Antique Silver Flatware: Where Is The Best Place To Sell My Sterling Silver Flatware?

Do you have some antique silver flatware you’d like to sell, but aren’t sure where to take it? There are a number of different places you could sell your silver, but not all of these places are going to give you what it’s truly worth.

Antique Silver Flatware

To Collectors

If you know someone who collects silver pieces, you may decide to offer your silver flatware to them. Collectors are going to be very particular about what they buy, though, so don’t expect to get a good offer if your silver isn’t in good condition, isn’t a complete set, or isn’t that old. They may also attempt to negotiate by pointing out defects or discussing the rarity of your set. Be cautious when selling to collectors, especially if you don’t know them well.


If you type “where to sell antique silver flatware” into a search engine, you’ll likely get a number of online dealer sites. You can put your silver pieces up for sale here, but there are a few things to keep in mind. First, you have to have excellent pictures that truly show the condition of the flatware. Second, remember that many serious buyers don’t really shop online since they can’t examine the quality of the pieces themselves. You may get less than you’d like selling online.

At an Auction

Another way to get cash & money for silver pieces is to take them to an auction. While there may be serious bidders here, remember that you will have to pay a commission to the auction service.

To a Buyer

Finally, there are some professional antique silver flatware buyers out there who purchase pieces to later resell. They often know the value of the pieces and are willing to pay that amount, especially if they know someone they call sell the flatware to for a profit.

4 Quick Ways To Tell “Real” v/s “Fake” Silver

When you purchase a piece of antique silver, you want to make certain it’s a true antique and that it’s really made out of at least 92.5% silver. Some pieces may look like true silver, but they’re not. They’re simply pieces designed to look great but also be quite affordable. How can you tell if something you’re buying is really silver? Here are four quick ways.


Look for the Mark

Silver should be marked with an assay mark that identifies it as pure silver. “Sterling,” “92.5” or “925” are required for silver made in Europe and other parts of the world. In the U.S., these marks weren’t always required for silver identification, unfortunately.

Tap It

Silver makes a ringing sound if it’s tapped. This sound is easily identifiable to those who know what to listen for. You can carefully tap silver plates, bowls, and other items to get a bell-like sound that’s fairly high pitched. To inspect silver coins, tap them with another coin or flick them up in the air. Always be careful, of course, that you don’t damage the silver. Any scratch or dent will decrease the value of antique silver.

Does Ice Melt on the Silver?

Another trick antique silver buyers often use is the ice trick. Silver is a great conductor of heat, so if you put ice on it, the ice should instantly start melting. If you put ice cubes of the same size on a ceramic plate and on a silver plate, the cube on the silver should melt much faster. Just remember to dry the plate after you’ve done.

Polish the Piece

When you polish a piece of silver with a soft cloth, you should see some black marks appear on the cloth. That indicates that you’ve rubbed off some of the tarnish. If you don’t see this, it’s a good sign that the piece isn’t silver.

Tips on How to Care for your Antique and Vintage Silver Flatware Sets

Caring for your antique sterling silver flatware isn’t that difficult, but it is something you have to make sure you do. Otherwise, your silver may tarnish or be damaged in other ways. Here are a few tips that will help you keep your silver looking amazing.

Clean Silver

Use Your Silver

The first tip for caring for a set of silver flatware is one that surprises some people: use it. If you regularly use your silver, you’ll notice when it needs cleaning. If, on the other hand, you leave it in a drawer and only take it out for a special occasion every now and then, it has a lot of time to tarnish. Silver flatware collectors understand that silver was meant to be used, and they keep some of their sets in the kitchen for regular use.

Do the Dishes Promptly

It’s important that you clean your silver flatware after using it. If you let it sit, especially if it sits in water or has food on it, it can begin to tarnish quickly. Rinse it off using hot water after using it and dry it off before you put it away. To make sure you don’t decrease your antique flatware worth, only use a mild dish detergent and don’t leave it to soak in water.

Be Careful what You Wrap it in

If you’re only using your flatware every now and then instead of daily, make sure you store it in a flannel bag or a box that is lined with flannel. This will help prevent your antique silver flatware patterns from being scratched or damaged. You also want to make sure you never wrap silver in anything that contains a lot of sulfur. It can turn the silver black if you do. You also want to avoid wrapping silver in newspaper or plastic or using rubber bands to hold pieces together.

How to get the actual and not by-weight prices for Antique Sterling Silver Trays?

If you’re planning on selling your antique sterling silver trays, you want to make certain you get the correct value for your pieces. There are two different types of prices for silver: the actual value of the piece and the by-weight value. There is often a very wide gap between these two prices, too. So how do you determine which is better?


The By-Weight Price

The by-weigh price is literally how much the silver that makes up your antique silver-plated trays is worth. If you took the trays, melted them down, and sold the silver, this is the price you would get for it. It’s determined by weighing the piece in Troy ounces. One Troy ounce is .911 of a U.S. ounce. For a tray that is pure silver (at least 92.5% silver), the price per Troy ounce is around $16.00 as of March 2018.

Sterling Silver Trays

But the Actual Price May Be Much more

Say you have a silver tray that was made in the early 1800s. You could melt it down and get a little bit of money for it, true. However, you would be losing a lot of value. The tray is likely worth much more to silver tray dealers. If it’s a rare find or in outstanding condition, you’ll get a lot more money for it than if you sold it for the silver.

Determining the Actual Value

So how do you determine what silver tray buyers are likely to pay? There’s not an easy formula for figuring the actual value. Instead, you have to do some research. You need to examine the tray and determine when it was made and who made it. Then you need to research and determine how rare the piece is and if there’s a major demand for it. You can see what other people have paid for similar trays, too. This research should help you determine exactly how much the tray is worth to collectors.

Are you selling precious silver items for scrap prices? Read how & where to sell before you do

Do you have some silver items that you want to sell? There are a couple of different ways you can sell antique silver bowls and other silver items. The easiest method is to sell them as scrap silver. This involves finding a business that will buy the silver from you for its current value. They then melt down the items and sell off the silver to a company that will use it to make something else. A quick search for “where can I sell silver bowls” is likely to reveal a number of these businesses in your area.

Antique Silver

Is This the Right Method for You?

Selling your antique sterling silver bowls and other silver items as scrap may not actually make you the most money. If your items are truly antiques, they’re likely worth much more as they are. Before you sell them to a scrap business, make certain you’ve researched the piece and know what it’s truly worth. You may be able to get much more for it by selling to silver bowls collectors online.

Antique Collection

Understanding How it Works

When you sell to a silver scrap business, they usually pay you the current silver value per Troy ounce for your item. It’s important to know that it’s by Troy ounce, which is 0.911 of a U.S. ounce. Before you sell, determine the weight of your pieces in Troy ounces. Next, go online and look up the current value of silver per Troy ounce. Multiply that times the weight of the piece to get its value.

Take Premiums into Account

Remember, though, that you’re likely to get less than what you’ve calculated. Buyers charge a fee to purchase scrap silver. This covers their time in evaluating your items, the work it takes to melt them down, and provides them with a profit when they resell the silver. Some places charge as little as two percent, while others may charge upwards of twenty percent.

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.

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.

Silver Hallmarks & other Identifiers – 3 Tips for Reading Hallmarks on Silver

In order to properly identify your antique silver pieces, you need to know how to read the hallmark on the item. These stamps indicate the year the item was made, where it was made, and who made it. It can also include a few other pieces, such as a duty mark, although that’s not always the case. If you’re not certain how to tell what these silver hallmarks are, these tips will help you.

Antique Hallmark

How to Make the Mark Easier to Read

Reading the hallmarks of a piece is essential to identify it, but it’s not always that simple. The silver hallmarks identification process is much more difficult on older pieces because the hallmark may not be as clear as it once was due to age or damage. One trick to making it a bit easier to read is to gently blow on it. The warmth from your breath will cause condensation, making the mark clearer.

Know the Common Marks

There are a number of common marks that appear on many silver pieces. For example, the lion passant is standard to identify a piece as sterling silver. If this mark isn’t there, it means the piece is most likely silver plated. You can find a list of the common town marks, date letters, and other hallmarks online or in a number of different guide books. If you’re going to deal in silver, you’ll need to become familiar with them.

lion passant marking

Understand the History of Silver

Knowing the history of silver flatware and other items can be very helpful for reading hallmarks. For example, if you see a duty mark on a piece, you’ll know that it was made between 1784 and 1890. You can narrow it down even more if you know when that mark was the king’s head and when it was the queen’s. All of this is vital information that can be used in antique silver appraisal and in your own personal identification of items.

How to Sell Your Silver Bowl for More Than It Is Worth?

Selling your antique sterling silver bowls may seem like a great way to make some extra money, but you want to make sure you’re getting a good price for them. In fact, if at all possible, you want to get more for these bowls than what they’re actually worth. Otherwise, it might seem like a waste of time to find a buyer and sell the bowls. If you’re considering selling any silver bowls, here are a few tips for getting the maximum amount of money from the sale.

Clean Them Up

As with any silver pieces, before you can sell antique silver bowls, you need to make sure they’re completely tarnish-free. There are a number of different DIY methods you can use to get tarnish off of silver. You can also purchase special silver polishing cloths and other products designed to remove tarnish. Always give your silver a nice polish before you take photos of it, take it to appraisers, or show it off to potential buyers. You want to make sure it looks amazing, even if you know the buyer is simply going to melt it down.

Clean your silver

Learn What You Have

Do you know who made your silver bowls? Do you know when they were made? All of this information plays into the value of the bowl. If you want to sell it for more than it’s worth, you need to know as much about the history of the piece as possible. Learn if it’s silver plated or sterling silver—that’s very important since items that are silver plated don’t sell for as much. Determine if the silver is 92.5% silver. If it is, it’s considered sterling, and it’s much more valuable.

Who Are You Selling To?

If you do a search for “where can I sell silver bowls” online, you’ll get a lot of hits. Remember, though, that not all of these buyers are going to offer you the same amount of money. Companies that buy and sell silver will always try to buy for as low as they can. That’s because they expect to resell the items at a profit. The same is true for companies that plan on melting down the silver. They have less interest in the piece itself and are just looking for items that are sterling.

Antique Silver Collector

If you’re selling to a collector, though, that’s where you can get top dollar. This is especially true if the silver bowls you have are fairly old and rare. You may be surprised at how much a collector will pay for bowls that complete their set.

Look at What Sellers Want

Look at websites created for and by silver bowls collectors online. Here, you’ll be able to get an idea of what silver bowls are currently selling for and which ones are among the rarest. You can use these websites to determine if what you have is truly special or if you’re better off selling it to someone who wants it just for the silver. Be sure you do your research—the last thing you want to do is let something go for much less than what it’s worth.

Cleaning Silver Trays – Basic Guide to Cleaning and Caring for Silver Trays with Stuff from Your Kitchen

Silver trays can look gorgeous. The finely etched pattern makes them the centerpiece of almost any table setting. But what do you do when these silver trays get tarnished? You can either run out and buy expensive silver cleaning products, or you can use a few things you likely already have in your own kitchen. Silver trays dealers around the world use these little DIY tips and tricks to keep their silver looking great without spending a lot of money.

Dish Soap

You may be able to remove some light tarnish simply by dipping the tray into warm (not hot) water combined with standard dish soap. You only need a few drops, so don’t go overboard or you may risk damaging the tray. Make sure that the soap is fully diluted in the water, too. Then dip your tray in, pull it out, and dry it off with a soft cloth.

Aluminum Foil and Baking Soda

One of the easiest methods for cleaning antique silver plated trays involves four basic ingredients from your kitchen. All you need is a tablespoon of baking soda, a tablespoon of salt, a sheet of aluminum foil, and two cups boiling water. Line a pot, baking dish, or even your sink with the aluminum foil. Mix in the baking soda, salt, and hot water. Then add in your silver tray. Let it sit for a minute or two, then carefully pull it out with kitchen tongs. A very large amount, if not all, of the tarnish will have transferred from the tray to the aluminum foil!

image of baking soda


While some people aren’t as fond of this method, others swear by ketchup. Just squirt some of this condiment onto a paper towel and gently rub at the tarnished areas of your antique sterling silver trays. You might be surprised at how much of the tarnish comes off! For trays that are heavily tarnished, you can leave the ketchup on for about 15 minutes. You can also use a soft bristle toothbrush to clean tarnish out of crevices. Rinse the tray off with warm water and dry with a soft cloth once you’ve got the tarnish off.


Another common kitchen ingredient you can use to clean tarnished silver trays is cornstarch. Mix a little cornstarch with water to create a paste. Then apply that paste to the tarnished area and let it sit until it’s dry. Once it is, rub it off with a towel or cheesecloth. If you don’t have any cornstarch handy, you can use cream of tartar.

Lemon-Lime Soda

image of generic lemon lime soda

Another common item you can use to clean your items before showing them to potential silver trays buyers is any type of lemon-lime soda. You can let your trays sit in a bowl of this soda for about an hour. Then remove the tray and rinse it clean. A good amount of the tarnish will rinse right off. Pat the tray dry with a soft cloth and you’re ready to sell it.