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Posts Categorized / Silver

  • Dec 19 / 2015
  • 0
antique dealer, antique sterling silver, Silver

Top Bought and Sold Antique Silver Pieces for Christmas

Do you have antiques laying around your house that you don’t need anymore? How about some ideas for unique and unforgettable Christmas gifts this year? It’s time that you considered checking out some antiques or, the holiday season is a great time to sell the antiques that you don’t use. People are searching for the perfect gifts and if you have any of these antique sterling sets at hand right now that you don’t use any longer, now is the time to sell for a great price!

Perfect for a cook enthusiast:

An antique enthusiast and a chef? There is no better way to win them over this Christmas with the perfect new antiques for their collection that also make a great new item for their kitchen. if you are looking for a great gift for a cook, there are a couple options that are a great fit.

Sterling Carving and Flatware Sets

1) Sterling Carving Sets

A sterling carving set is definitely a crucial piece for a good chef to have in the kitchen. When it comes time to slice the turkey, steak or ham, your chef needs the best tools to put together the meal that they have worked so hard to prepare.

2) Sterling Flatware Sets

How does a great chef get their amazing food into the mouths of the people that they cooked for? Your friends need forks, knives and spoons in order to eat the delicious food that the chef prepared. Sterling flatware sets are a great addition to round out the meal.

Perfect for the party thrower:

There are some people who have definitely perfected the art of throwing a party. Those people are the ones who you can always count on for a good time whenever you get invited to the party that they throw. To help with their next great party, they should have some antiques on hand.

Sterling puch bowl and cup

1) Sterling Punch Bowl

No party is complete without a great drink for everyone to enjoy. The sterling punch bowl is the perfect addition to any party and provides your guests with the chance to have a great beverage. Sterling punch bowls are beautiful, large sterling silver pieces that can add great flair to a party.

2) Sterling Mint Julep Cups

While a sterling punch bowl is definitely needed for a party thrower, sterling mint julep cups are needed just as much. Sterling mint julep cups are perfect to serve, mint juleps of course, and many other drinks that are tasty enough to be served in a unique cup.

Perfect for the newlyweds:

These days, newlyweds have registries that allow them to make lists of all of the gifts that they know they want and need for their home. The best way to give newlyweds what they need is to give them something that they wouldn’t expect they needed.

Sterling Salt and Pepper Cruets

1) Sterling Salt and Pepper Cruets

Nearly every wedding registry has salt and pepper shakers on it. Trying to get the bride and groom something that they wouldn’t expect can be challenging. Sterling salt and pepper cruets are a great gift to add to the newlyweds home. While classic salt and pepper shakers come in a variety of shapes, sizes and designs, sterling salt and pepper cruets are classic collectables necessary in any home.

2) Sterling Tea Sets

Sterling tea sets are a necessary staple of every home and absolutely necessary for newlyweds. After a formal meal, and everyone is gathered around, digesting their food, warm drinks are definitely needed. Serving warm, post-dinner drinks in best served in sterling tea sets is a necessary addition for the collection and entertainment of newlyweds.

As a leading Sarasota antique dealer and buyer, we are happy to take a look at any sterling antiques that you may have for appraisal and value. We buy antiques of all variety and we buy antique sterling sets. If you want to know the value of your antiques, bring them in for appraisal and we can tell you all about the sets that you have.

  • Dec 14 / 2015
  • 0
Antique Silver, Antique Silver Tea Set, Silver

Tips on How to Sell Your Antique Silver Tea Set

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.

Tips on How to Sell Your Antique Silver Tea Set

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.

  • Dec 30 / 2014
  • 0

All About Antique Silver Bowls

Antique silver bowls hold a major place in human history. In fact, they’ve been in use for over 6,000 years, and evidence suggests that they predate even the use of eating utensils. Although, from what we know, the rulers of Ur were the first to use these vessels, they were far from the only ones, or the last. Evidence has been unearthed revealing that the ancient Greeks, Romans, Egyptians, and other cultures all had ways of hammering out bowls from this precious metal.

Antique Silver Bowls

However this is just the beginning of the story that makes antique silver bowls so interesting to Orlando collectors. And while relics from the examples above are mostly found only in museums, more modern pieces from the 17th century on make a fascinating addition to any collection.

The Basics

Because its pure form is typically too soft for common use, sterling silver is typically alloyed with 7.5% copper for added strength, although other metals can be used in its place.   For example, Argentum silver has appeared in recent decades, which replaces some of the alloyed copper with germanium. This allows for a millesimal fineness of 960, increases the alloy’s resistance to tarnish, and eliminates fire scale. However, because of the relative newness of these techniques, the antique silver bowls we typically buy in Orlando could not make use of them.


Throughout history, various styles and techniques have been used to hammer antique silver bowls of varying depths and complexity. We occasionally see one style or the other from Orlando sellers, as the techniques used across regions were similar. Below are some of the techniques that have been used to make these bowls:


  • Sinking – Often a tree stump was shaped to create a form into which a sheet of silver would be hammered. The smith would hammer in concentric circles, beginning from the outside of the form and ending in the center.
  • Raising – This technique used a convex form, rather than a concave one, to hammer the sheet of metal over, and was most commonly used for deeper vessels, such as pitchers.
  • Planishing – Both methods of shaping antique silver bowls created a distinctly honeycomb-like texture in the metal. This was often remedied by utilizing a planishing hammer to smooth the outside surface of the vessels once they had achieved their final form.


As any Orlando collector knows, antique silver bowls are rarely without ornamentation; they are often replete with detailed, artistic flourish.

  • Pricking – A sharp, hard instrument used to create pointillist designs.
  • Repoussé – This method required the silversmith to hammer from the inside of the piece in order to create a bas-relief style effect.
  • Chasing – The opposite of repoussé, hammering takes place on the outside of the piece, sinking the metal inward.
  • Open work – These lace-like effects were achieved by actually piercing the bowl using a punch or saw for open designs.
  • Other effects also included engraving, bright-cutting, and enameling to add detail and color.

While the methods were similar, antique silver bowls vary drastically across different regions and time periods. When meeting with clients in Orlando, it’s interesting to see how something as simple as a punch bowl can vary so widely across cultures. A piece from England might depict dragons, or a coat of arms, while one from the Netherlands might feature tulips. There is also the monteith, a highly decorative, handled and footed style punch vessel with highly detailed, scalloped rim.

To learn more, or if you would like to sell a piece from your collection, contact our Orlando representative today at (941) 373-1234.

  • Sep 19 / 2014
  • 1
Antique Silver, antique silver buyers, Antique Silver Tea Set, Silver

How Much Is Your Sterling Silver Tea Set Worth?

Sterling Silver Tea Sets

At Sarasota Antique Buyers, we are frequently asked, “How much is my sterling silver tea set worth?” The answer can often be complicated since value is determined by so many different factors. These can add a great sophisticated look to any home, especially when they are both functional and decorative. And if your collection is sterling instead of plated, it can be worth a great deal of money. The easiest way to know how much your collection is worth is to find a reputable antique dealer or buyer in your area to provide you with a market analysis.



No matter if it is a family heirloom that’s been collecting dust the last few years, or if you picked it up at a local Sarasota garage sale, it is important to know the value of your sterling silver tea set. The biggest contributing factor to the value is whether the entire collection is sterling or plated.  If it is sterling, it will typically have a hallmark of “.925.” This demonstrates that the piece is 92.5% silver and 7.5% copper alloy. Hallmarks can include symbols that denote where the piece was made and by whom, and can vary greatly by manufacturer. If it is not plated, another factor that will determine the worth is the total weight. Simply put, the more pieces you have in the set, the more it will be worth.

Lastly, the condition of your sterling silver tea set will affect its worth. It’s important to keep in mind; however, something that looks tarnished and ruined to you can still be extremely valuable to a Sarasota antique dealer. This is why it is so important to involve a professional, since you never know what could be lying underneath that layer of dust. If your collection is antique, it will be expected to show some signs of age.

If you live in Sarasota and are looking for someone that buys sterling silver tea sets, call us today at 941-373-1234. When you come to us to sell, we will give you a free market appraisal so you will know just how much your set is worth. We look forward to hearing from you!

  • Jul 30 / 2014
  • 0

Sterling Silver vs. Silver Plate


At Sarasota Antique Buyers, we are very interested in purchasing your sterling silver in the Tampa Bay area. Of course, we’re also interested in making sure our customers know just what their silver is worth. After all, too many people don’t realize the value of what they possess or even the type of silver they own. Such an understanding is absolutely critical since there are significant differences between sterling and plate silver.

With that in mind, here are a few important pointers that should make deciphering what you have and what it’s worth a little easier.

Sterling Silver versus Silver Plate

  • Typically, sterling silver in Tampa will most often have some form of verification either via a stamp or the number “925” which marks the piece as an antique.
  • Meanwhile, markings of “EP” or “EPNS” indicate that you possess plated silver. If your piece has no markings, it’s also most likely plated.
  • Overall, sterling silver has much more in the way of value than plated silver. This is due to the fact such pieces are made of 92% pure silver.
  • If your silver piece turns into a reddish brown color in acid then it is not pure.

Determining Value

We now understand that sterling silver is more valuable than plated silver. However, determining the exact value can be a process. With that in mind, here are a few things we look at when determining what your piece is worth.

  • Rarity: The more unique your silver is, the more you’ll be able to make upon selling.
  • Condition: The better the shape the piece is in, the more it’s usually worth. However, when dealing with an extra rare piece, condition is of less importance.
  • Demand: Higher demand always equals higher prices for your silver. Such demand typically parallels with the rarity of your silver.
  • Source and History: Things such as manufacturer, artist, year, or location where your silver piece was made are all important in determining value.

If you are interested in selling your sterling silver in Tampa, visit us at Sarasota Antique Buyers for a market analysis. For more information, call us today at (941) 373-1234.