Have you unexpectedly come across a family heirloom antique silver tea set while rummaging through the attic or going through a dusty old closet? Among the first things that may enter your mind is how valuable is it? These tips will help you evaluate your piece, show you the difference between an antique sterling silver tea set and one that’s silver-plated and give you knowledge you’ll need to sell it. If you want a professional silver dealer to give you an honest assessment of your item’s value, we offer this as well.
Here are important considerations to deciding if you should sell an silver antique tea set:
1) Does the tea set have sentimental value?
The first thing is to decide is if you actually want to sell. Tea sets, and nearly all antique silverware, can easily be handed down from one generation to the next. Silverware is relatively durable, not like china and crystal that can become chipped or broken. However, it does take a great deal of upkeep in polishing. Nearly everyone has some antique silver or silver-plated items hidden away in their homes that may have been owned by a loved one many years ago. If you can’t remember who used to own it, and if you think there’s a good chance it’s valuable, then let our professional staff take a look and we’ll give you an honest and fair analysis without any cost or obligation.
2) Is it sterling silver or silver plate?
Most silver plated tea sets, whether antique or not, are not greatly valuable. The number “925” stamped on your set will usually indicate that it is made of sterling silver. In the U.S., if an article is marked “sterling”, then by law it must be 92.5% silver and not more than 7.5% base metal, hence the origin of “925”. However, the 925 may have been stamped on a forgery as well.
3) How to keep your silver safe?
When you’ve decided to bring your silver antique tea set to us, make sure you are careful to disguise it in some fashion during your travel. You certainly wouldn’t place a stack of $20 bills in the passenger seat of your car in full view of other drivers or pedestrians and neither should you place $1,000 worth of silver there for prying eyes to see.
4) Polishing your silver?
Be careful when handling your antique tea set. Remember that polishing can remove trace amounts of silver and it can potentially expose base metals, which would detract from its value.
5) How to get an honest evaluation?
Take your time and make sure you’ve made the right decision. If you’re concerned about where to go for an honest evaluation and whether or not you’d be getting the best deal, Sarasota Antique Buyers has many years of experience, and we can give you an identification and evaluation quickly and easily.
If you’re considering selling your antique silver tea set, we would be happy to offer our expert service and advice. As an full antique buyer service and professional silver dealers we can give you an evaluation of your antique silver tea set without any cost or obligation.