Sterling silver appraisal

Communicate directly with a qualified specialist and get a fair market valuation of your item, typically in 48 hours or less.
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Mearto Specialist:


Delia has nearly 30 years of experience at regional and international auction houses in the United States, and is also currently the editor of an art and antiques trade publication that tracks market trends, auctions and antiques shows. Delia is a generalist in glass, ceramics, silver and other metals, fine art, textiles, antiquities, wines and spirits, stamps and currency, collectibles and dolls and toys. Additionally, she is a specialist in 15th to 21st Century furniture from around the world. Her extensive professional network of appraisers, curators, dealers and collectors has proven to be an invaluable resource in her work for Mearto.

Sterling silver features an intrinsic value that makes it a highly coveted collector’s piece. However, antique pieces tend to bring in more value. As mentioned above, there are several features and factors that are evaluated when appraising sterling silver items. Since many items are being destroyed for scrap, the remaining sterling silver pieces will considerably become more valuable over the years.

Since the value of sterling silver is not fixed, it makes the item you have even more valuable. It can go up or down on a day’s notice. The silver spot price is used as baseline for pricing sterling silver commodities. The best way you can determine its actual worth is to have a professional appraise it.

We help a lot of customers to find the value of their rare and antique sterling silver. Our professional sterling silver appraisal services can help you find the value within 24-48 hours and you can see examples of sterling silver appraisals here:

A Tiffany & Co Sterling Silver Two-pint Teapot. $700 to $1000

A vintage Mexican repousse sterling silver centerpiece or fruit bowl
made by Maciel, Mexico City
, 1940-1970

What is Sterling Silver?

Sterling silver should not be confused with pure silver. The former is not made of 100% silver. Instead, it is a metal alloy made up of 92.5% of silver and the rest is copper (or nickel and zinc). This makes it durable enough to be formed into various shapes and sizes to create the item that you want.

No silver flatware is made with pure silver. Pure silver is only found as bars with the purpose of trading silver as a commodity.

What items are made of sterling silver?

There are several things you can make with sterling silver. While sterling silver is valuable, the type of item you own can heavily influence its value when appraised. Below are common categories of items that are made with sterling silver:

Silverware: The use of sterling silver for dinnerware or silverware is probably the most common use of this type of silver due to the high polish quality. It is also not uncommon to find ornate designs in the sterling silverware that were produced in the market. Some of the silverware items that are made with sterling silver are knives, spoons, and forks.

Teapots: teasets are commenly made of sterling silver

Cutlery: We have dedicated a whole section to this

Musical Instruments: There are also several musical instruments that require silver components. For example, flutes and saxophones have been known to comprise of sterling silver metal pieces in them.

Jewellery: Aside from silverware, the use of sterling silver for making jewellery is also prevalent. Therefore, most of the collectible sterling silver items are prized jewels.

Pendants, rings, and brooches are pieces of jewellery that make use of sterling silver.

What features are evaluated in sterling silver?

There is a lot of research involved when trying to determine the value of sterling silver. It is important to research the individual features because one small factor can make the cost go up or down. These are the features that are evaluated during the appraisal of sterling silver:

Maker of the sterling silver

Weight of the silver

The year it was made

Condition of the sterling silver item

Type of manufacture (such as chasing, casting, die striking, or repousse)

Pattern of sterling silver

Amount of pieces (if the item is part of a set)


Hallmarks and other unique features

Presence of any paperwork

Amount of similar items in production

Other materials used for its manufacture

Sterling Silver vs Pure Silver and Silver Plate

Sterling silver is often confused to be the same as pure silver or silver plated items. However, there are plenty of differences among them. If you are planning to buy or sell your sterling silver items, it is important to know the difference as they also differ in value.

Sterling silver has a high silver content and is mixed with copper, nickel, or zinc. Meanwhile, pure silver is made of 99.9% silver. However, it is difficult to find pure silver items these days. Silver is a soft type of metal. Hence, they are not used for the manufacture of items because they are hard to work with on its own.

The ideal way to manufacture items using silver is, therefore, to mix it with other metals such as with sterling silver.

Finally, silver plate items are the least valuable from this list. They do not contain silver in their composition; instead, they are only coated with a lining of silver to give it that shiny appearance. If you own silver plated items, you won’t be able to sell it (or do so at very low price).

What hallmarks are present in sterling silver?

It is pretty common for manufacturers that make items out of sterling silver to incorporate hallmarks and other stamps into their item. This is a highly significant factor that is used in appraising sterling silver. Hence, you need to look for them when you own sterling silver items. It can provide important details for the valuation of the item, such as its purity, origin, date of manufacture, and the name of the manufacturer.

All of these factors can indicate how rare and precious the item is.In addition, these hallmarks are also what the expert appraisers look for in sterling silver items. The hallmark is a good indicator of the items authenticity especially since there are several manufacturers of fake sterling silver. With this hallmark, you will be able to guarantee that the item is made with genuine sterling silver.

How to take care of sterling silver?

The use of other types of metal to create sterling silver makes it more durable. However, the presence of other metal content also makes it prone to tarnishing. The copper, zinc, or nickel content in the metal alloy could react to the oxygen or other natural elements, which causes it to tarnish. Therefore, cleaning and taking proper care of your sterling silver is important.

For sterling silver jewelry, it is recommended that you wear it often. The natural oils from your skin can fight the process of tarnishing on the metal. In addition, you can also store it inside a sealed pouch or bag. This will help to protect it from moisture that can cause the metal to tarnish.

In terms of cleaning sterling silver, you must only use cleaning solution or cloth that is designed primarily for this type of metal. Also, you need to follow the instructions for its use. Avoid the use of regular cleaning solutions. You could potentially destroy the silver and lose a significant amount of its market value!

What our customers say:

150,000+ satisfied customers

4.6/5 ★★★★★ rating

I received a response and information regarding my items in less than 48 hours, which I appreciated. The appraiser was very knowledgable.

Kristal Hicks Torpey

I highly recommend Mearto if you're curious of the value or background of any item in your home.
The appraisal I received from Mearto was detailed and thorough.

Austin Phillips

I received a quality appraisal in less than 48 hours. I also acquired a second opinion of an industry expert who concurred with Mearto's appraised value.  

Todd Roper

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