Your antique silver flatware may have a surprisingly extensive history behind it, possibly tracing back to the 18th century or earlier. If you could use some extra pocket money, you'll be happy to learn that antique silver flatware can fetch you a pretty penny depending on its value. However, this begs the question: how do you tell whether your antique silver flatware is valuable? This question can be answered easily through various observations in the construction of your antique silver flatware.
Identify the Material of the Flatware
The truly valuable antique silver flatware on the market is made of sterling silver. However, it can be difficult to distinguish sterling silver from merely silver-plated items which are much less valuable in comparison, when you don't know what to look out for.
Authentic sterling silver is composed of 92.5% silver, usually featuring a marking that indicates authentic sterling silver that says "925", ".925", or "sterling". Aside from this, another sign of your antique flatware being the genuine article would be the trademark qualities of sterling silver. Sterling silver is darker in color compared to silver-plated objects and feels more lightweight. By confirming that your antique silver flatware is genuinely sterling silver, you can save yourself the embarrassment of being told by an appraiser that you've brought steel, copper, or even plastic instead.
Consider the Pattern of Your Silver Flatware
Valuable antique silver flatware usually comes in full, complete sets of typically 32 pieces or more. If your silver flatware is a bunch of random pieces that don't come together cohesively, it can be difficult to find value in them. On the other hand, if you have pieces that go together, another aspect of them to investigate would be their pattern.
Antique silver flatware usually features patterns that tell a greater story about them: florals, family monograms, and the list goes on. Not only can these patterns indicate the source of your antique silver flatware, but they can also indicate the period in which it was made. The pattern of your antique silver flatware can be a telling sign of how valuable it is. Rarer patterns may receive higher valuations, for example.
Evaluate the Condition of Your Silver Flatware
Like most other types of antiques, antique silver flatware typically receives a higher valuation when they're in better physical condition, giving you an incentive for you to keep your antique flatware well-loved. This makes the pieces easier to restore, on top of them having higher utilitarian and aesthetic quality. Some common issues to note in the condition of your set of antique silver flatware are:
Entrust Your Antique Silver Flatware to Us!
Our knowledgeable and reliable appraisers can give your antique silver flatware an accurate valuation. To learn the exact value of your antique silver flatware, leave it to us at Wm. Roland Appraisers & Estate Advisors for our property appraisal services.