Sterling silver flatware can be a great way to make some extra cash. However, identifying your flatware to make sure that it’s truly sterling silver can be a little more difficult. Sterling silver is 92.5% silver, which is part of the reason it is so valuable. It can also be refined while keeping its original value. Sterling silver flatware is one item that keeps both its resale value and appeal, which makes it a sought-after item by many collectors and silver traders. In this article, we’ll teach you how to identify your flatware so you can know if what you have is truly sterling silver. Always talk to your CPA or Financial Advisor before making investments.
Look for Indicator Marks
The first thing you can do is check for indicator marks or stamps on your flatware. Usually, sterling silver will have a mark that indicates it as sterling silver. It may also have a British Hallmark that indicates what kind of flatware you have. Another indication that you have true sterling silver is that the flatware pieces are usually darker in color and more lightweight than normal silverware.
Check for Numbers
Another way you can identify if your flatware is sterling silver is by looking for a .925 stamp. Real sterling silver is marked with “.925” because it is 92.5% silver. This is one of the easiest ways to tell if what you have is real sterling silver or not. If your piece is not full sterling silver, it’s likely that you have EPNS (Electroplated Nickel Silver), Nickel Silver, German Silver, Roger’s 1847 Silver, International Silver, or another type of plated silver.
Identify Plated Items
Plated items are items that only have a coating of sterling silver, and are not solid silver. This makes them less valuable than solid sterling silver. If your items are plated, they will often have the words single-plated, double-plated, triple-plated, or quadruple-plated on them. While these items aren’t as valuable as their solid counterparts, they are still extremely durable.
Figure Out if You Have a Set or Individual Pieces
You’ll want to know if you have an entire set of sterling silver flatware or just odd and end pieces. Full sets are more valuable than individual pieces, and therefore, more likely to be on a collector’s radar. Check to make sure all your pieces have the same markings on them. If they don’t, it’s possible that you have some pieces that aren’t a part of the set.