Antique silver

Techniques for identifying different types of silver that will determine the real worth

Silver is the real beauty of nature’s creation, highly polished silver gleams like sparkling moonlight. It can be used as a mirror to show your reflection. This lustrous metal can be used in producing beautiful jewelries and decorative items like candlesticks, mirrors, coins, silver flatware sets, & etc. which are found in every sector.  


Silver collectors can easily figure out the value of silver. If you are looking to sell antique silver or want to an precious metals collector, you will want to know how to determine silver flatware value. In this article, we will explore techniques for determining the worth of different types of silver.

sterling silver

Sterling Silver vs. Pure Silver.

Sterling silver is actually a mixed-alloyed metals which is used to make jewelries. It isn’t a pure metal it is an alloy. Moreover, Pure one is 99% consistency of purity and is malleable in nature which sometimes is difficult to shape into ornaments.

Sterling Silver

Sterling is a combination of pure silver and other metals like copper, zinc or nickel. This generally results in a metal that is 92.5% pure silver and 7.5% of another metal. This makes the metal stronger and more useful for metal work.

You might also come across items that are sterling silvery plated. In this case, the item is made of another metal and coated with a layer of noble metal which doesn’t lasts for longer time.

Pure Silver

It is also known as fine, if you are dealing with a piece of silvery jewelry, it can be identified by hallmarks like .999, 99.9, 999 which also means it consist of purity of only single soft metal. It also have quality of not getting tarnish whether exposed in air or sunlight.

How to identify sterling and pure silver?

There are other tests you can perform to determine if an item is sterling silver. Most precious metals, including silver, are nonmagnetic. That means that is an easy trick to identifying pure and sterling silvery.

Furthermore, a magnet will not be strongly attracted to pure silver. It will be attracted to the other metals which are mixed in noble metal. There is also an actual smell test that antique silver dealers know about. Since, pure silver has no odor. If you smell a metallic odor or the scent of sulfur, it is sterling silver.

Which is more valuable to silver collectors?

So, understanding the difference between sterling silver and pure silver has been explained. Now it’s time to figure out which one is more valuable. If you googled silver collectors near me for selling sterling silver flatware to the antique dealers, what would they say? The answer isn’t simple.

The fact is pure one is actually worth more than sterling silver tea set because of the lesser consistency of the other metals. However, that is not the end of the story. The higher value of silvery lies in the consistency.

Pure silver is too soft to be used when you want to make jewelry. That’s why, noble metal is used instead. So, antique silver dealers who are looking for jewelry or other Tiffany silver flatware to sell or buy. For investors who are investing in precious metal is part of their investment portfolio. Investing in pure silver will be more valuable and profitable.

The ultimate worth of your silvery flatware set will depend on the purity which will only be identified by trusted buyers.

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