Buying and Selling Silver Items


A number of precious metals such as gold, silver, and more can be found on the markets today, for both new and antique items. Such metals have been used for millennium for wealth and opulence, and some items have survived many centuries to the present day. Antique sterling items range from antique Chinese silver to antique sterling trophy items to a sterling silver tea set from the Victorian period and more. Even modern items are made from silver such as expensive watched and other jewelry, but many collectors are looking to buy and sell antique sterling in particular. Despite the age of some such items, antique sterling is often in good shape, and an antique sterling lighter, tea pot, or other item may fetch a fine price among collectors. What is there to know about silver as a metal component, and how may antique sterling items go for a high price?

Silver as a Metal

Often, silver doesn’t have the same presence that gold does on the markets, but silver is still highly valued all the same. While phrases such as “gold standard” and “go for gold” show how dominant gold is, silver can find good prices on the markets, and countless antique items are made not from gold, but silver. In fact, mines in Greece and Turkey show that such metal was mined since 3000 B.C., and silver is today still mines for both industrial and commercial purposes alike. Silver is an excellent reflective material, for example, and when polished, it may reflect 95% of the visible light spectrum. Many mirrors today make use of silver for this very reason. It may also be noted that pure silver is rarely used for items such as teapots or trophies, however, since silver (like gold) is a soft metal. Rather, sterling silver is used, which is an alloy composed of 92.5% silver and 7.5% copper (sometimes other metals may be used, however). This is still a high concentration of silver, with the benefit of durability, and this makes it a fine choice for making items out of. It may be also noted that silver items in the 19th and 20th centuries have the word “Sterling” or the number 925 stamped on them to make this fact clear.

Buying and Selling Silver

When is it time to buy or sell silver items? Sometimes, gold and silver items are melted down to recover these metals and re-purpose them, but more often, collectors are looking for antique sterling goods to collect and keep in good shape rather than melt them down. Many products today are made with real gold and silver, but antique ones have a special charm to them that many collectors want, since many of these items were made with expert craftsmanship and are no longer in production. Some items may have historic value to them as well.

Silver tea trays and tea pots, lighter cases, watches, trophies, jewelry, and more can be found from many collectors and even pawn shops, not just jewelers. If a person owns authentic silver items, they may approach an expert who can appraise the value of such an item. This may be done, for example, at large auctions and similar events for antiques, and the owner can bring their silver items with them. What are these experts looking for? Not only is the purity of silver a factor, but also the metal’s condition, with better preservation leading to high value on these items in most cases. The sheer quantity of silver will also be a factor, along with the quality of the craftsmanship. An item that has a combination of good craftsmanship, a high quantity and purity of silver, and good preservation may merit a high price indeed. Owners may choose to offer their silver items, may they be watches or teapots or trays, for sale at such auction events, or even offer them online. Auctions on the Internet are certainly possible, and the owner may package their silver items carefully and ship them to the buyer. Of course, the shipper may want to use soft padding and waterproof packaging to make sure that antique sterling items do not get damaged, scratched, soaked, or otherwise compromised during delivery.

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