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How much is your family silverware & serving set worth today?

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Whether you’ve inherited the family silver flatware, received a silverware set as a wedding gift that outlived the marriage just have some sterling flatware set you never use, selling it is great way to put some cash in your pocket — especially since silver prices have been strong in recent years and few people still polish and used fine flatware like years past.

Your typical 32-piece sterling silver flatware set can easily bring you $800 to $1,200.

Below, we explain how silverware is valued and we walk you through our recommended process for getting the most money for your silver.

If you are ready to sell your silver, here is our guide to the top flatware buyers — both locally and online.

Is silver flatware worth anything?

Types of silver used in flatware and serving pieces

Selling silver flatware in 3 steps

How to identify valuable silverware and sterling silver serving pieces

Is silver flatware worth anything?

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

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.

Selling silver flatware isn’t difficult. If you know what you have, you can confidently market and sell your flatware effectively.

Types of silver used in flatware and serving pieces

As you learn about your silver flatware and serving pieces, you’ll often hear these terms: sterling silver, silver plated, community silver, hotel silver. Learn what each of these terms means below:

925 sterling silver

Sterling silver is an alloy or mixture of 92.5% pure silver and 7.5% other metals, like copper or nickel. These other metals strengthen the silver to allow it to be used in silverware or silver jewelry. Sterling silver flatware is worth the melt value of silver — that is the spot (market) price of silver that day, minus any commission the buyer takes.

This post details how to tell if your metal is sterling silver, and how to determine its resale value.

Silver plated definition (a.k.a. hotel silver)

Plated silver, also called “hotel 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. Silver-plated flatware will contain much less silver than a true silverware set.

Most silver buyers, including our recommended silver buyer, CashforSilverUSA, do not accept silver-plated items, as these items have little to no resale or melt value.

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

Fine silver meaning

Fine silver is 99.9% pure and is typically too soft for making silver flatware or jewelry. It usually comes in the form of silver bullion or bullion coins.

Community silver meaning

Community silver refers to silver-plated flatware and hollowware produced by Oneida Community silver beginning in 1899.1 It typically bears a “Community Plate” mark.

Most sets of Community plated flatware on ebay are listed for less than $50:

Community silverware listed on ebay.

Selling silver flatware in 3 steps

Here are three steps to help you sell your silver flatware:

1. Determine if your flatware is actually sterling silver

Big tip: Silver-plated 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.

925 sterling silver mark if you want to sell silver flatware.

2. Determine the value of your sterling silver flatware

Your sterling silverware is worth its weight x purity (92.5%) x spot price of silver. A buyer will take a cut of at least 20% of that price. 

As of , the silver resale value in the United States was at $ per ounce, or $ per gram.

Get an estimate with this silver calculator, noting that this is the spot silver price before the seller takes their commission.

CashforSilverUSA silver calculator helps you get an idea of the value of your silver.

FYI: Silver buyers typically do not buy silver-plated, so if your flatware is not marked with a sterling silver mark, it's probably plated.

3. Do your research before trying to sell to the first buyer you find

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. These sell for a premium on the marketplace, but your payout may not be much more than selling for scrap if you sell through Replacements.com or another marketplace that takes a cut.
  2. Full sets of flatware — typically these sets come in 32 or 48 pieces of silverware, though sterling flatware is less and less popular among younger people.
  3. Scrap silver — a silver buyer mostly like wants to melt down sterling silver flatware and sell the scrap at a profit.

Whether you sell your silverware locally or online, it can be helpful to take your flatware to a local antique dealer, pawnshop, jeweler or other expert for an appraisal to help you understand what you own and what you might get in resale value.

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Take your time to research online silver buyers, looking at Trustpilot and BBB reviews. Ask about tracking and insured shipping and policies about returns in the event you are not happy with the final price offered.

We put together a list of online and local silver flatware buyers.

How to identify valuable silverware and sterling silver serving pieces

Selling a whole collection? Or pieces of a collection? Values vary depending on whether you're selling pieces for scrap or a valuable collection of vintage sterling flatware.

Estimated value if you’re selling whole place settings of silver flatware

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.

Unless yours is a noted brand, such as one listed below, you most likely will only get melt value for your silverware.

The following well-known brands are based on a 5-piece sterling silver place setting:

  • Reed and Barton silverware value: $590
  • Gorham sterling silver flatware: $449
  • Towle sterling silver flatware value: $1,199
  • Tiffany flatware value: $1,275
  • Buccellati silver value: $1,600
  • Georg Jensen flatware value: $1,050
  • International Silver value: $559
  • Lunt silver value: $429
  • Gorham Chantilly: $1,390

The following are popular and valuable silverware brands, with a typical price for a new, 5-piece place setting to give you a sense of what your flatware may be worth:

Alvin Sterling: $150Lunt Silver: $429
Buccellati Silverware: $1,600Old Master by Towle: $839
Christofle Flatware: $675Oneida Silver: $252
Durgin Silver: $258R. Wallace Silver: $249
Fine Arts Sterling Silver Company: $290Reed and Barton: $338
Frank Smith: $295Repousse: $760
Georg Jensen Flatware: $1,050Rosenthal Sterling: $605
Gorham Silver: $349Tiffany & Company Silver: $1,275
Grand Baroque: $962Towle Silverware: $1,199
International Silver Co.: $559Tuttle Onslow Silverware: $545
Kirk and Smith: $550Westmorland Silverware: $125
Kirk-Stieff: $235Whiting Manufacturing Co.: $300
Sell flatware to CashforSilverUSA

Estimated value if you’re selling pieces of silver flatware to a buyer for scrap value

In most cases, 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:

  1. Determine the purity of your silver
  2. Weigh your silver item
  3. 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. 
  4. Multiply this weight (usually in Troy ounces) by the spot price of silver

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

The following table shows some examples of estimated value based on this calculation:

ItemWeight (W)Purity (P)Spot Price* (SP)(W x P) SPBuyer cut
5-piece place setting12 Troy ouncesFine silver (0.999)$25.43$304.85$60.97
5-piece place setting6 Troy ouncesSterling silver (0.925)$25.43$141.14$28.23
48-piece setting for 1280 Troy ouncesSterling silver (0.925)$25.43$1,881.82$376.36
*As of 3/22/24

Bottom line: Before you sell the family silverware

Few people use silver flatware anymore, so it is totally fine not to want to store, wash by hand and polish your inherited set. There is always a market for sterling silver, as long as you accept that you will likely get only melt value for your item.

Our recommendation for selling sterling silver flatware is online CashforSilverUSA, which stands out among other options with an A+ Better Business Bureau rating, insurance up to $100,000, and a highest-price, money-back guarantee.

Get a free, quick quote from CashforSilverUSA now >>


SOURCES

  1. “Oneida Ltd.” Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture. https://www2.northwestmuseum.org/museum/participant-oneida-ltd-2119.htm
Can I sell my silver flatware?

Yes! 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.

Is silverware 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 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.

How do you appraise silver flatware?

A local jeweler, silver buyer or jewelry appraiser should be able to give you an estimate of what your silverware is worth, and offer an appraisal for insurance purposes. You can also estimate the value of your item by researching the silverware maker, pattern and silver purity, researching online whether it has any special value, and looking on Repacements.com or ebay to get a sense of the resale value.

Is silver plated flatware worth anything?

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.

Is Community silverware real silver?

Community silverware, which was first produced by the Oneida Company in 1899, is plated in real silver, but it is not made of real silver.

8 Comments

Will this company pay for the cost of sending complete set of silverware from Canada?
If not, do you know of any Canadian company that would do so?
Thank you for your help!

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.

CashforSilver has an A+ BBB rating and high Trustpilot and other ratings- plus they insure your item both in transit and at their facilities. Feel free to google them and see what others say.

I have Towle 3 piece service for 6 sterling silver flatware from the seventies that has never been used. I would like to have it melted into a bar to commemorate the relative who gave me the gift. Can you recommend dealers who do that? It weighs about one pound, including the knives.

I have a set of gold plated sterling silverware, as well as a sterling silver set that I inherited— will the gold plated flatware be able to be included in the valuing?

Gold-plated flatware can be worth quite a bit, especially if your item was manufactured before 1950, when the gold content would likely have been substantial. Best to ask a local jeweler or gold buyer for more information. Don’t be shy about shopping around. Good luck!

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