Silver appraisal requires extensive knowledge in different areas. One client may contact us with an antique set of sterling flatware, and another may want to know the value of a pair of silver earrings. Silver can be valuable as a vintage item, or in a contemporary piece. A silver appraisal will identify all of these important factors.
Here are some of the types of silver items that we appraise
Flatware – We probably see more flatware than anything else in the silver category. The variations are endless. We can do a silver appraisal on complete sets of flatware, or individual pieces such as a soup spoon, a dessert fork, sugar tongs, a tomato server, a gravy ladle, or just about any type of utensil that you can imagine using at a dinner table. Some of the individual pieces can be quite interesting, such as a sterling silver food pusher, or the Victorian silver crumb knife. Obviously we would not see these in use today. If you have a piece of silver flatware and are not sure exactly what it is, we can help identify it as well as determine its value.
- Candlesticks / Trays
- Teapots, coffeepots
- Photo frames
- Salt and pepper
- Ice buckets
- Sugar casters
- Wine coasters
- Jewelry boxes
- Cocktail shakers
- Hip flasks
The list could go on and on.
We can perform a silver appraisal on any of these items, and you never have to leave your home. All of our appraisals are done via our website. You just answer a few questions and submit a digital photo (or multiple photos) of the item, and we take it from there.
When we do a silver appraisal, one of the factors in determining the value is the standard by which it is rated. For example, British silver has used a series of hallmarks over several centuries in order for the buyer to be assured of a minimum level of purity. Sterling silver has always been the base standard, meaning that the silver content must be at least 925 parts out of every thousand (92.5%). Britania silver is 95.84%.
One of the peculiar aspects of British silver is that the hallmark can identify not only its purity, but where it was certified and when. At one time there were many places around Britain called “assay offices”, where silversmiths could take their goods and have them certified. Each assay office had its own unique hallmark which was stamped on the silver piece. Over time, each of the small assay offices eventually closed down. If you happen to own a piece of silver that was stamped by one of those small offices, it could be quite valuable.
We also want to determine the age of the item when doing a silver appraisal. Each assay office would use a letter of the alphabet to signify the year. When the 26 letters were used up, the style of the letter would change. Since each office was independent, the system not a very organized one (a new, more organized procedure was adopted in 1975). The peculiarities of the early system can make silver appraisal a complex task sometimes. We have the skills and experience to handle whatever item you may have.
You may be surprised and find that the silver item you own is quite valuable, or we might inform you that its primary worth is sentimental. Either way, it’s very beneficial to know the appraised value of the piece.
We offer our professional silver appraisal services around the country at fine arts and antique shows, and online through our website.