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Do you have sterling silver jewelry or dining sets that are collecting dust? It’s also possible that you have duplicates and need to declutter.

Now can be an excellent opportunity to sell your new or antique collection and earn a few extra bucks. There are several places to sell sterling silver online or locally to make the most money. 

Where to Sell Sterling Silver Online

Online can be the easiest way to sell silver as you can quickly find a buyer and compare offers. There can also be a greater demand than your local area, especially if your pieces have collectible value.

At a minimum, you should strive to get the melt value for broken pieces or items without a collectible value. In-demand articles can be worth selling through a private sale.

Cash for Silver USA is one of the most straightforward platforms, as its free appraisal kit includes prepaid and insured shipping via FedEx Ground. The company appraises your items within 24 hours of receipt, and you can receive payment by direct deposit, check, or PayPal.

You can sell the following sterling silver items with minimal effort:

  • Broken or unwanted jewelry
  • Flatware
  • Servingware
  • Tea sets

Anticipate receiving an offer stemming from silver’s current spot price. A precise price quote comes down to the weight and purity. However, Cash for Silver USA doesn’t factor collectible value into the payout potential.

Silver Matching Services

A sterling silver matching service is usually better when you have flatware and hollowware with valuable designs and patterns. These buyback services consider the silversmith and pattern to pay you more than the melt value.

There are several services online. You can start the selling process by emailing an itemized list of your collection to receive a price quote. Free shipping is available, and check or PayPal are the most common payment methods.  

This can be a good option if you have one or a few pieces to a specific flatware set or collection that collectors are seeking to buy to expand their set. This service is a middleman, but it’s a good option when your pieces have collectible value.

Apps to Sell Sterling Silver

Selling apps can help increase your take-home pay as you work directly with the final buyer. You will still pay platform fees and may agree to pay shipping costs instead of the buyer. It’s also a viable option when a matching service doesn’t want your valuables.

Consider selling collectibles or scrap sterling silver. There are listings for individual items and lots. For example, online sellers are listing scrap lots for people wishing to melt it themselves for crafts.

eBay is an excellent online marketplace for its massive customer base and ease-of-listing. There are thousands of used listings for antique sterling silver and scrap lots. If you’re selling scrap, describe your items accurately and specify if you remove stones, magnetic content, and other bits that reduce the smelting quality.  

Where to Sell Sterling Silver Locally

Finding a local buyer can be the better course when you need money now or don’t want to go through the hassle of shipping your collection and hoping to receive a competitive offer.

Coin Shops

Coin dealers and antique shops can be your best bet for getting the highest offer from a local buyer. Independent jewelry stores may buy used pieces, too. Depending on the item, the merchant may offer more than the melt value or spot price when it has collectible value.

Simply type in “where to sell sterling silver near me” or “silver dealers near me” as two possibilities to find businesses nearby. 

Consider searching their website to see which items they are interested in buying. You can receive a free on-site appraisal and decide to sell for instant payment.

Auction Houses

A local auction house can be worth visiting for rare antiques made of sterling silver. You might be able to list a single lot or several listings. In addition to minimum quantity requirements, compare seller fees to calculate your profit potential.

An estate sale can be better depending on what else you wish to sell. For example, you may inherit a parent’s property but don’t want to sell everything manually. In this situation, the auction house hosts a one-day sale. They may also facilitate online auctions over a week, and buyers pick up the items once the bidding ends.

Auctions are an effective way to get money for valuables when collectors bid up the price. One potential risk of this selling method is not knowing the final sales value, especially when a bidding war fails to erupt. 

Pawn Shops

Local pawn shops can offer the quickest payouts when you need money now. Typically, these stores offer up to 50% of the resale value. You may compare this value to the potential melt value, which can be similar if the piece doesn’t have a collectible value.

Pawn shops will take your silver’s weight and purity into primary consideration. Then, they will determine if collectible demand for that manufacturer or silversmith helps them charge a higher selling price.

Is Sterling Silver Worth Anything?

Yes, sterling silver is worth approximately 92.5% of the current silver spot price. This is because its purity level is 92.5% silver, which smelters want to buy from you. The remaining percentage is a filler metal like copper, which strengthens the silver but has no resale value. 

There are three different sterling silver grades:

  • Pure sterling silver: These pieces are usually worth the most as they don’t have an overlay from another metal. The typical purity level is 92.5%, but it can be as high as 95%.    
  • Silver filled: Items are 92.5% sterling silver on the inside but have another high-grade metal plating. This grade is a silver overlay and can have competitive buyback prices.
  • Silver plating: These items do not have a melt value as they only contain a tiny silver coating but primarily consist of a non-precious base metal. Consequently, scrap dealers and matching services won’t buy or resell silver plating. 

Any precious gems fixed to the jewelry will have a different value. Depending on who is purchasing your items, they may only care about the price of the silver and pay you for that metal.

Does Sterling Silver Hold Any Value?

Sterling silver can always be worth its purity level in proportion to the silver spot price. The universal standard purity level is 92.5% (925 fineness), although it can be as high as 95% (950 fineness).

Fine jewelry and rare flatware may have collector’s value, making a piece worth more than the sterling silver melt value. 

Silver can maintain its value even if it tarnishes, as this trait verifies authenticity. However, corrosion from the alloy metal or improper cleaning can reduce the market value.  

How Much is Sterling Silver Jewelry Worth?

Sterling silver is worth 92.5% of the pure silver spot price. For example, if pure silver (99.9% purity) sells for $30 per ounce, sterling silver is worth $27.75 per ounce plus any collector value. The melt value can be the same whether it’s flatware, home goods, jewelry, or musical instruments. 

You can quickly estimate the baseline value by multiplying the spot price by 0.925. Next, calculate the item’s weight when it weighs several grams or ounces. 

Formula: Current silver spot price ($) x 0.925= sterling silver value

Additionally, you can make more than the melt value by selling jewelry with resale value. Rings, necklaces, and bracelets can be worth $20 to $40 when combining the melt and collector’s values.

Are Pandora Bracelets Worth Anything?

Pandora bracelets sell for approximately 30% below the suggested retail price. For instance, listings on Poshmark are roughly $50 to $60, and similar brand-new charm bracelets sell for $80 on the jeweler’s website. 

The potential resale value is more than the melt value, and it can be worth your time selling to a collector. However, these bracelets won’t hold value unless they have rare or precious gems. 

How Much is Sterling Silver Flatware Worth?

Silver flatware is worth the melt value at a minimum. Antiques and high-demand designs can be worth more depending on the item’s age, production history, and condition. 

Are Sterling Silver Coffee and Tea Sets Worth Anything?

Most true sterling silver tea sets are worth $1,000 to $5,000 due to the weight and number of pieces. While beautiful, similar multi-piece silverplate tea and coffee sets are only worth $100 to $500 as they have a lower purity.

How to Sell Sterling Silver for Cash

These steps will help prepare your silver collection for sale and hopefully get more than your initial expectations.

1. Determine the Sterling Silver Purity

First, decide if you have authentic sterling silver with a minimum of 92.5% purity. Below are some ways to tell:

  • Manufacturer name: Jewelry and flatware may engrave the producer’s name. This mark helps identify the series and pattern to estimate the potential resale value accurately.
  • Professional appraisal: A jewelry appraisal lets a professional determine the metal contents, whether they contain precious stones, and whether they have collectible value.  
  • Purity stamp: Most pieces have a purity stamp indicating the silver content percentage. The stamp should say “925” or something similar, containing 92.5% silver.
  • Tarnishing: Real silver tarnishes over time due to oxidation. Polishing an inconspicuous spot lets you see if it shines up. If the piece is already shiny, exposure to a lighter flame or household bleach will cause it to tarnish instantly.

You can also order a silver test kit by verifying authenticity with acid. 

2. Calculate the Resale Value

It’s best to compare prices for similar items on eBay and other selling apps to evaluate the resale value. You can also estimate the melt value that scrap dealers may offer. The melt value is the same for working and broken pieces as it looks solely at the weight and purity. 

Unfortunately, inherited family silver does not have sentimental value. So, you must decide if grandma’s silverware is worth keeping at current market rates. 

3. Compare Selling Options

If there is a difference between the resale and melt values, it can be worth finding a buyer through a fixed price or auction listing. Otherwise, a platform like Cash for Silver USA can conveniently sell your silver from home with free shipping and quick payments.

What to Know About Selling Sterling Silver

Several factors influence the selling price of your silver.

How to Tell if Sterling Silver is Real

Potential buyers want to make sure your sterling silver is the real deal and are looking for some of the following traits: 

  • Have stamps or authentication marks indicating a 92.5% purity
  • It shouldn’t rust
  • Tarnishes and black will rub onto a polishing cloth
  • It weighs the same as similar sterling silver pieces
  • Won’t be magnetic

Finally, silver is a conductor, and an ice cube should melt quickly. This is an unconventional test but a fun way to find out.

Sterling Silver Quality and Weight

A 92.5% purity rating is the universal standard, although some pieces contain as much as 95% or 96% for Argentium sterling silver. As a reminder, you only get paid for the silver content and not the alloy metals.

Most Valuable Sterling Silver Pieces

Ornate designs and antique sterling silver can be worth notably more than the melt value. 

Below are some examples of how much some of the most valuable pieces typically sell for:

  • Baby utensils: $30 to $200
  • Flatware: $40 to $150 per utensil
  • Jewelry: $60 to $225 per bracelet, pin, or earring pair
  • Pitchers: $380 to $1,300 
  • Salt and pepper shakers: $150 to $500 per pair
  • Tea sets: $1,000 to $5,000 per set

Sell Sterling Silver for Scrap

Not every silver spoon, jewelry piece, or serving piece is valuable. In this situation, selling it for scrap value at Cash for Silver USA can be your best option, and the silver can be recycled.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are several common questions about selling sterling silver for the most money.

Is sterling silver and 925 silver the same?

Yes, traditional sterling silver has a 92.5% purity or 925 fineness rating. Argentium sterling silver is 95% pure with a 950 fineness rate.

Is selling sterling silver worth it?

It can be worth selling when the resale value exceeds your sentimental value. If you don’t need the money right now, you may wait for silver prices to increase if they are near cyclical lows. 

What is the best way to sell sterling silver?

Online silver dealers can be the easiest way to compare purchase offers, shipping costs, and seller fees. At a minimum, you can sell it for the melt value and enjoy free shipping. Once the final appraisal is complete, the dealer can send payment by direct deposit, check, or PayPal.

Does sterling silver have a resale value?

Rare or antique jewelry, flatware, and tea sets are most likely worth more than the melt value. However, costume jewelry, broken items, and newer utensils are less likely to have collectible value, and most buyers will likely offer the current melt value.

Summary

You can pinpoint the melt and resale value of your jewelry, flatware, and serving sets containing sterling silver.

Many prize this metal for its purity, and it can be an easy product to sell from home when you need extra cash. Just check prices from several outlets to receive a competitive offer.

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