Antique Sterling Silver from Nelson and Nelson Antiques

Nelson & Nelson Antiques

How To Determine the Value of Your Antique Silver

October 23, 2020 8:42 am

How To Determine the Value of Your Antique Silver

Many people don’t realize that they have hidden treasures buried in their houses. For example, Grandma’s sterling silver serving tray that you only take out for holidays may be worth a pretty penny. Check out this guide on how to determine the value of your antique silver if you have objects lying around the house that you suspect are worth some money.

Trust the Experts

The first step in figuring out a piece of silver’s value is taking it to an antique dealer. Professionals study these items for a living, so they’ll be able to tell you how much they’re worth. In fact, those in the industry may even want to buy the object from you on the spot if it’s worth a lot of money. However, it’s vital to do your due diligence and visit multiple antique shops so you can get the best price possible. Nelson and Nelson Antiques is a reputable dealer, and we’re always honest with our clients about how much their objects are worth.

Check for Markings

Another tip on how to determine the value of antique silver is to check for markings. For example, authentic sterling silver items may have markings that read “92.5.” This number indicates that the piece is 92.5% silver and 7.5% another metal alloy. An item that doesn’t have this hallmark on it is probably a silver-plated object, meaning it’s stainless steel with a silver coating on top to make the item shinier. Although silver-plated objects are beautiful, they aren’t worth nearly as much as genuine sterling silver. So please, take a closer look at your sterling silver picture frame. You could make a lot of cash if you spot any special markings.

Clean It

Unfortunately, sterling silver is prone to tarnishing, meaning the object could change color through a process called oxidation. However, you can minimize the effects of oxidation if you take care of your silver items properly. Gently wash them with soap and water and try your best to avoid using harsh chemicals. Also, be sure to use a microfiber towel when drying, so as not to leave any scratches.

Tips for Reading Hallmarks on Silver

October 1, 2020 12:04 pm

Tips for Reading Hallmarks on Silver

Artisans used to leave markings on their silver creations to set themselves apart from others. Now, individuals use these hallmarks to determine the value of a piece of silver. Anyone struggling to see stamps on their items should read these tips for reading hallmarks on silver. The process will be more straightforward once folks understand what to look for.

Clean the Product

Cleaning the silver will make it easier to see if there are any particular markings on it. However, owners should be careful while shopping for cleaning products because some brands contain harsh chemicals that will damage the metal. Instead of using harmful soaps, folks should try blowing on the silver and using a microfiber towel to eliminate any dust. If details are still hidden, a person can use warm water to see if any numbers or lettering are on the surface. Perhaps after a little cleaning routine, they will discover a marking that’ll make them cash in the long run.

Do a Little Research

Not all silver markings have the same meaning. Folks ought to do a little research on silver markings so they can determine the connotation behind them. Some craftsmen put stamps on items for creative reasons to make their products more unique. Other artisans put the date on their creations to verify when they made it. Origin-related hallmarks are the most valuable because owners can bring the piece to an antique shop and see how much it’s worth based on the date. Typically, the older the item, the better.

Anyone who follows these tips for reading hallmarks on silver will have an easier time figuring out what their antiques are worth. People who have a silver baby cup tucked away in their cabinet ought to take it out and give it a gentle clean. Someone who notices a marking should then do a little research to find out the meaning behind the stamp. This relatively simple process can help a person develop a new appreciation for their silver items, and they may make more money when it comes time to sell.

Real Sterling Silver vs. Silver-Plated Flatware

September 4, 2020 12:47 pm

Real Sterling Silver vs. Silver-Plated Flatware

Not all metal is the same. To the naked eye, a piece of sterling silver may look the same as a silver-plated piece. However, industry professionals know there are significant dissimilarities between the two. Buyers should also be aware of the debate between real sterling silver vs. silver-plated flatware so they can make an informed decision while shopping.

What Separates the Two?

The most significant difference between the two metals is their origins. Sterling silver is silver mixed with a copper alloy. On the other hand, silver-plated objects are a variety of metals with a thin layer of silver on top. Pieces with a silver layering aren’t as genuine as the real thing, which is apparent in their appearance. Sterling silver has a distinguished look that layered items don’t. Manufacturers produce silver-plated objects to provide durability and imitate the real thing without using as much labor. The remainder of this article will discuss how those on the lookout can spot real sterling silver vs. silver-plated flatware.

The Overall Look

Authentic sterling silver artifacts will have a little wear and tear to them. Even if owners keep their possessions in excellent condition, it’ll get some markings over time. Silver-plated flatware, on the other hand, will rarely show scratches. Yet, this doesn’t make it more valuable. In fact, because silver-plated items are composed primarily of various metals, they aren’t worth much. Although silver-plated flatware may look untarnished, it’s not as valuable as the real thing.


Genuine sterling silver flatware will have markings on it. Typically, most sterling silver objects have the number 92.5 or sterling imprinted on them. This number indicates that the item is 92.5% silver and 7.5% other metals. Authentic flatware may have other markings to help determine its origins as well. Artisans from the past placed their signature or other details on their creations to separate them from the rest. Thus, owners should be on the lookout for specific markings if they have trouble figuring out authenticity.

Real sterling silver flatware is more beautiful than plated options. Part of the reason is that sterling silver has a more authentic look. Pieces made from metal alloy are incredibly detailed and rich with history. Individuals who want to add to their sterling silver collections should look at Nelson and Nelson’s wide selection of sterling silver boxes. The objects are stunning and date back to the early 20th century. Adding one of these pieces to a home’s décor will elevate the design and impress guests when they visit.

Compelling Reasons to Start Collecting Antiques

August 20, 2020 12:28 pm

Compelling Reasons to Start Collecting Antiques

2020 has been one of the most unpredictable years in human history. Businesses across the country were forced to shut their doors, and people were required to stay home to slow the spread of COVID-19. Since individuals are stuck at home, they’re picking up new hobbies to pass the time. This article lists compelling reasons to start collecting antiques. Folks should consider trying this pastime while they’re stuck in isolation.

Connection to the Past

History is important. After all, our past gives us unique insight into the future. Anyone interested in historical artifacts should think about collecting antiques. Guests will admire every antique within a home’s design. Moreover, these objects may stimulate conversation between visitors. People will want to know about the items’ origins and how they were crafted. Those who want to develop a secure connection to the past should visit Nelson and Nelson Antiques today. We have top-of-the-line vintage objects that’ll add a touch of beauty to any home. We have artifacts such as a sterling cigar box from 1912 that’ll add sophistication and uniqueness to a place’s décor.

Entertaining Hobby

Another compelling reason to start collecting antiques is that it’s an entertaining hobby. People who collect antiques can join groups full of like-minded people where they can share opinions. These individuals can bond over their interests and share certain insights that someone else may not know.

Antiquing also involves a thrill of the chase. Individuals have to do research to find artifacts that fit their vision. This can be accomplished by going to shows. Traveling to different venues is enjoyable, and folks get so much satisfaction when they finally find the piece they’ve been looking for. Because of COVID-19, many people have turned to the internet for buying and researching antiques.

Finally, those who love research will love antiquing. There’s nothing more exciting than reading about an artifact and its history. People often get attached to items they’ve researched, so it’s even more exciting when they can pin it down and place it in their house.

Historical Significance of Giving Sterling Silver Baby Items

August 5, 2020 12:12 pm

Historical Significance of Giving Sterling Silver Baby Items

Welcoming a new life into the world is so exciting. People love showering newborns with love and presents. One gift that’s commonly bestowed upon young ones is sterling silver. This article explains the historical significance of giving sterling silver baby items to growing families.

Sign of Wealth

Europeans started giving babies sterling silver items during the 18th century. Most people would give these artifacts to infants at their Christenings. One reason why individuals started giving sterling silver to little ones is that it’s a sign of wealth. The old phrase, “born with a silver spoon in your mouth,” stems from gifting sterling silver to babies. People hoped that by giving little ones these lavish items, wealth would follow them throughout their lives. Traditional baby gifts included sterling silver baby cups, rattles, and spoons. Anyone interested in collecting one of these artifacts should visit Nelson and Nelson Antiques today. We have plenty of sterling silver baby items that every new parent will appreciate.

Household Items

People in the 18th century also gave babies household objects made out of sterling silver. Sometimes, adults would give a growing family a sterling silver serving tray or different types of hollowware. These gifts were more for the parents than the child. However, the hope was that the infant could take the items to their own residence when they got older. Furthermore, just like the traditional baby items, people hoped they’d pass down household artifacts to their own children when the time came. Gifting a child sterling silver baby items at their Christening was one way someone could cement a family’s legacy. If the baby passed down the piece when they got older, the person who gifted the original piece created a family heirloom that future generations could enjoy.

This article has given more insight into the historical significance of giving sterling silver baby items to people. Europeans began the practice in the 18th century in the hopes that wealth would follow the child throughout their entire life. Occasionally, individuals would also give little ones household artifacts as a way to cement a family’s legacy. If anyone’s interested in having one of these pieces in their own home, please contact Nelson and Nelson Antiques today. Our team sells top-of-the-line sterling silver baby items that’ll add beauty and history to a person’s home.