Sterling Silver Marking

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.

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.



What precisely is sterling silver and how does it differ from real silver?

If you’ve seen something marked as sterling silver, you may assume that it’s no different from regular silver. However, that’s not the case. These two terms may sometimes be used interchangeably, but they’re not truly equivalent.

Sterling Silver Vs Silver

There is a difference between sterling silver and standard silver, and if you’re buying a lot of different silver jewelry, you should know exactly what it is you’re purchasing.


Sterling Silver vs Real Silver

Antique Silver Vs Sterling Silver

What is Pure or Fine Silver & How Pure is Sterling Silver

If you’re purchasing something that is advertised as pure silver, that means it has 99.9% silver in it. It’s as pure as you can get there’s no such thing as 100% silver with no impurities. Fine silver is not used in jewelry because it’s simply too soft. The items would be too malleable by hand. That’s why the silver jewelry and other items you purchase will be made from a mixture of silver and another metal (or several metals).

Know What is Sterling Silver?

Sterling silver, on the other hand, is a silver alloy. It’s made when pure silver is mixed with copper. The result is an alloy that is not as soft as pure copper and is much more durable. Sterling silver is generally 92.5% pure. That means only 7.5% of the mixture is another metal. While copper is the most common, zinc and nickel are also often used in making sterling silver.

In many cases, items that are made out of sterling silver are actually coated with pure silver. This thin layer improves the look of the piece by making it shinier. However, these products should never be labeled as pure silver because they aren’t.

You should also look for the term “sterling silver plated” on products. These products are not made of sterling silver. Instead, they’re made out of other metals such as copper or nickel. They’ve just had an outer layer of sterling silver applied to them. Over time, this layer is going to start wearing off, leaving the item looking much less attractive.

What is Coin Silver?

If you’re researching sterling silver vs. pure silver, you may also see the term “coin silver” come up. This is another type of silver alloy. However, it’s less pure. Coin silver is generally no more than 90 percent pure silver, so it’s not used in jewelry that often.

How Do You Tell the Difference?

Reputable silver makers should always stamp their creations. On fine silver pieces, you’ll find a number that shows the amount of silver per hundred parts (or thousands, in some cases). The higher the number, the more silver is in the product. Pure silver should have a high number such as 999 (some items are marked as 99.9 or as .999, but these are all indicative of pure silver). On sterling silver, you should see 925 (or, again, 9.25 or .925). If the number is any lower than that, it shouldn’t be marked as sterling silver in the U.S.

Note that sterling silver sold in other countries may have a purity lower than 925. Not all countries have the same purity requirements that the U.S. has.

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Antique Silver Flatware

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.

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Up for a little “Antiquing” During the Corona Virus Pandemic?



It is unprecedented calamity on a global scale. It stated as a distant rumor of an outbreak in China in the middle of winter and then spread slowly at times and like wildfire at other time through the world. Novel COVID-19 (aka the Corona virus) is a serious and highly contagious respiratory illness that is already responsible for thousands of deaths worldwide. It has forced the mass shut-down of everything as we practice social distancing in an effort to slow the spread of the pandemic. Now we are all working from home or just at home because we don’t currently have a job. It is a dark time and we all striving to find little rays of light in the darkness. Or maybe some normalcy that we can cling to for a little while. And, let’s be honest, along with being anxious, scared, and angry, we might also be bored.


It is an environment that has changed everything. There is no clearly defined end in sight yet. It has been a massive adjustment for everyone and every business. Most business have been sharply curtailed or even closed. Some essential businesses like grocery stores have to remain open. A lot of other businesses have had to focus as much as possible on doing business online. The antique business is among those. While the digital revolution has meant a huge increase in online antique appraisal and antique sales, that is not the tradition way of doing business for antique buyers and sellers. In this article we are going to explore the effect that the novel COVID-19 virus has had on the antique business and how you can spend some of your time while on lock-down “antiquing”.

Antique treasures in troubled times

An antique is a piece of the past that may be a hidden treasure or may be just a bit flotsam that has floated down the stream of time. When you look at an antique currently in your possession you may see it as a work or art that you want to display or wear. You may see it as a cherished connection to departed loved one. On the other hand, in spite of its beauty or its sentimental value, you may be asking how much it is worth. It is understandable if the issue is money and the value of your antique is at the forefront of your mind, particularly if the antique is something that is not to your taste but might be very much to someone else’s taste.

Here is the thing, right now a lot of us are stuck at home with time on our hands. It is also spring- a traditional time for “spring cleaning”. Think about that to do list you have had forever that includes cleaning the attic or the garage. Think of that antique you might have in a closet or jewelry box someplace because it doesn’t fit with décor of your home or go with your sense of style. This is actually an ideal time to do some spring cleaning around the house and sell the antiques you have been meaning get rid of. Also, many people currently are not sure when they will be working again and they are in need of immediate money. Potentially valuable antiques can be sold online for money quickly. On the other hand, if you are stuck at home and looking to buy some antiques you might find the antique jewelry, fine silver, or artwork of your dreams in just a few clicks!

“Antiquing” moves online”

When people think about “antiquing” they probably picture taking a drive to the country to browse at a quaint shop. They might picture selling an antique at a pawnshop in the city for fast cash. Some might think of a well-heeled, reputable auction house conducting an auction where people bid with paddles. Obviously, those traditional methods of buying and selling antiques is out. Antique buyers and sellers are already doing a brisk business online and now is time to join them!

At we know how crucial an appraisal is to the process of selling your jewelry. We are among the leaders of online antique appraisers because of our staff of highly skilled appraisers. We have trusted, expert appraisers with the knowledge to accurately determine the highest price you can obtain for your antique silver. They have the technical knowledge necessary to evaluate the quality of your silver and the knowledge of the market necessary to set an accurate and fair value. They make it easy to get online appraisal by a specialist.

When you are ready to get an online antique appraisal by a specialist and sell online, get in touch with us. We are authorized buyers and sellers of antique silver. We are proud to be among the very best silver antique appraisers and sellers online. To get started, please send us a photo and a detailed description of your silver as well as any previous appraisals that have been done. We may also request that you mail your antique silver to us for appraisal. Along with appraisal, we can also help you find a buyer for your antique silver or help you find the antique silver that you have been looking for.

Lemon juice antique cleaner

How to Clean Sterling Silver Naturally? | Alabama | New York | Houston

Do you have a tarnished sterling silver piece that you are hoping to clean, but don’t want to use any harsh chemicals? If so, you are in luck, as there are several safe and natural ways to clean sterling silver, many of which involve items that you already have in your home.

Cleaning Sterling Silver with Corn Starch

A quick search of your pantry might find you a great solution to clean your sterling silver. A mixture of cornstarch and water in the form of a paste can make your silver look like new again. Apply the paste with a damp cloth, then let it dry and rub it off with a mildly abrasive towel. If you don’t happen to have any cornstarch at home, cream of tartar could be a suitable substitute.


If your sterling silver jewelry or silverware has lost its shine and luster, try soaking it in a solution of ½ cup of white vinegar and 2 tablespoons of baking soda. Allow it to sit for two or three hours, and then remove it and rinse with cold water. Make sure you dry off your piece thoroughly in order to prevent tarnishing.

Vinegar antique cleaner

Lemon Juice

If you want your silver to sparkle, a mixture of one tablespoon lemon juice with1 ½ cups of water and ½ cup of instant dry milk can be a good option. The end result will be silver pieces that shine, all without the use of chemicals or store bought solutions. Not only is it a good option for silver jewelry, but the lemon solution can also be beneficial for rusty knives and other silver pieces.

Lemon juice antique cleaner

Tomato-Based Paste

Tomato-based pastes like ketchup are a good way to help restore your silver pieces back to their former glory. Use a small bowl and fill it up with ketchup, and then dunk in your silver piece of jewelry. To scrub the piece, use a toothbrush, as this can help to clean the areas that are hard to reach. You should only leave the ketchup on for a couple of minutes, and then use water to rinse it. A microfiber cloth is a good option for the final polish.

Baking Soda

Sterling silver will react with moisture in order to create a layer of tarnish. Baking soda that is activated by hot water can dislodge this tarnish when aluminum is present, leaving your jewelry shiny and clean once again. To try out this option, boil enough water that your sterling silver piece can be completely submerged, and then add in a tablespoon of baking soda along with a sheet of aluminum foil. Use a plastic or wood utensil to move the item around so that all surfaces will contact the aluminum. Finally, rinse and wipe down the piece of jewelry, and you should be left with a beautiful piece.

If you have sterling silver jewelry or antiques, you don’t have to go out and buy an expensive sterling silver cleaner. By using some common and natural household items, you can get the look that you want without spending a fortune.

History Behind Silver Markings

Silver Markings - Silver has been mined from the earth for thousands of years. Old World silver and silver markings have been traced back to modern day Turkey, as early as 4000 BC. But it wasn’t until around 2500 BC that we have solid accounts of the first sophisticated mining and refinement process of the precious metal known as “cupellation.” Since that time, civilizations have risen and fallen, each leaving their own characteristic imprint on silver before it became a valued currency in America. Due to the wide variability in purity, integrity and origin silver markings were developed to distinguish and verify each piece.

The Importance of Markings

Silver Markings

One of the most imperative distinguished to make is whether the piece is sterling silver or if the piece is merely sprayed with a layer of silver atop another, less valuable, base metal, known as plating. Once you have determined if the piece is sterling or plated silver, other markings denote such valuable information such as:

-  Makers Mark; this is usually denoted by the silversmiths initials of the first and last name
-  Firm Name; often added along with the Makers Mark
-  Date; usually just the year the piece was crafted
-  Assay; this mark proves the piece was inspected and verified. It may also contain an additional standard symbol to denote purity. Silver is a soft metal and even sterling has a small percentage of another metal to give it strength.

Silver markings not only help collectors to identify key characteristics of the piece for valuation, they divulge a rich history, and to a collector, that is of great worth.

Silver Markings across Civilizations

Identifying the markings on a piece of silver is quite the task as there are hundreds of different symbols. Each civilization has created their own stamp and that stamp has evolved as different authorities have altered the design for various purposes such as taxes or even pride. Tracing them can be difficult for many reasons. Sometimes the pieces are well worn and the stamp has become hard to distinguish to an untrained eye. There are often minute details separating an assay’s mark, such as a small number or letter that helps to determine the value based on purity. Even if the markings can be clearly established, some of the registration records have been destroyed, making complete identification almost impossible to achieve in some cases.

No matter what type of piece; coin, flatware, tea sets or candelabra, there will be markings on it. If there are no markings, the piece is not valuable and could be fraudulent.

Each nation still has an abundance of well-documented markings to make identification possible, even if some of the markings have faded away with time. If you have a silver piece you would like to know more about, contact a knowledgeable professional who is familiar with the different eras and aspects of markings. The markings are what determine the value of your piece so it is important to have it identified correctly, whether you want to have it appraised for insurance purposes or if you are looking to sell the piece.

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Where are the best places to sell antiques

Pawn Shops Near Me That Buy Antiques at the Top Price

An antique can represent different things to different people. It might represent a piece of history that has been preserved to continue to be appreciated in the present. It might have a great deal of sentimental value and represent family history and departed loved ones. A fine antique can be seen a thing of artistic beauty that will enhance the décor of a room. It might be simply a valuable item that can be sold for money. That last one is often the crucial one when you need to sell an antique. Where are the best places to sell antiques? We will explore that in this article.

Where are the best places to sell antiques

Use the Internet to Find Local Antique Buyers

One of the first and most obvious tools for finding antique dealers in today’s digital age is the Internet. A simple search will enable you to cast a net that will capture results showing a wide range of local antique buyers near you. In fact, depending on where you live, you may feel a little overwhelmed by how many search results you receive. You can begin to research the various stores and individual buyers who pop up in your search engine results to find someone who might be the right buyer for your family heirloom. If you do receive a lot of result it can also be helpful to narrow them down by focusing on the type of antique you are selling. Some buyers who are interested in early American artwork might not be interested in World War II memorabilia and vice versa. At Antique Silver Buyers, we specialize in buying antique flatware, Bowls, Juliet Cups, Trays and other antiques. We can also help you find local antique buyers.

Use the Internet to Find Local Antique Buyers

Consult an Expert

When people have antiques that they want to sell they often ask, “Where can I sell my antiques?” This means that the first step in selling an antique is usually getting an appraisal from an expert to determine the item’s value. Guess what? When you have the appraisal done you can ask the expert if they are away of any local antique buyers who might be interested in your piece. At Antique Silver Buyers, we offer expert appraisals and advice on how to sell your antique at the highest price.

Consult an Expert

Know the Value of Your Antiques.

Whether you are selling just a couple of antiques that you inherited from you grandmother or you are serious about selling antiques as a small business, you should be aware of how the value of your antiques is determined. Professional antique buyers will consider a number of factors when determining value. These factors include the condition of the item, whether it has been restored, whether it bears a manufacturer’s mark, the provenance, how rare it is, and (perhaps above all) how much demand there is for the item among antique buyers. At Antique Silver Buyers, we have the knowledge and expertise to accurately appraise the value of your antique and help you sell it for the highest price.

Know the Value of Your Antiques.

Look for Local Antique Buyers in All the Right Places

When getting the best price for your antique is your goal it is often best to find buyers in unusual places. You can Google, “antique buyers near me,” but that won’t always get you the buyer who will offer the best price. There are places online like Craig’s List, eBay, and Etsy where you might get a great offer. There are auction houses and estate buyers who are on the hunt for fine antiques and willing to pay top price. Professional home designers and decorators are also always looking for the right antique piece. You can find a local antique buyer in places you might not expect! At Antique Silver Buyers, we know where to find these buyers and we can help you find the best places to sell antiques and get the best price. Contact us today to get started.

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Antique Hallmarks

Pro Tips on How to Identify Hallmarks on Silver

Individuals that have silver items are always eager to know whether what they have is sterling or silver plated. This helps to understand the value of the product and make informed decisions about buying and selling of such items.

Antique silver is valuable and commands high price. For both buyers and sellers of silvers, an understanding of such factors as the age, manufacturer, and rarity of silver items determines the value attached to the items. These important pieces of information about silvers are often contained in the hallmarks.

Antique Hallmarks

What Are The Hallmarks?

Silver hallmarks are small stamped symbols that are found on the back or underside of silver items. They are very essential in antique silver appraisal as they provide the right information that help to determine the value and true prices of silver items.

How to Locate Hallmarks?

Hallmarks are placed on different parts of silver pieces. To locate it in different items, check:

  • Bottom of silver trays, bowls, teapots and dishes
  • Back of silver flatware
  • Bottom of candlesticks, figurines, vases and decorative pieces
  • Near the clasp of necklaces and chains
  • And inside of rings and cuff bracelets.

Identify the Hallmarks

Finding the hallmark is just the beginning of silver hallmarks identification. You need to figure out such information as the manufacturers of the item and the year it was made. Manufacturers change their marks over time but there are online resources that can help you to identify each hallmark. Most of them offer detailed photographs and extensive information that will help you determine the value of the antique.

Being able to identify hallmarks on silvers will help you to have a better understanding of what your antique is worth. This will put you in a better position if you finally decide to sell your silver. It will also be better to sell to antique silver dealers. Some reputable dealers will help you determine the value of your silver and buy at prices that are fair.

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Antique Sterling Silver Trays

Quick and Smart Ways to Get the Actual Prices for Antique Sterling Silver Trays

If you have silver items and decide to sell, there are lots of people that will be willing to buy. But how many are willing to pay the right price? In fact, do you really know the actual value of your antique silver plated trays? It is possible that you do not know the actual prices for what you have and we will try to provide the right information as briefly as possible.



Know the Difference between By-Weight Price and Actual Price

When it comes to silver items, prices can be discussed from two perspectives and you should never let this confuse you. Some unscrupulous silver trays buyers may want to buy at the by-weight price. This represents how much the silver in your antique silver tray is worth if the tray is melted and the silver sold by weighing it in Troy ounces

While the price from the first option can actually be the true price of silver it can be much less than the true price of your antique sterling silver trays when other important factors are considered. Most silver trays that were made centuries ago have antique values based on such factors as their age, who made them, and the sort of craftsmanship showcased. If what you have is rare and has high demand, it can fetch you far more than what you will get in by-weight prices.

How Do You Determine The Actual Value?

Determining the actual prices for your silver trays will require meaningful research. Firstly, you need to establish that your tray is of sterling silver. Next, you need to find out when it was made and who made it. Afterwards, check how rare or popular the tray is and the demand for it. Use what people have paid for similar antique trays as price benchmark.

Sell To Antique Silver Dealers

Silver trays dealers are likely to pay more for your silver trays than regular individual buyers. While reaching out to dealers, consider those that are:

  • Experienced
  • Reputable
  • And willing to pay well.

Some dealers can also help you appraise your silver trays.

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Hallmarks on British Silver

Decoding Hallmarks – A Guide to Reading Hallmarks on British Silver

If you’re thinking about purchasing silver made in the UK, you want to make certain that what you’re buying is pure silver. Otherwise, you may be paying a lot of money for something that isn’t worth much at all. In order to identify the pieces you’re buying as true silver items, you need to understand British silver hallmarks. Here’s a quick rundown of what these marks include.

Hallmarks on British Silver

A Standard mark

The first step to identifying silver hallmarks is to look for the standard mark. There were five different marks used on British silver, and they’re easy to recognize. They are the walking lion, the standing lion, the thistle, the crowned harp, and the symbol of Britannia. If you can’t find one of these marks on the item, it was likely silver plated or was made elsewhere.

The Town Mark

The next mark to check for is the town mark. This mark identifies where exactly the piece was manufacture red. There are a number of these silver hallmarks, so you may need a reference guide to determine what town the mark on your item represents.

The Duty Mark

The duty mark was only used between 1784 and 1890. It indicated that a duty was paid on the silver. Older items may have the King’s head, indicating that the item was made between 1784 and 1837. When Queen Victoria took the throne, the mark was changed to the Queen’s head. These antique silver hallmarks are useful in determining when a piece was made.

The Date Letter

This letter indicates when the silver piece was made. The letter changed periodically, and each town often used a different font or even a different letter. Again, this is something that you will need to use a guide for, and you’ll need to determine the town mark first.

The Maker’s Mark

Finally, there’s the marker’s mark. This mark is the symbol or initials of the maker or manufacturer. It’s the final piece needed to determine exactly where, when, and who made the silver piece.