Silver collections appraised

Antique Collectors need to get their collections appraised regularly. Here’s Why

Some antique silver collectors believe they know exactly what their collection is worth because they once had it appraised years ago. Unfortunately, these collectors are often shocked at the price they’re offered when they go to sell these pieces. That’s because going off an old appraisal isn’t a good idea. The value of sterling silver pieces isn’t set, and it’s possible you could make much more money than what you thought.

Antique Collector

Always Get an Appraisal Before You Sell

Before you sell any of your silver, you should always get a current appraisal. If you’ve had an appraisal done in the past six months or so, it’s unlikely the value of the piece has changed that much. Antique buyers are likely to do their own appraisal, too, but you can’t count on them to tell you if the value is higher than your selling price. They’re going to take the bargain if you don’t know any better.

Appraising Your Collection

Antique Appraisals

Even if you’re not going to sell, it’s important to have your collection appraised regularly. This will let you know the value of your silver, which is important for insurance reasons. The more valuable your collection, the more insurance you’ll want on it.

It’s also good to know the value of your collection so you can decide if you do want to sell or not. Even if you never had the urge to sell before, knowing the current value of your items might change your mind. When you find out how much your collection is worth, you might decide it’s time to find the best place to sell antiques near you!

What Changes the Value of Silver?

When you’re talking about antique silver pieces, value is based on demand and rarity. Items that collectors desire more than others are going to have a higher value. This is somewhat due to trends. Pieces that aren’t worth much now may become more valuable as collectors decide they want to own those patterns or items from that manufacturer.

New and Abstract Forms of Bronze Sculptures in the 20 th Century

For centuries, bronze has been (and continues to be) the most popular metal for casting artistic sculptures. It can be used in any shape or size, can be colored as the artist likes, and can be used for relief sculptures or sculptures in the round. Many artists have tried their hand at working with the metal, but the game changed in the 20 th century when new artists began creating new and more abstract statues. One of these artists was Henry Moore, a revolutionary who changed the face of bronze sculpting for years to come. In fact, Henry Moore’s first sculpture, West Wind (commissioned by the school he had been working for), is still a recognizable figure today.

Bronze Sculptures

Who Was Henry Moore?

Henry Moore sculptures highly influenced the development of bronze sculptures, but to understand what he created, you need to understand him as a person. Henry Moore was born and raised in Yorkshire to a non-artistic family as the 7 th of 8 children. In fact, his parents originally did not want him training to be a sculptor at all. Moore was a humanitarian who was a soldier, a physical therapy instructor, a teacher, and finally an artist. He saw all kinds of walks of life and experienced many art forms. Moore spent years working with bronze sculpting, but eventually moved on to more modern methods when creating sculptures, such as direct carving. Henry Moore’s bronze sculpture period, though, had many influences and proceeded to influence many others.

bronze

What Impacted Moore?

Every artist gets their “spark” so to speak from somewhere. For Moore, he found a large part of his inspiration from the people around him. He had a deep sense of humanitarianism and found many of his ideas through visuals of mothers with children along with analogies he created, combining someone with the landscape around them. He also drew inspiration largely from non-western art he saw at the British Museum. He took inspiration from predominantly Latin American art as well as Egyptian and African. Many bronze workers at this time focused on very detail oriented and realistic creations. Moore introduced a new element.

Bird Basket

While working with Bird Basket, Helmet, and other antique bronze pieces, Moore spread the idea of semi-abstract art. Many of his pieces had a basic shape that one could see clearly and put a name to. However, they did not follow precisely what you would expect to see. They involved elements of internal and external forms. They also used different details than you would traditionally expect, or neglected them entirely.

His Legacy

Antiques

As his work progressed, many found faults because of just how nontraditional it was. After his death, his work became even less well-known, liked, or reputable. His bronze work is also often overshadowed by his other means of production. However, these new ideas and concepts that he introduced prevailed, inspiring others to continue with the forms where he left off. Those who worked closely with him, such as Anthony Caro and Phillip King, were highly influenced by his artistic mind and undoubtedly learned from his work.

Get your FREE verbal, no obligation appraisal!

A Great Way to Sell the Family Silver Flatware for Big Bucks with Some Easy DIY Solutions

A Great Way to Sell the Family Silver Flatware for Big Bucks with Some Easy DIY Solutions

Selling your antique silver flatware can be a source of extra money when you really need it, but you want to make certain that you maximize your profits. You can only sell your flatware once, of course, so you want to be sure you get as much for it as you can. Before you begin the selling process, there are a few DIY solutions you can do to make sure you truly get the most out of your silver.

A Great Way to Sell the Family Silver Flatware for Big Bucks with Some Easy DIY Solutions

Know Its Worth

Before you post your antique silver flatware for sale, it’s a good idea to have a rough estimate of what it’s really worth. That way, you won’t sell it for less than you should. This means doing some research into any markings on the pieces to determine the manufacturer, the year of manufacture, and if the items are sterling (92.5% silver) or simply silver plated. You can find some of this information online, or you can take your items to a silver appraiser. Either way, learn as much as you can about your set as possible since you may also need to answer questions potential buyers will have.

Clean Up Your Silver

Before you start looking for antique silver flatware buyers, you want to make sure your silver items look their best. There are a number of different DIY methods you can use to make your pieces shine. One of the most common recipes used to clean silver without spending a lot of money on expensive silver cleaner involves aluminum foil, water, and baking soda. Simply boil the water, add in a tablespoon of your baking soda, and then place some aluminum foil in the pot. Drop the piece of silver in so that it comes into contact with the aluminum foil. After about ten seconds or so, pull it out using a pair of kitchen tongs. You should see that most of the tarnish is gone!

If you have a piece that has more tarnish on it, you may need to create a paste out of two tablespoons of water and about a fourth of a cup of baking soda. Apply this mixture using a damp sponge. Let it set for a few seconds, then rinse it off and pat the piece dry. Your sterling silver flatware sets should be tarnish-free in no time with these simple DIY cleaners.

A Few Other DIY Polishers

If you want to polish up your silverware before you try to sell it, you can use a few common household items. Toothpaste and hand sanitizer can both help. Add a few drops of either, then use a soft rag to polish up the pieces. Window cleaner also works. Just be sure you don’t scrub too hard, and never use anything abrasive. A cloth is all you should need.

DIY Selling

Some people do take their antique silverware to auction or sell it through a middleman, but you do have to pay a commission on that. Instead, you can sell it yourself online. There are a number of auction sites dedicated to selling silver, plus you can always turn to sites such as eBay.

Christofle silver marking

How Do I Know 🤔 if My Christofle Silver is Silver 🆚 Silver Plate?

Do you have a prized Christofle silverware set that you save for special occasions? If so, it is quite possibly one of your most valuable possessions, but is it sterling silver? Christofle was responsible for an innovative new technology that created silver plated items, providing customers with luxury at a more affordable price. While both sterling and silver plated Christolfe pieces are beautiful, you’ll want to know the difference between the two, especially if you intend to sell your pieces in the future.

Evaluate the Silver Marks

Since the early 1800s, Charles Christofle used a series of unique markings in order to identify his products to the world. However, this mark has varied with time, so an experienced antique silver buyer is sometimes needed to identify exactly what the mark means. Early markings included the initials “GC” or “CC” along with a scale in the center. Later silver markings included the word “Gallia” above a cockerel for the Gallia silver range. Many pieces also include a stamp of the word “Christofle” next to the maker’s mark.

The markings can also distinguish silver versus silver plated pieces. A sterling silver mark on a Christofle piece will usually be printed as “925” – an indication that the piece is composed of 92.5% silver. If this mark isn’t present, or if there is another number (800, for example), you can feel confident that your item is actually plated rather than sterling silver.

Christofle silver marking

Use a Magnet

If the markings on your Christofle are no longer clear, you can perform a simple test at home that will give you a good idea about the silver composition. Silver does not have strong magnetic effects, so if you hold a magnet up to your Christofle and it sticks strongly, you should feel confident that the piece is only silver plated. Likewise, if the magnet doesn’t stick, it is more likely that you have a sterling silver piece.

If you aren’t confident that your silver piece is really Christofle, the magnet test won’t necessarily mean that you have a sterling silver piece. There are many other materials that aren’t magnetic and simply resemble silver, and other manufacturers use these metals to produce Christofle-esque items.

Listen for a Ring

Sterling silver tends to make a lovely sound similar to a bell ringing when you tap on it. This is especially true when you tap it with another type of metal. Plated silver will produce more of a dull, thumping sound.

Get a Professional Opinion

If you still aren’t completely sure about whether your Christofle piece is solid or silver plated, there are many professionals out there that can provide insight. An auctioneer, antique dealer or estate sale business could examine the item and tell you more about the origin and its composition.

Whether you have a Christofle silver plate, flatware, or another antique piece, the experienced Florida silver buyers at Antique Silver Buyers can help. In addition to telling you more about your piece, we will also provide you with a market analysis of the value.

Get your FREE verbal, no obligation appraisal!

925 sterling denmark 192

Silver Markings : Demystifying the Hallmarks

Your silver is worth money. But there’s so much more to it than that. Over the nearly 30 years that I’ve spent discovering fascinating new pieces, I’ve taken it upon myself to try and share this deep appreciation of not only the value of some items but the rarity, craftsmanship, history, and stunningly brilliant beauty of the collections people bring to me.

And if that isn’t of interest to you, you’ll be interested in knowing that by being able to identify these traits can help assure you that you get exactly what your silver is worth.

Today we’re going to talk about Silver Hallmarks. Just a drop in the bucket, since this is an entire specialty of knowledge, but an excellent foundation.

Silver Hallmarks, Silver Markings:

Sterling Silver

Essentially every new silverware set, tea set, etc. you will come across is marked with a stamp called a silver hallmark. The purpose of a silver mark is to tell the buyer (or in this case, you) what the purity of the silver is. The most common markings for sterling silver are fairly easy to decipher:

Sterling

– 925 or .925

Sterling Silver

This indicates a 92.5% silver purity. Silver is often blended with other metals for increased strength. You may also see lower percentages of silver, such as 900 or 800. This indicates a lower percentage of silver and is no longer considered ‘Sterling’.

Fine Silver and Silver Plate

Fine Silver, quite simply, is composed of 100% pure silver. Pound for pound this is the most valuable silver you can find. We’ll learn next time what can give ‘pound for pound’ a run for its money. However, for today we’ll keep things simple. Fine Silver can just as easily be identified with the markings such as Fine Silver or Pure Silver. Rogers sterling (often marked Wm Rogers – and also indicated ‘Sterling’) is actually pure silver. Whereas Rogers plated silver is not.

Fine Silver or Pure Silver

Be wary of items marked as Stainless, Triple Plate, IS, Silver, EPNS, and the like. These indicate that your items are made from stainless steel, electroplated, or are simply silver plated. While these may be beautiful items they are not all that valuable. You may simply want to keep them in your home for your own enjoyment.

Unique Markings

Here’s where things get interesting. Remember what I said in the beginning? There is so much more to Silver than it’s weight in… silver. You will not always come across a marking that is as simple to read as what I’ve outlined above. Markings from around the world vary in more ways than just the country it comes from.

There are literally thousands of these unique markings offering insight into:

–  The age of a particular item
–  Place of origin
–  Rarity
–  Manufacturer
–  Significance

And so much more.

For a quick example, the image below is a silver marking from the Kirk firm, founded in America in 1815. Samuel Kirk introduced a unique type of repousse decoration that has become known as the Baltimore Style and as since become highly imitated. This marking indicates both the year, location, manufacturer, and historical significance of the piece.

Kirk silver marking

I hope you found this all very informative and exciting! I look forward to sharing more of my appreciation and knowledge about the wonderful works of silver soon. We’ll discuss markings from all over the world and the difference in significance between them.

If you’re eager to discover the true value of your silver right away, I always encourage people to consult a respected expert or two. You can also contact me directly and I’d be happy to answer any of your questions.

Watch for Fakes

10 Tips for Making Money from Antiques

Are you looking for a way to start making money from antiques & collectibles? While some people see the buying and selling of antiques as a hobby, others have turned it into a lucrative side-job or even their main career. There are a lot of different ways you can get into dealing in antiques, but if you really want to turn this into your main source of income, you’ve got to go about it the right way. By following these ten tips, you can get your new antique dealing job off to a great start.

1. Do Your Homework

Make money from antique

Before you go out and purchase someone’s antique collection, you need to know what’s valuable and what’s not. You’ll find a lot of information in books on collectibles and online. Learn as much as you can about dealing in antiques and collectibles before you spend any money. That way, you’ll know what’s worth buying and what’s not.

2. Focus on One Area

why to focus on one area

The terms “antiques” and “collectibles” are very broad categories. It can be very difficult to learn everything there is about all the different types of antiques and collectibles out there. That’s why a lot of people focus on one area. For example, you could deal in antique furniture or Disney collectibles. By narrowing down your focus, you’ll be better able to know what’s valuable and be able to find specific buyers to sell your items to.

3. Only Buy from Dealers with a Good Reputation

Only Buy from Dealers with a Good Reputation

This is especially true for those who are considering buying an antique collection online and can’t personally inspect the items. Always buy from someone with a good reputation to avoid getting ripped off.

4. Buy What You Like

Buy What You Like

5. Go for the Rare Items

Go for the Rare Items

Collectors want to own things that very few others will have, so always look for rare items. While you’ll probably have to spend more to buy these, you’ll be able to sell them for a lot more.

6. Watch for Fakes

Watch for Fakes

You never know when someone is going to try to slip in a fake antique. There are a number of different ways these forgers can use to make items look older than they actually are. Learn about these techniques and how you can spot them. If you’re unsure of something’s authenticity, think twice before buying.

7. Understand the Restoration Process

Understand the Restoration Process

You also need to know how the items are restored and what signs of restoration look like. Those who want to know how to make money from antiques might be surprised that people pass off restored pieces as originals, but they do.

8. Get Insurance

Get Insurance

Be sure you insure your most valuable items or your collection as a whole. If you’re transporting these rare collectibles and they’re damaged, you’ll be glad you did.

9. Understand Auction Costs

Understand Auction Costs

If you’re buying items from an auction house, make sure you know what additional fees and costs are involved. Many auction houses charge a fee called a buyer’s premium in addition to the amount of your bid.

10. Look for Specialty Trade Shows

Look for Specialty Trade Shows

There are a number of trade shows out there that focus on one particular niche. For example, if you’re collecting rare comic books, make sure you attend a number of comic cons. You can find rare finds there to add to your collection, plus you may be able to become a vendor yourself.

Silver Plate Cleaning Methods

Important Tips For Cleaning Your Silver and Antiques

Do you have a silver antique that has seen better days and needs to be cleaned? Are you looking for a way to polish your antique silverware to give it a shine that you’ll be proud to show off? There are many safe ways that you can clean your silver and antiques, all at an affordable price. If you are interested in the best way to clean silver plate, follow some of these helpful tips.

Silver Plate Cleaning Methods

There are a ton of ways that you can go about cleaning silver plate naturally, which is one of the best ways to clean your antiques without worrying about damage to your pieces:

  • Vinegar. If your silverware or silver jewelry has lost its shine, you can soak it in a solution of 2 tbsp. baking soda in ½ cup of white vinegar.
  • Lemon. For silver that sparkles and shines, mix one tablespoon of lemon juice with ½ cup instant dry milk and 1 ½ cups of water.
  • Corn starch. A mix of water of cornstarch and water can create a paste that will make your silver antiques look like new again. Allow the paste to dry on the silver, and then rub it off with a mildly-abrasive cloth.
  • Tomato paste. Dunk small silver pieces into tomato paste and scrub with a toothbrush. You’ll get a thorough cleaning and the silver will sparkle upon completion.

Many of these items are probably already in your pantry, providing you a simple and affordable way to clean your most prized silver possessions.

Silver Plate Cleaning Methods

How to Polish Your Silver

After cleaning your silverware, you may want to give it some extra sheen with a good polish. There are a variety of safe silver polishes available for purchase, including Wright’s Silver Polish, Twinkle Silver Polish, and Goddard’s Long Shine Silver Polish. While these products are safe, others, including all-purpose metal cleaners, are too abrasive and may scratch your silver antiques.

After washing and cleaning your silver thoroughly, follow these tips to polish appropriate:

  • Apply the polish using the instructions on the container. You should always use a soft and clean cloth and apply the polish with a circular, gentle motion.
  • Use hot water to rinse off the polish and dry the piece thoroughly.
  • Using a soft cloth, buff the silver to create a soft luster. Remember that aggressive polishing could rub off the hallmark or damage the silver-plating, significantly altering the value.

Antiques

Cleaning your silver and antiques doesn’t have to be an expensive process, but you should be sure to take proper precautions. A clean and well-polished antique will look more valuable and is more likely to sell at an auction or estate sale. If you are interested in selling, bring your antiques in to Antique Silver Buyers, where we will provide a market analysis of your collection – the total that they are likely to sell for at auction.

Antique Silver Flatware

Antique Silverware Appraisal Near Me: Know What’s the Current price of Silver Flatware

If you’ve inherited a set of sterling silver flatware, you may be interested in knowing what its current market value is. While prices do vary from set to set and region to region, there is some basic information you can use to determine how much your silver flatware is worth. Remember, though, that there is a difference between the actual market value of a set of flatware and what someone is willing to pay for it. In some cases, you may be able to get more money for a set of flatware, but in other cases, you may have to take less if you want to quickly sell it.

Antique Silverware Appraisal Near Me

Sentimental Verses Actual Value

Sadly, antique silver flatware patterns are only worth sentimental value. This means that the silver isn’t sterling, nor is it plated. Instead, the silver layer is incredibly thin and not really worth much of anything. That’s why it’s important to look over all of the silver pieces you have for marks that indicate how pure the silver is. You want to find numbers indicating that your silver is at least 92.5% pure, which is the minimum amount required for it to be classified as silver. You also want to make sure it’s not silver plated. Modern silver pieces use very thin layers of silver, so they aren’t actually worth that much.

Determining the Price of Your Collection

In order to determine what your pieces would be worth to silver flatware collectors, you can do a few different things. The first is to try to determine what silver pattern you have and when your silver was made. Silver flatware was first made during the 12th century in England. If you can find silver marks that indicate your flatware was made during this time, you definitely have something special. In this case, collectors and even museums may be interested in purchasing your collection.

Many other silver sets and items were made during the mid-1800s. During this time, the Industrial Revolution was responsible for an economic boom. Many families wanted to show off their fortunate, so they purchased sets of silver. This led to more silver companies producing various beautiful, ornate pieces. However, it wasn’t long after that the Great Depression brought the silver trade to a halt. You’ll find that the antique flatware worth of later sets isn’t as much since it was mostly covered in silver plating so as to be more affordable.

Check Prices and Get an Appraisal

Once you’ve determined when your silver was made, you can look online to see what similar pieces or collections have sold for. This will give you a ballpark idea about what you can get for your set. Some silver sets are sound per piece (indicated by pp by the price), while complete sets may actually be sold as one lot.

Another way of learning the current market value of your pieces is to take them to an appraiser. These experts will be able to give you a good idea of what your personal silver flatware is worth. They will take into account any damage or missing pieces your set may have in order to give you the most accurate estimate.

Get your FREE verbal, no obligation appraisal!

Set of Silver Flatware

Antique Silver & Vintage Silver – Differences you need to know before you look to sell?

Do you know the different between an antique silver flatware set and a vintage silver set? Unfortunately, many people assume that the terms “antique” and “vintage” are interchangeable. They aren’t, and the difference between the two can be a very large sum of money. You need to know how antique differs from vintage before you sell your silver flatware.

Antique Silver

Flatware Has a Long History

Sterling silver flatware sets have been around for centuries. This means the idea of what’s an antique is different than it is for other things. For example, the Antique Automobile Club of America considered a car to be an antique if it’s 25 years old. That’s definitely not true of silver!

Set of Silver Flatware

There’s Not a Set Standard

One thing antique silver flatware buyers often try to do is convince those who aren’t collectors that their flatware isn’t old enough to be considered an antique. The reason why this is fairly easy to do is because there’s no set standard of when flatware becomes an antique. It can also depend on the flatware manufacturer, the country it was made in, and more.

A Helpful Definition

While there’s no set standard, many people do follow a common scale for judging flatware. If it was made after 1950, it’s definitely not antique or vintage—it’s a set of modern flatware. For sets made prior to 1950 but after 1900, give or take a decade or two, vintage is usually the term used. If you have true antique silver flatware for sale, it should have been made before 1900.

How it Affects the Value

Obviously, the older the flatware is, the more valuable it can be. An antique set of silver flatware that can be dated to the 1850s is more valuable than a vintage set from the 1920s. Of course, condition and whether or not you have the full set does play a part in the value. Overall, though, older silver generally fetches a higher price.

Sterling Silver vs. Silver_ A Stronger Alternative

Sterling Silver: 5 Solid Sterling Silver Facts Everyone Should Know

The beauty of sterling silver is undisputed. It has the gleaming, reflective qualities that make silver so popular for a wide variety of items, particularly jewelry, flatware, and decorative pieces like picture frames. If you inherit antique silver you may just think it is pure silver. That might not be true. It could be sterling silver. There are some differences between sterling silver vs. silver that you should be aware of. Those differences matter. They affect the value and composition of sterling silver. In this article we will explore five sterling silver facts that you should know.

Sterling Silver Is an Alloy

Sterling Silver Is an Alloy

The first thing you should know about Sterling silver is not the same as pure of fine silver. It is alloy. An alloy is a mixture of different metals. In the case of Sterling silver, it has a base of silver, usually around 92.5% silver. Then the remaining 7.5% of the Sterling silver can be a combination of other metals. Copper is the most frequently used metal in that mixture, but it can be a number of other metals and combinations of metals.

Sterling Silver vs. Silver: A Stronger Alternative

Sterling Silver vs. Silver_ A Stronger Alternative

Because silver has such beauty and value, many people ask why on earth anyone would want to “sully” it by adding any other metals to it. There is actually a very good reason. Pure silver is a soft metal. Overtime it doesn’t hold its shape very well. It is extremely prone to dents and scratches. It can be a lovely metal for items that will just for display but it doesn’t last a long when used in items like jewelry and flatware that are handled and used often. The solution to that inherent softness is to add a come copper or other metals that make the silver stronger and more durable while retaining its beauty.

You May Notice An Assayer’s Mark on Sterling Silver

You May Notice An Assayer’s Mark on Sterling Silver

Since Sterling silver is an alloy, it may have an assayer’s mark. This can give you some insight into the origins of your antique silver. The assayer’s mark is often an animal or other symbol that signifies where the sterling silver was manufactured. It also often contains a number that tells you the purity of the silver. Sterling silver is 92.5% silver so the marking will be 925.

The Value of Your Sterling Silver Will Vary

The Value of Your Sterling Silver Will Vary

Being an alloy and not a pure precious metal metals means that Sterling silver isn’t considered an “investment metal”. In spite of that, the value of Sterling silver is tied to the value of pure silver due to its high silver content. For that reason, you should take the time to research the price of silver if you decide to sell your sterling silver jewelry, flatware, or other items made of sterling silver. That is the best way to get an idea of what your antique silver is worth.

Sterling Silver Will Tarnish- Store it Right

Sterling Silver Will Tarnish- Store it Right

Anyone who has ever owned anything silver knows that it will tarnish. You probably already know that antique silver needs to be polished on a regular basis. That is true for Sterling silver as well. You should also be aware that how you store your Sterling silver also makes a difference. Humidity really causes silver to tarnish. If you store Sterling silver in jewelry box, display case, or other enclosed place you should include the sort of desiccate (or salt) packets that are used to absorb humidity. Also, if you aren’t using or displaying your Sterling silver item, you can use jeweler’s cloths or polyurethane bags for long-term storage. They prevent exposure to oxygen and the process of oxidation that causes tarnish.