How to sell silver flatware for cash in 2022

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If you were to ask many people with silver flatware how often they actually use the set, they’d probably tell you a few times a year—at best. And yet, those rarely used utensils can be quite valuable, depending on the purity and weight of silver that they contain. A typical 32-piece sterling silver flatware set can easily bring you $800 to $1,200.

Whether you’ve inherited the family silver flatware, received a silver flatware set as a wedding gift that outlived the marriage itself, or simply have a set you never use, selling it could be a great way of putting some cash in your pocket.

Below, we answer some of the most common questions that people ask about selling silverware and walk you through our recommended process for getting the most money for your silver. 

Our No. 1 recommended silver buyer is CashforSilverUSA, thanks to its A+ BBB rating, payment within 24 hours, 100% free trackable shipping, and free Jewelers’ Mutual insurance up to $100,000 on each shipment. Plus, their facility is insured by Lloyds of London.

(FYI: CashforSilverUSA does not buy silver-plated, so if your flatware is not marked with a sterling silver mark, it's probably plated.)

Silver prices have hovered at record highs this month. As of May 10, 2022, the silver resale value in the United States was at $22.46 per ounce, or $0.79 per gram.

Keep reading for more information about how to value your silver flatware, places to sell your silver tableware, why we think CashforSilverUSA is the best place to sell silver, and how much you can get in cash.

I inherited the family silver. What can I do with it? Can I sell my silver flatware?

If you’ve inherited the family silver—in the form of silverware, serving pieces, flatware, coins, jewelry, or even silver bars and ingots—but don’t want it, you have a number of options to sell it: pawning, consigning, auctioning, selling outright locally, and selling online.

Where to sell silver flatware and silverware

Our recommendation is online silver buyer CashforSilverUSA. CashforSilverUSA stands out among other options, as it has an A+ Better Business Bureau rating, was found by a news investigation to pay 3X its competitors, insures up to $100,000, and has a highest-price, money-back guarantee.

Get a free, quick quote from CashforSilverUSA now >>

You can pawn it if you need cash quickly, but just know that you’re not likely to get a fair deal. Most pawn shops only pay about half the resale value of whatever it is they’re buying.

You can have a tag sale, garage sale, or estate sale, but there’s no guarantee that you’ll find a buyer. If your silver doesn’t sell by the end of your sale, resist the temptation to mark the price down.

Auctions can be a good choice if you believe that your flatware has value outside of the value held within the metal—for example, if it is an antique. It’s important to note that the auction house will take a cut of the final sale price if your item sells, and as with tag sales, there’s no guarantee that you’ll actually find a buyer. Online auction sites, including ebay, can be a solid place to sell your silverware.

You may consider selling your flatware through an in-person or online consignment store, in which the retailer sells your silverware and shares the proceeds with you. This process can be a lot of work for little money — you are most likely to get the most money, guaranteed and quickly, through CashforSilverUSA. More on that below …

Where to sell silver-plated items

If you have silver-plated serving dishes, candelabras or other items that are not sterling, you can try to sell them for a melt price, or sell them as antique or vintage estate items to a local pawn shop, consignment store or online through ebay or Facebook Marketplace. Silver buyers and silver recyclers are happy to give you cash for your silver.

Tip: Sometimes you can find cheap flatware to resell at thrift stores.

What about searching “sterling silver flatware buyers near me?”

You can, of course, turn to Google and search for “sterling silver flatware buyers near me” where you can physically bring your silverware to sell. We don’t really recommend you go this route, though, for a few reasons. 

First, the search results may end up showing you many pawn shops. Most pawnbrokers will only pay you about half the value of your silver, at most. Second, even if you find a local silver exchange where you can sell your silverware, many of those shops aren’t much better in terms of how much they pay. 

Finally, when you sell to a local shop you’re constrained to that local market. Online buyers serve a national market, and compete against other national buyers. This puts pressure on them to pay you top dollar for your silver—pressure that local buyers just don’t have. 

How to sell silver flatware and silverware online

In selling silverware, keep in mind that buyers are interested in different things:

  1. Replacement silverware — if someone has lost individual teaspoons, or serving forks, they may be searching for replacement flatware pieces that match their pattern.
  2. Full sets of flatware — typically these sets come in 32 or 48 pieces of silverware
  3. Scrap silver — a silver buyer may just want to melt down sterling silver flatware and sell the scrap at a profit.

First, you should make sure you have real sterling silver.  Here’s how:

Determine if your silver is sterling or plated

Plated silver is not worth anything other than what you might sell it for at a thrift store (not much) or the joy you get out of using it.

Sterling silver, however, is quite valuable. Here’s how to tell if you have sterling:

  • ​​Sterling silver jewelry, coins, flatware or other items will be stamped with “925” (or, occasionally, “950”)
  • Silver is not magnetic, so if your piece is attracted to a magnet, it is fake or plated
  • Silver tarnishes
  • A white polishing cloth removes black debris from sterling silver
  • As silver has the highest thermal conductivity of any metal, it will quickly melt a piece of ice
  • Silver never rusts

Sell your silverware to CashforSilverUSA.com

You can sell your silverware for top dollar in three steps using CashforSilverUSA:

  1. Go to CashforSilverUSA.com and fill out a form providing your contact information, including your address.
  2. In a few days, you’ll receive a prepaid FedEx shipping label that you can use to send your silver items to them. Send within 7 days for a 10% bonus.
  3. Within 24 hours of receiving your items, CashforSilverUSA will appraise them and make you an offer. If you accept their offer, they’ll send you your payment. You will be paid within 24 hours. If you choose to reject their offer, they’ll send you back your items completely free of charge.

CashforSilverUSA is our favorite because:

  • 100% free shipping: Fill out a form requesting an appraisal of your item, and they will send you a prepaid mailer through either FedEx, which you can then track, door-to-door.
  • Insure all shipments: All shipments are automatically insured up to $5,000, with additional insurance available for items valued up to $100,000. If something happens to your silver during transit via FedEx, you’ll be compensated for it. Free pickups.
  • Pay fast: If you accept their offer, CashforSilverUSA pays within 24 hours.
  • Risk-free returns: If you don’t like the amount they offer, you’ll receive your items back at no cost, trackable through FedEx or USPS.
  • Highest offer guarantee
  • 10% bonus if you ship within 7 days
  • A+ Better Business Bureau rating for its parent company, C.J. Environmental, which also owns CashforGoldUSA.
  • Pays 3X its competitors, according to a Fox Business News investigation.

Learn more about CashforSilverUSA's sister site in this CashforGoldUSA review.

These are some recent silver sales fromCashforSilverUSA:

$711 paid for this sterling silver flatware set:

Silver spoons and forks for sale as part of an estate.

$4,290 paid for these fine silver bars:

CashforSilverUSA recently paid $4,290 for these 999 fine silver bars.

$520 cash paid for these 18 American Eagle silver dollars:

American Eagle sterling silver coins for sale to a coin dealer or silver buyer.

This box of American Eagle coins sold to CashforSilverUSA for $13,000:

Silver eagle coins for sale.

$300 paid for these 6 American Eagle silver coins:

Fine silver American Eagle silver coins for sale.

$1,956 paid for this collection of silver half-dollars:

Kennedy silver half dollars for sale.

Sell your silverware to Replacements.com — a review

Replacements Ltd. is a reputable online buyer of used, vintage and antique tableware items, including:

  • China / dinnerware
  • Crystal / glassware
  • Holiday ornaments and other collectibles
  • Silverware / flatware

Replacements.com also buys and sells vintage and antique jewelry and watches.

As the name suggests, Replacements.com is popular with buyers who are interested in replacing a missing fork from their silverware set, or a broken soup bowl from their family china. Today, the site sells a wide variety of individual pieces, full sets, and all things in between. Most items for sale are brand names.

Replacements.com is a legit business:

  • Founded in 1981, it is one of the oldest online buyers of tableware
  • Better Business Bureau rating of A+
  • Many positive online reviews (and many negative ones, too)
  • Useful pattern identification tool if you don't know the brand or pattern of your item

Cons of Replacements Ltd.:

  • You pay for all shipping and insurance — including returns.
  • Replacements Ltd. reports to only work with about 500 regular sellers, so the chances of them accepting your item is small.
  • Since they are in the resell business — not smelting / scrap — Replacements.com only wants premium items that are not damaged or low-quality.
  • Final offers take 14 days or more after the item is received by Replacements Ltd.

Frequently asked questions about selling silverware and flatware

Learn more about understanding your silver item before you sell it.

Is silver flatware worth anything?

Yes, absolutely! Anything that contains silver—whether a coin, a trinket, or yes, silverware—is worth at least as much as that silver is worth. 

To figure out how much money your silverware is worth, you’ll need to find out how pure the silver is and multiply that purity by the weight of your silver. Silver flatware is often 90% silver, though that percentage can vary substantially. Silver-plated flatware will contain much less silver.

It is worth noting that antique or collectible items may hold more value due to their craftsmanship or history. An appraiser or antique shop may be able to offer you guidance on this worth and may even purchase the items from you.

How do I know if my old silverware is valuable?

Not sure whether or not your flatware or silverware actually contains silver? Look for a silver marking (also called a hallmark or stamp) — sterling silver is the most valuable. What these markings look like will depend on where your silver was manufactured. Common markings found on silver manufactured in the US are:

  • Sterling: Contains 92.5% silver
  • Coin: Contains 90% silver
  • 925: Another mark for sterling silver
  • 900: Another mark for coin silver
  • EPNS: Electroplated nickel silver, which contains much less silver than other varieties.
  • EPC: Electroplated copper, which contains much less silver than other varieties.
  • Venetian silver: Contains more silver than electroplated items, but less than sterling or coin silver.
  • Sterling inlaid: Another term for silver plate

How to sell an inherited coin collection, and what you need to know about selling silver coins have more information on how to value your silver item.

Ultimately, the value of your silverware or silver flatware will depend on how much silver it contains. A simple way of determining its value is to:

  • Determine the purity of your silver.
  • Weigh your silver item.
  • Multiply the weight of your silver item by the purity of the silver. This will tell you how much silver your item contains by weight. 
  • Multiply this weight (usually in ounces) by the spot price of silver.

Note that in a flatware set, the knives' blades are typically stainless steel, while the handles may be solid sterling silver — so any payout will reflect that weight differential.

Similarly, candlesticks and other solid silver items will likely be silver-plated around cork, clay or plaster, so that weight will be deducted from any silver weight:

How do I determine sterling silver flatware value?

Your sterling silverware is worth its weight x spot price of silver. A buyer will take a cut of at least 20% of that price. 

Get an estimate here with this silver calculator:

In our own research in selling gold at a local pawn shop, local jeweler, and several online metals buyers, CashforSilverUSA’s parent company paid the most. 

How do you tell if silverware is real sterling silver?

This video offers a great primer on how to determine whether your silverware is pure silver or whether it is simply silver-plated:

Big tip: Silver pated flatware and serving pieces are heavier and more rigid than sterling silver, which is lighter weight and a little flexible. Sterling silver items are stamped with 925 or 820, or with an English Lion emblem with its paw raised.

Is plated silver worth anything?

CashforSilverUSA nor other silver buyers do not accept silver-plated items, only sterling, as these items have little to no resale value. However, it may still be beautiful or hold sentimental value to you!

Is there a market for silver plate flatware?

Plated flatware can be beautiful and useful — you may love using it at home, or may be able to resell it via Facebook Marketplace, an antique or consignment store or even a garage sale.

Bottom line: Is this the best time to sell silver?

Similar to selling jewelry (above), you can sell your silver flatware by either bringing it to a pawn shop, silver exchange, or leveraging an online silver buyer like our top recommendation, CashforSilverUSA. Each of these buyers will pay you based on the purity and weight of the silver that you are exchanging; the purer and heavier your items, the more you will receive.

Between the war on Ukrain and the tumultuous economy, precious metals including gold and silver have been near record highs in recent months. Economists expect this to stay steady. Now is a great time to sell your silver

Is plated silver worth anything?

CashforSilverUSA nor other silver buyers do not accept silver-plated items, only sterling, as these items have little to no resale value. However, it may still be beautiful or hold sentimental value to you!

How do I know if my old silverware is valuable?

Not sure whether or not your flatware or silverware actually contains silver? Look for a silver marking (also called a hallmark or stamp). Ultimately, the value of your silverware or silver flatware will depend on how much silver it contains.

Is silver flatware worth anything?

Yes, absolutely! Anything that contains silver, whether a coin, a trinket, or yes, silverware, is worth at least as much as that silver is worth.

How do you tell if silverware is real sterling silver?

Silver pated flatware and serving pieces are heavier and more rigid than sterling silver, which is lighter weight and a little flexible. Sterling silver items are stamped with 925 or 820, or with an English Lion emblem with its paw raised.

Wealthysinglemommy.com founder Emma Johnson is an award-winning business journalist, activist, author and expert. A former Associated Press reporter and MSN Money columnist, Emma has appeared on CNBC, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, NPR, TIME, The Doctors, Elle, O, The Oprah Magazine. Winner of Parents magazine’s “Best of the Web” and a New York Observer “Most Eligible New Yorker," her #1 bestseller, The Kickass Single Mom (Penguin), was a New York Post Must Read. As an expert on divorce and gender, Emma presented at the United Nations Summit for Gender Equality and multiple state legislature hearings. More about Emma's credentials.

3 Comments

How do I know if CashforSilver is a safe website? For all I know, I will never see my silver again and won’t get any money.

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