Antique Sterling Silver from Nelson and Nelson Antiques

Nelson & Nelson Antiques

How to Polish Antique Silver Without Reducing Its Value

July 8, 2020 10:23 am

How to Polish Antique Silver Without Reducing Its Value

Silver accessories make a statement. Dinner guests are immediately impressed when they see silver hollowware on the dining room table. Yet, you must take care of your silver pieces to maintain their shine. This guide on how to polish antique silver without reducing its value will help you care for your items for years to come.

Handle With Care

The most important thing to remember when polishing antique silver is to be gentle. Wear cotton gloves while handling the items; latex varieties may leave unwanted fingerprints. Next, use a soft-bristled brush to get in the nooks and crannies that are difficult to reach otherwise. Be mindful to remove any loose pieces before completing this step. The last thing you want is for a part to fall off and crack. Rinsing the silver under some warm water is helpful if there are any stains that you’re having trouble removing.

You can use special silver polishes to clean your beloved accessories further. However, be mindful while you’re shopping. Only buy polishes that contain very few chemicals. Too many chemicals can tarnish the piece even more. When you do find the right product, be stingy in the amount you use. Place a small drop of the polish on a cloth or sponge, and wash the item in circular motions. Again, remember to always wear gloves. With the right products and cleaning routine, your silver will look as good as new.

Mistakes to Avoid

Silver serving trays are the perfect item for anyone who hosts dinner parties regularly. Yet, as beautiful as these objects are, food and drink stains appear on them rather quickly. You’ll likely have the urge to place the tray in the dishwasher when this happens—fight this instinct at all costs. Instead, follow the steps above to get rid of these markings. Dishwashers use too many chemicals and heavy water pressure; antique silver can’t handle it. Don’t make this mistake and ruin your precious silver.

Another mistake you should avoid is storing your silver improperly. Never leave your pieces out to air dry, as contaminants from the air will make things even worse. Instead, wipe it with a cloth, and wrap it in tissue paper or a silver cloth bag to protect it. Your treasured accessories will continue to look stunning if you follow these ways to polish antique silver without reducing its value. Hopefully, when you are ready to part ways, you can sell these items for a significant profit.

A Quick Guide to Silver Markings

June 12, 2020 1:11 pm

A Quick Guide to Silver Markings

Silver collectors enjoy showing off their beautiful items and collections. Whether you own antique hollowware or silver bar accessories, every piece of silver has a marking on it. This quick guide to silver markings will explain what they are and the variations between them.

Standard Silver Markings

A standard silver marking lets people know its purity. Sterling silver items have a trademark that reads “925” stamped somewhere on the piece. This number indicates that the item is 92.5 percent silver and 7.5 percent other metals. The reason manufacturers place standard markings on silver items is so that people know what they’re buying. It’d be heartbreaking if someone paid full price for what they thought was a sterling silver item, only to discover that wasn’t the case later on. These markings also ensure that pieces have met safety and legal requirements during production.

Date and Origin Markings

Some silver items have date and origin markings. These stamps tell owners when the piece was created and where it was manufactured. Not all silver accessories have these markings. However, they’re extremely valuable when it comes to selling. Typically, the older the item, the more money it’s worth. A date marking allows potential buyers to know how old the accessory is. Origin markings are also important in the seller’s market because silver is crafted differently around the world. A silver jewelry box that was made England may be worth more than one that was crafted in the United States.

Commemorative Markings

Sometimes, creators place commemorative markings on silver to look back on a special occasion. Commemorative markings tend to drive up the price because they make the item more unique. If you have a silver tray that was used 100 years ago to commemorate a holiday or historical event, it’s probably worth a pretty penny today. Please contact Nelson and Nelson Antiques about your collectible if you have questions about your item. If the commemorative marking is visible and the item is in good shape, you could get substantial cash for the piece.

Silver markings never take away from the beauty of an item. As this quick guide to silver markings has shown, these stamps often increase the pieces’ value. Sometimes, the trademark commemorates a moment in history. Other times, it allows buyers to see when the accessory was created. Most importantly, though, standard silver markings ensure that the items are safe to use and that they’ve met every necessary requirement.

Most Common Types of Family Heirlooms

May 19, 2020 11:02 am

Most Common Types of Family Heirlooms

Family heirlooms form intergenerational connections between people. When a grandmother passes down her diary to her granddaughter, an inexplicable bond is created. Moreover, family heirlooms cement a family’s legacy in stone. This article will overview the most common types of family heirlooms that are passed down between generations.


Every spectacular dinner host needs hollowware in their china cabinet. Hollowware refers to all the accessories that are placed on a dining table except for flatware and cutlery. Items like a water pitcher, teapot, sugar bowl, or a gravy boat are examples of hollowware. These accessories help complete a dining table. Lots of people pass down hollowware to younger generations because it’s beautiful. Also, antique hollowware will spark conversation among dinner guests. So consider giving a family member an antique silver serving tray. Your loved one will be thrilled to receive such a meaningful gift that they can use when entertaining.

Baby Accessories

Having a baby is one of the most momentous events in a person’s life. One thing that would make the moment even more special is receiving an heirloom from a family member to give to the child. Many people pass down antique rattles when a new baby is born into the family. This sentiment connects older generations to younger ones. Also, it can be a touching family tradition to continue every time there’s a new birth. Make sure to sanitize the rattle before you give it to the baby, though. After all, babies tend to put everything in their mouths.

Picture Frames

Seeing pictures of your grandparents when they were younger is a moving experience. It’s incredible to look through old photos and hear about what older family members were up to in their youth. A lot of grandparents pass down antique picture frames to younger generations so they can put a current photo in it. If you do inherit an older picture frame, place it near the entrance of your home so that it grabs people’s attention right away. Antique picture frames are stunning and incredibly detailed. Guests will undoubtedly want to learn more about the item when they see it.

The most common types of family heirlooms are picture frames, baby accessories, and hollowware. People inherit these items because they’re gorgeous and have sentimental value. If you have an antique piece that you know a loved one will appreciate, hand it down to them. You’ll never forget their smile when they received it.

The Best Gift Ideas for Antique Lovers

May 13, 2020 12:44 pm

The Best Gift Ideas for Antique Lovers

Antiques are not only beautiful but also provide a mirror into the past. People collect antiques because they stir conversation among guests, and they’re incredibly valuable if kept in mint condition. Here are four of the best gift ideas for antique lovers if you’re searching for the perfect present. The recipient of your gift will be touched that you put so much time and effort into making them feel special.



Hollowware ties the entire dinner table together. Unlike flatware (cutlery that’s used for individual place settings), hollowware refers to all tableware that accompanies cutlery. Sugar bowls, platters, butter plates, and candlesticks are examples of hollowware. The antique lover in your life will appreciate this gift because any piece of antique hollowware will add style to the table. Dinner guests won’t stop raving about the items the next time you host a dinner party. Please take a look at our collection of hollowware at Nelson and Nelson Antiques. We’re one of the most trusted antique dealers in NYC. So you can be sure that you’re getting beautiful artifacts that are also high quality.

Picture Frames

Picture Frames

The best way to make your home inviting is to place picture frames in areas of high visibility. Friends and family love to walk through a house and see your memories. You can elevate the beauty of your photos with an antique picture frame. Search for stunning antique picture frames that you can give to someone special in your life. There are plenty of options made from different materials with unique detailing. The recipient will think of you every time they look at the frame, and its worth may even increase in value one day.

Bar Accessories

Bar Accessories

If you know anyone with a home bar, you should definitely buy them some antique bar accessories. One of the best reasons to have a home bar is that you can show off your merchandise. Nothing will impress partygoers more than a sterling silver and glass cocktail shaker. Guests will also get a kick out of looking at a midcentury ice bucket or a sterling silver flask. Again, we have everything you need to complete your home bar at Nelson and Nelson Antiques. Be careful, though. You’ll undoubtedly be asked to throw every get-together for the foreseeable future.

Beauty-Related Items

Beauty Related Items

Beauty-related items are one of the best gift ideas for antique lovers. There something so special about owning a mirror from the 1920s or an overlay perfume bottle. Everyone will get a glimpse into the past by looking at these pieces. Also, vanity items are excellent heirlooms to pass down to younger generations. Granddaughters would love to receive an antique powder jar from their grandmothers. If you want to start a family tradition, consider buying some beauty-related items for the antique lovers in your life. These pieces are genuinely gorgeous, and they’ll be worth something if they’re properly taken care of.

The Difference Between Antique and Vintage Silver

May 5, 2020 1:03 pm

The Difference Between Antique and Vintage Silver

Not all silver is the same. To the naked eye, it’s easy to think that all silver is equal. Yet trained professionals know there are major differences between certain types of silver. For example, sterling silver is unlike fine silver because it’s an alloy made up of several other components. Also, there are striking variances between antique and vintage silver. This article will overview those differences and explain why it’s important for collectors to understand them.


One of the most significant differences between antique silver and vintage silver is their age. For a piece to be considered antique silver, it must be over 100 years old. Silver items from the nineteenth century and early twentieth would be classified as antiques. Vintage silver, on the other hand, is 50 years old or younger. Typically, antique silver items are worth more money. As with most collectibles, the older the item, the more money it’s worth. Of course, there are stipulations. These pieces must be kept in pristine condition if the owners ever want to make a profit. For example, if you have an antique silver platter in your possession, you must take good care of it if you ever want to sell it down the line.


If you’re on the hunt for more practical silver pieces, then vintage silver is the best option for you. Since antique silver is older, people tend not to showcase or flaunt it as much. In fact, many people who own antique silver items keep them in a special case so they don’t get damaged. Antique silver items are better suited for being admired. Conversely, vintage silver is more practical for people who like to show off or use their silver items. While vintage silver is older than modern silver, it’s still less likely to break than antique silver.

Antique silver and vintage silver are both beautiful and have their own advantages. But if you’re hoping to sell the items in the future, antique silver is the best option for you. As long as you keep the items in excellent condition, you’ll make a profit when it comes time to sell. However, if you want to show off your silver pieces to your family and friends, consider buying something vintage. Whatever you decide, just remember to take care of your silver.