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How to Sell Your Sterling Silver Items


Vintage sterling silver

Sterling silver has been around for ages and to this day it still has value no matter where you are in the world. This shiny, lustrous precious metal has been used in many cultures for jewelry, decorative items, and fine dining pieces.

The word “sterling” evolved from the word “Easterlings” when eastern Germans paid the British silver coins they called “Easterlings”. It became the standard of currency and was eventually abbreviated to the word “sterling”.

Nowadays sterling silver is still worth a nice chunk of cash if you know how and where to sell it. If you currently own sterling silver and are considering selling these items, there are a few ways you can cash in.

One thing to note before you sell any sterling silver item is to do some research on what you are trying to sell. (This can also be said for anything you ever want to sell.) This may seem like common sense, but you’d be surprised how many people skip this step. It’s important to be knowledgeable about what you have so someone doesn’t take advantage of you and make a low-ball offer on a highly valuable and rare piece.

Sell or consign with an antique shop

If you have collectible heirloom items, antique sterling silver, or sterling silver flatware, you might consider contacting your local antique stores to see what they will offer you. Do keep in mind that the price they offer may be slightly lower than the market price because the store needs to make a profit.

Sell to a silver dealer

You can find silver dealers in your local area or online. This may be an option for you if you don’t have antique silver or collectibles. They will evaluate your silver and make an offer. Keep in mind that some dealers will perform a scratch test to determine if the item is indeed silver. Oftentimes this will damage the piece, so make sure you want to sell the item before allowing them to perform the test.

Silver dealers will make offers that are usually 50-75% of the market price, so you should shop around and get a few offers before deciding to sell. However, if you are selling an item with a high value such a top 10 silver coin, then you can usually get higher prices.

Sell through an auction house or online auction site

Many auction houses can offer appraisals of your items and/or sell the pieces via a live or online auction. If an auction house does offer online auctions, this may benefit you because of the potential to reach buyers around the world. Auction houses can charge anywhere from 10-50% commission depending on the types of services they offer.

Sell on your own

You could try to sell the item on your own through marketplaces such as OfferUp or Etsy. This can be time-consuming because you have to take pictures of every item yourself and then negotiate directly with buyers.

Do you have any other tips on how to sell sterling silver items?

If you’re in the Southern California area and interested in selling your collectible silver, contact us to see how we can help! If you’re a buyer, make sure to sign up to receive notifications of our online auctions. We often have sterling silver pieces available in our estate auctions.