How do you identify the value of old silverware?


Quick Answer

It's possible to find the value of old silverware by appraising the craftsmanship and the piece's desirability, as well as identifying markers and finding information about the maker. Owners can use online guides, or they can seek professional appraisals from antiques dealers.

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Full Answer

To begin estimating the worth of old silverware, it's necessary to find out what its markers mean. For example, silver that bares a mark of 950 or above exceeds the minimum requirements for sterling silver, whereas items with marks of 800 or below have non-sterling alloy. Additionally, identifying the maker gives a rough idea of how much an item is worth. An online encyclopedia of markers is also available.

After gathering this information, owners can use online guides to determine the average prices of their items, which usually derive from auction prices. In some cases the average values focus on items that are in good condition and without repairs. As such, silverware owners who are aware of repairs or less-than-good condition may expect to receive less.

Individuals who want professional appraisals can try sites such as Value My Stuff, which offers a 48-hour turnaround on estimates. Alternatively, they can try visiting local antiques dealers. To ensure dealers are legitimate, it's worth searching for them through the National Antique and Art Dealers Association of America website.

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