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How and where to sell silver flatware for cash in 2022

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

Below, we answer some of the most common questions 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.

Another quality option for selling your flatware is Replacements.com, but that makes sense mostly for dealers who work in large quantities of silver and china, understand the value of what they have and deal in items that are best sold piecemeal, or are a special, large collection, vs flatware best sold in bulk for melt value.

Where to sell silver flatware

You have multiple options for selling your silver flatware:

1. Online

Some people find that selling online is more private, and less embarrassing, as well as convenient since you can research your options and send in your silverware directly from home when a FedEx driver or USPS service picks it up from your home.

CashforSilverUSA is our recommendation for most silver flatware sales, but if you have a highly collectible brand of flatware, a uniquely complete set in pristine condition, it might make sense to send it in to Replacements.com.

2. Consignment 

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, and no guarantees. Typically a consigner will split the sale price with you 50/50, but you may have to go through the work of brokering the deal, driving to the location or paying to send it to the seller.

3. Auctions

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 or a noted brand. 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.

4. Marketplaces

A marketplace like Facebook Marketplace, Craigslist or other listings can attract buyers locally and nationally. It takes some work to photograph, post and then vet responses, but it gives you the control to set your price and deal face-to-face with the buyers.

5. Nearby

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 generally recommend you go this route, though, for a few reasons. 

First, the search results may end up showing you many pawn shops. 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. 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. 

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, you can mark the price down in hopes of a quick sale.

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. 

Selling silver flatware: 3 steps

1. Determine if your silver is pure silver, sterling silver, or plated

Fine silver is 99.9% pure silver. Fine silver is generally too soft for making most silver jewelry. Fine silver is alloyed with copper to create sterling silver, which is 92.5% pure silver and 7.5% copper.

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

  • ​​Sterling silver jewelry, coins, flatware or other items will have a hallmark or 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

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.

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.

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

2. Determine the value of your sterling silver flatware

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, noting that this is the spot silver price before the seller takes their commission.

Selling a whole collection?

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:

Reed and Barton: $338Alvin Sterling: $150
Gorham Silver: $349Fine Arts Sterling Silver Company: $290
Oneida Silver: $251.95Durgin Silver: $258
Tiffany & Company Silver: $1,275Saart Brothers Sterling Silver
Wheelock SilversmithsDansk Sterling Silver Flatware 
Towle Silverware: $1,199Rosenthal Sterling $605
International Silver Co.: $559Kirk and Smith $550
R. Wallace Silver: $249Lunt Silver $429
Christofle Flatware $630Kirk-Stieff $235
Buccellati Silverware $1,600Georg Jensen Flatware $1,050
Westmorland Silverware $125Tuttle Onslow Silverware $545
Whiting Manufacturing Co. $300Frank Smith $295

There is no need to polish your silver before you sell it to an online buyer.

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

Whether you sell your silverware near your 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.

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

Reviews of online flatware buyers

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.

The reviews that follow cover all the aforementioned situations, but these companies are online, mail-in services. If you need money today and want a “near me” option, read this post.

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 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.
  • Buys all silver, regardless of weight. Also buys all gold, diamonds and gemstones.

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

This is a recent silverware sale fromCashforSilverUSA:

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

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 silver flatware

I inherited the family silver. 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 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 silverware is worth anything?

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 a 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 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 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.

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.

What is the most valuable flatware?

The following 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: $,600
  • Georg Jensen flatware value: $1,050
  • International Silver value: $559
  • Lunt silver value: $429

Is Community silverware real silver? Is Community silverware worth anything?

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. You can find sets of Community silverware on ebay starting around $12, up to $100 for larger, pristine condition sets.

Bottom line: What is the best way to sell silverware and flatware?

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 >>

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 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 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 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.

Is plated silver 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.

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.

5 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.

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.

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