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Resource for selling silverware

Hello Folks,

I have a friend that has a set of silver (not plated)
dinnerware/silverware that she would like to sell. We live in San
Diego and if anyone knows of any reputable businesses in town or any
refiners, we certainly would love to have on business we
could contact. Therefore, we would need contact as well
or at least some way to track them down if needed.

There are several places around town that will buy it, that’s for
sure, but we are not convinced that they are very reputable, i. e.,
buying it at a decent price. Many will buy it, but for very little

Can anyone help?
Mary Young
Follow your passion…

We live in San Diego and if anyone knows of any reputable

The best place:


I recycle sterling with Hauser and Miller in St. Louis. They offer
two options. The better deal is an exchange for sheet sterling for
those of us who make sterling jewelry. They also offer cash but at a
lesser amount.

Your also might try Skinner, Inc. They sell sterling flatware at
monthly auctions. Generally, the value depends on the desirability of
the pattern. I have seen the price reach very high when it is a
pattern that is very popular and in short supply. Skinner has
scheduled a day of evaluation for sterling hollowware - see below for
email. Be absolutely sure you understand all fees for their services.

Good luck, Mary

Hi Mary

bad news I am afraid. Unless the hollowware and flatware has been
made and hallmarked by a famous silversmith, e. g. Paul Revere in
the US it will not realise much money. The wholesale buyers have the
market cornered. They pay very little and sell for a lot.

It would be best to offer it for sale privately. Try Ebay.

I made some salt spoons but could not get the money for them
compared to making a ring taking the same time. A $100 for a spoon?
People kept asking. $100 for a ring no problem.

I bought a set of six sterling teaspoons from an antique dealer for
$25, he was happy to get rid of them.

Paid less than the silver content. Go figure. Could not sell them so
made them into jewellery sold no problems.

Xtines Jewels.

Hello Mary,

Revere, Hurd, Myer Myers, de Lamerie, and Storr aren’t the only big
names realizing big bucks for their silver; you may have an
extremely valuable piece made by Whiting, Gorham, or Jensen. If you
e-mail me some images of what you have, I may be able to help in
where to place them.

Jeff Herman

First look up the maker, place of origin and the pattern- then go on
line and do some investigating as to what a replacement piece of the
particular pattern sells for. If its an old set (heirloom, made
before the 19th century, etc.) look at auction house (Christie’s,
Sotheby’s) sales records for silverware/holloware and get an idea of
a comparable set with a similar number of place settings and open
stock accompaniments that may have been added on after the original
set was acquired. Often the value of the set exceeds the metals
value-regardless of whatever anyone else may say ! With silver at
21.69 an oz. (troy) weigh your set and estimate your spot
price.Compare that to the replacement service’s, and auction
comparables price(s) and choose the higher. That becomes your target
market. the way you want to sell the set*:* either complete as a
set. or as a lot of sterling (it is .925 right!) if its not a
valuable set or for other reason’s that affect or diminish the whole
set approach. Then get a jeweller to sell it to a refinery- I get at
least 98% of spot on 100 troy oz.,of.925 silver. and more if the
weight is higher or it is .999 silver, whilst the average person
going in to the same refiner gets maybe 20% of the actual value of
the metal. sad, but true- and highly offensive in my opinion. I see
most “gold buyers” as opportunists taking advantage of the
ill-informed. Another thing is holding onto the set may be worth the
investment of time with the silver market more likely to rise in the
next couple of years than fall below the 20 dollar range again. If
it’s not a necessary sale, and its strictly for extra cash, hanging
onto it if after trying to auction it as a set doesn’t meet the
reserve price may be prudent.

The one alternative that may show a good return is to have the metal
melted and drawn into wire or made into sheet, if not taking a
credit from a refiner that may be more than spot).then order the
wire, sheet and seamless tubing in various gauges and offering it for
sale in pre-packaged lots (by the ounce troy) on a site like Etsy,
pricing the materials to cover the etsy fees. then you may get a fair
return though not without work, and a potential business license if
you don’t have one already. I would avoid ebay and other auction
sites. Try selling locally through Craig’s list or to a local beading
store or crafts supplier in your area. again you’re back to selling
at a slightly above spot price to a retailer that will resell the
wares but it will be done. You could call around and get estimates
too based on the daily spot prices from refiners in your area or
"gold buying" orgs. but they will often not want to give a quote
unless you really sound like you know the business…

Feel free to contact me off list if you have more questions or
require any further advice. rer