How to sell silver flatware for cash

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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 to a silver buyer.

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, CashforGoldUSA's facility insured by Lloyds of London.

Keep reading for more information about how to value your silver, best places to sell your silver tableware, and how much you can get in cash.

I inherited the family silver. What can I do with it?

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:

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.

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 >>

Where to sell silver flatware and silverware

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 replacemnt flatware pieces that match thier 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.

Where to sell sterling silver flatware

The most common ways to sell your sterling silver flatware include:

  • Tag sale, garage sale, or estate sale: This can be a good option if you want to handle the sale all on your own. Be warned, though. Most people who buy from tag sales and garage sales do so because they’re looking for a deal (or simply like to haggle) which means you might not get the fair value for your silverware. Likewise, there’s no guarantee you’ll find someone who wants your silver to begin with.
  • Pawn shop: This can be a good option if you need cash fast—as in, immediately. That being said, most pawnshops will only pay you about half of an item’s resale value when you pawn something. That means that if you pawn your silverware or flatware, you’re almost certainly leaving money on the table.
  • Consignment shop: Whether an online consignment store, or one near you, consignment stores may help you sell your silver flatware.
  • Auction: 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.
  • Online silver buyer: Online silver buyers are the best choice for those who want to get as much money as possible for their silver and who can wait a short while to receive their funds. High competition forces online buyers to pay out competitive prices, quickly. Even though you won’t receive your money as instantaneously as if you sold to a pawn shop, you may get more selling your silver flatware online to a site like Replacements.com or CashforSilverUSA.

How to sell inherited jewelry for the highest price, safely

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.

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

You can, of course, turn to Google and search for local silver buyers 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

Sell your silverware to CashforSilver.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:

$711 paid for this sterling silver flatware set.

$4,290 paid for these fine silver bars:

$4,290 paid for these fine silver bars.

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

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

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

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

$300 paid for these 6 American Eagle silver coins:

$300 paid for these 6 American Eagle silver coins.

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

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

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.

Replacement silverware and flatware

As the name suggests, Replacements.com is popular with buyers who are interested in replacing a missing fork from thier 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.

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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). 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 you tell if silverware is pure silver?

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

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!

What to expect when selling silver flatware

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.

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.

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.

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