:::: MENU ::::

We at Sarasota Antique Buyers have an OPEN SHOP At 1502 N Lime Ave, Sarasota. You can also Call Us On 941-320-8369 to fix an appointment.

Posts Tagged / Sterling Silver

  • 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.

  • Dec 19 / 2013
  • 1

Sterling Silver vs. Plated

Antique Sterling silver

Sometimes it’s hard to know whether you have a sterling silver or plated item. If you have antique jewelry, flatware, hollowware, hallmarks, etc. that you have no use for, you should strongly consider selling them to an expert antique buyer in Sarasota, Tampa or St. Petersburg.

Whether or not you’re interested in selling the item, the more you know about its worth, the better. Do your research so you have a better idea for its value in the event you ever do choose to sell it.

Also, definitely do not write something off as having no value just because it isn’t something you consider attractive or useful. If it’s a vintage piece it’s valuable to someone— even if the only thing it’s doing for you is collecting dust!

Silver antiques are some of the most common types of pieces for antique dealers to collect. Many people don’t realize there are different types of silver, and yours may not be sterling. Sometimes antique pieces are plated, meaning they are primarily made with another base metal such as copper, nickel, or brass, and sprayed with a top layer of silver. So how can you tell the difference? Sometimes you can’t (unless you are experienced in the field). But there are a few hints to look for:

Sterling vs. Plated Silver:

  • If it’s sterling silver it will almost always have a stamp labeling it so, or the number “925.” If it has either of these markings it’s an American antique.
  • If your piece has neither, it’s most likely plated. If it has markings of “EP,” “EPNS,” or no markings at all, it’s also likely to be plated. But you should still have it tested by our expert antique dealers in Sarasota, Tampa, and St. Petersburg just to be sure.
  • Sterling is much more expensive, as it’s composed of 92% pure silver. Most European silver is hallmarked—meaning it has a hammer and punch stamp identifying its manufacturer/origin.
  • If it turns acid into a reddish/brown color, it’s not pure.
  • Sterling can, and usually does, last forever. Silver-plated pieces can last approximately 20 years if cared for properly.

The only way to know the true market value of your antiques, and to determine their worth, is to bring them to an antique buyer in Sarasota, St. Petersburg or Tampa. We offer free verbal evaluations. You just need to email us photos (in natural lighting) with descriptions of each piece. We also buy and sell gold jewelry, paintings, porcelain, Asian art and antiques, bronzes, etc. For more information about selling your sterling silver you can contact us using the form on our site.

If you possess antique silver items as shown in the above image and you are willing to sell them, you may call us at 9413731234.