Silver-plated flatware generally only has value as antiques, so consulting an antique pricing guide is the best way to determine the potential value of a set. Silver-plated flatware does not contain enough silver to be of interest to silver dealers to melt it down to recover its silver content.
While sterling silver flatware has a silver content of 92.5 percent, silver-plated flatware typically has a silver content of 5 percent or less. The difficulty of recovering this silver from other materials is the primary reason plated flatware is of little value on the silver market. However, older, rare or particularly intricate flatware may have value as an antique if the silver plating is in good condition.