you’re looking to have a reputable shop appraise or purchase your antique silver, turn to Mike Deming Antiques in Rochester, NY. In business for over 35 years, the antique store both buys and sells silver. Whether you have a flatware set or an unusual objet d’art, owner and operator Mike Deming has the eye to give you a careful and clear estimate of value. Call (585) 244-1999 to arrange an appraisal. Learn more about his shop by visiting the website.