The appeal of antique silver is virtually irresistible. From smaller, handheld items such as flatware, snuff boxes, picture frames and salt and pepper sets to larger items such as punch bowls and a complete silver tea set with tray, antique silver pieces truly “reflect” the era in which they were created.
Since silver is actually very shiny, this observation is actually true on the literal level as well as the cultural level. When polished, silver offers a reflection that is nearly 100%. Of what the eye is able to discern in the light spectrum, silver reflects 95%. Tiffany silver is one of the most renowned names for silver and began making silver in 1837. The crafters of Tiffany’s won the bronze medal for excellence at the 1867 Paris exhibition.
In its original state, silver is a rather soft metal and not extremely durable. So for use in the jewelry industry, for example, as well for other uses, it is usually mixed with copper to make it stronger. The alloy, or mixture, that this creates is called sterling silver.
Most of the silver items we see today are sterling silver. This would include a sterling trophy, a sterling vase, a sterling silver baby cup and of course, sterling silver jewelry. Speaking of jewelry, it is interesting to note here that alloys of gold and silver are most frequently utilized in the creation of pieces of jewelry.
Antique silver trays, as well as other items of tableware (but not including flatware), are also known as holloware. These pieces, which often were created in sets, are known for their intricate designs and breathtaking details. To find out where to sell silver, it would be advisable to consult a reputable antique house and discuss the items with them for assessment and pricing.
Today, there is a huge market for sterling silver items. In addition to rings, necklaces, earrings, bracelets, lockets and other types of jewelry, other items are also very popular. These include flatware, picture frames, candlesticks, watches, holiday ornaments, brush and comb sets, and engravable baby cups and rattles.
So, to sum up, sterling silver is an alloy that is used mostly in jewelry and other pieces, and sterling silver items are very popular today. Antique silver pieces are a reflection of a historical era, crafted by highly skilled artisans and are greatly treasured for their vintage charm and craftsmanship. But most of all, both sterling and antique silver pieces carry much sentimental value, as they are artifacts that convey the spirit of human creativity as well as the legacy of time.