Although it’s not as valuable as gold, silver is still one of the most common precious metals bought and sold on the market. But, before you start going through all your jewelry boxes at home, or search for some silverware, you should know that just because something looks like silver, it really is silver.
The first thing you should do before selling your silver items, look for a „hallmark”, or a stamp on the respective item. Almost every piece of jewelry that is made of silver will have the word silver engraved on it or the number .925, which means there is 92.5% silver in the piece. The most important thing is the percentage of the precious metal in a piece, because that’s what makes it the most valuable.
If you’re thinking of selling your silver coin collection, coins minted in the US prior to 1964 are pretty valuable, because they’re a known quantity and don’t need to be sent to melt.
Household items are harder to put a price on, as many of the trays, serving dishes, cups or picture frames don’t have a hallmark, and sometimes they’re not made of silver, but are just silver plated, and therefore not valuable. That’s why you need to let a professional test your pieces to know if they are worth something or not.
Before you bring all the items apparently made of silver to a buyer, here are some tips to have an idea what your silver items could be worth. Rounds and Bars of different wight contain .999% pure silver and are the most valuable. Sterling silver is .925%, US coins produced up to 1964 contain 90% pure silver, foreign coins can contain anywhere between 10% silver up to 80%. War nickels contain 35% pure silver and American Half Dollar coins produced in 1965 contain 40% pure silver. As silver is a „soft” metal, it’s hard to work with it without combining it with other metals to increase longevity. Most often, silver is combined with copper.
Probably silver coins are the most common silver items sold or bought in auctions or to dealers because coins are a collectible item for many, are easy to store and easy to sell. No dealer will turn down a real silver coin. Aside form the precious metal contained by the coin, sometimes the rarity of it, the coin’s condition or the date it was issued play an important part in establishing the real value of it. For instance, if a coin is rare, it’s worth more than a similar coin of the same weight, size and age. That’s why it’s better to do some research on your own before you get your coins appraised, just to know what to expect.
Sterling silver knives, bowls and other housewares are veneered and not a solid silver content, so the filling must be removed to get to the real weight. This is done for items going to be melted and not for antiques, of course.
Finally, when you choose a buyer for your silver make sure they are:
- Established, not dealers who are just for one day in the city and offer incredible prices.
- Local and have a a physical location, a business license and a verifiable history.
- Using certified scales, so it’s less likely to be cheated on the weighting
If you want to sell silver in the NYC area, our professional team of experts is here to help you. Our jewelry analysts are here to offer you honest and thorough evaluations, so that you can obtain the best price for your silver items. Here at Best NYC Buyers, we won’t leave any questions unanswered.
Photo Credit: Pixabay.com, user: cocoparisienne