There are a lot of silver items being bought and sold today. Holloware and flatware are amongst the most popular items here. These are being purchased from antique shops, flea markets and online auction web sites. Before you get involved in buying or selling silver you should know the silver price. There are a few different ways in which you can check out how valuable a piece of silver is so that you can make sure that the selling price is both fair and reasonable.
Sterling Silver Vs. Silver-Plated
To begin with you will want to determine whether the item is sterling silver (.925% pure silver) or simply silver-plated (silver mixed with another base metal, usually copper). Simply look at the back of the item. Almost all sterling silver pieces will be stamped as such. This is important because silver-plated items are only worth a fraction of what genuine sterling silver is worth.
The Weight Of Silver
You will want to weigh your silver on a scale. Silver is bought and sold in Troy ounces. There are 32 grams in each Troy ounce. Once you know how many Troy ounces of silver you have you should check out the price in the newspaper’s stocks section or online. You will find that this price fluctuates on a daily basis. When you find the price for that given time, multiply it by the number of Troy ounces you own. A piece of silver will never be worth less than this amount.
The Piece’s Maker
Look at the back of a piece for the maker’s name, mark or hallmark. This not only tells you the manufacturer but the piece’s date too. You can find several online encyclopedias in which to look up a hallmark and learn more about them. The leading companies that you should be on the lookout for are Gorham, Tiffany’s and Towle.
The Piece’s Condition
The piece’s condition will also affect the price. Any small flaw will lower the piece’s value. There are generally 5 types of silver: mint, near mint (slight imperfection), very good (minor problems), good (a few obvious flaws) and fair (large, noticeable flaws). Your piece will fall into one of these categories.
A Final Word On Silver Price
Look around the Internet to see how much similar pieces are going for. This will help you see what collectors are buying and what they are paying for them. You should also look for these things and price them accordingly.