Q:

How do you determine the value of silver flatware?

A:

Quick Answer

To determine the value of silver flatware, you must first determine the composition, age and manufacturer. Most silver flatware contains a sterling mark and a maker's or manufacturer's mark. Unless the flatware is very old, a missing sterling mark could indicate that the flatware is plate silver, which is much less valuable than sterling.

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Full Answer

After surveying any sterling marks or maker's marks on the silver flatware, determine its origin. If you did not purchase the silver, one way to do this is by asking older relatives who may know when and where the silver originated.

Once these details about the flatware have been determined, there are several reference guides available to assist with appraising the value. Check the pattern, designer, manufacturer and age of the flatware against the listings in a reputable guidebook. Some patterns and designers are highly collectible. Search the Internet for similar sets to determine the current selling price. Typically, a complete set will bring a higher price than individual pieces, but some unusual pieces can carry a higher value.

Additionally, you can check the current price of silver to determine the scrap price of the flatware. Use a jeweler's scale to weigh individual pieces to determine their scrap value.

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