A collector can determine the value of an item marked "EPNS" by comparing the item to similar items on online marketplace sites and at past auctions, consulting a price guide, or by consulting a qualified appraiser. Because items with this marking contain mostly nickel silver, a copper alloy, the value of the silver content is negligible. The value is based largely on the rarity, condition and demand for the item and not the value of the silver plating.
Generally, electroplated nickel silver pieces have lower values than items made from pure silver, and newer pieces have almost no collectible value. The exceptions to this are electroplated items from around the 1840s, when the process was new and such pieces were relatively uncommon.
Collectors can look online or print price guides to estimate the value of silver-plated items. Kovels offers a print "Kovels’ Antiques and Collectibles Price Guide" report as well as a free online subscription service and multiple premium services with added subscriber benefits. The site 925-1000.com specializes in identifying and appraising silver and silver-plated collectibles.
Online listing services, such as eBay and Craigslist, show the sale or auction price for comparable items. Collectors can also pay for a professional online appraisal through specialized sites, such as What’s It Worth to You and Value My Stuff, or hire a local accredited appraiser.