To collect or to sell

About 50 years ago I received from my mother’s estate 12 place settings of International Silver and about 200 individual pieces of silver flatware. For the most part we have used the silver on special occasions. Now we are ready to downsize our home and have considered selling most of our silver. We made a couple of inquiries at shops that buy precious metals which have suggested that no one buys silver to collect these days that most of it is sold for “scrap” or melting. Which makes some sense because silver price today is $40 per oz. This seems a shame because some of the pieces we have are quite attractive or quite old and perhaps are worth more for intrinsic value. Where can we find some guidance on this issue, and how do we reach the collector’s market? :question: :question: :question:

Hi there Jon and thanks for joining us. My view is that eBay probably remains the best place to study the current market for American sterling flatware. I’d search the sterling listings and find similar sets to yours and watch the current auctions, but also search the “completed auctions” to see what stuff is actually selling for vs. “pie in the sky” asking prices. This should give you an idea of whether there is much value in your items above scrap. A common rule of thumb for sterling scrap seems to be 83% of the quoted pure silver commodity price, and remember the commodity price is quoted in Troy ounces.

I personally beleive family sterling should stay in the family.


Uncle Vic

I have to say I totally agree with Uncle Vic.
Here in the UK we are seeing the destruction of our silver heritage by, what I call call ‘the meltdown boys’.
Visiting a silver auction recently, in the heart of Norfolk UK, there were some wonderful Georgian & Victorian pieces up for sale. However, the ‘meltdown boys’ from London were there to outbid anyone and take their wares to the melting pot.
They are quite open & blatant about it as well - money means more than our history i guess. To me, it’s criminal.
Maybe this should be for another thread, but it really angers me.

Hi there, Why all my post is visible when i visited here?

You were asked not to post pointless, non-substantive comments and I remind you that you promised not to do so in this post. I have been removing them and will continue to do so.