Silver is a metallic element which is soft and malleable when in its purest form (native silver).
When pure silver is made into jewelry or ornaments, it’s mixed with alloy in order to strengthen the piece, to retain the shape, and prevent breaking. Copper is a popular alloy that is often mixed with silver, creating what is known as sterling silver.
The acceptable value of sterling silver is 92.5 or higher (US Standards) and .925 or higher (UK Standards). This means the amount of alloy that is contained in a piece of sterling silver should only be 7.5% or less for it to be considered genuine silver.
Dealers will only buy sterling with 92.5 in the US, or .925 in the UK. With higher silver content, the item is valued at a higher price.
Checking for markings on a silver item will be the easiest method of determining if the piece is silver and the level of purity; although, the markings can be sometimes hard to locate or read. A magnifying glass will make reading hallmarks much easier.
Silver plated items often are stamped with stamped with EP, EPNS, Silver on Copper, or no stamp. If you cannot locate a hallmark on the piece, it may be silver plated. If its not genuine silver, unfortunately, it doesn’t have any value as a precious metal. Silver plate may look beautiful, but you will not be able to retail it the same price as sterling silver.
Your Silver Collection
It is always best to know the silver items in your collection.
Establish the value of your silver by researching online or by asking jewelers or a precious metal expert to help determine the prices of the pieces that you have in your collection. It is also good to identify any antique silver you may have in your collection since it’s often worth more.
Selling Sterling Silver
When deciding to sell sterling silver, one of the more challenging steps is locating a reputable company that will buy your sterling silver for a great price. Prior to finalizing an offer, it’s important to first research any companies you are considering by checking for any Better Business Bureau complaints, reviewing their buying process, and reading about other seller experiences through testimonials and reviews.
If you have multiple pieces of sterling silver to be sold, only bring one piece with you to be appraised. This will isolate what price you will receive on a piece to better compare rates and avoid methods used by less reputable buyers who may use misleading tactics to buy all your items.
At Silver and Gold Exchange, we value our reputation and the trust customers have given us over the years. We have been reviewed by the Better Business Bureau to ensure that we observe high standards of ethical business practices and most importantly, by our valued customers who have built a long-term relationship with us.
There is no better time than now to sell sterling silver, and there is no better place to sell than to Silver and Gold Exchange. Just make sure that you know the value of your silver and that you are ready to sell them to earn a profit.