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.

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