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.
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.