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Selling precious metals in your home can be a quick way to put some extra money in your pocket. Silver pops up in all kinds of places: jewellery boxes, kitchen hutches, and even hiding in the back of the closet. It’s the most commonly-used precious metal, and it can be found in all kinds of things.
Before you sell, it helps to know more about the most common types of silver you’re likely to have in your home and what you can do to prepare it for sale.
Silver Jewellery: How Much Is It Really Worth?
The value of silver jewellery depends on two main factors:
Between these two measurements, you can determine how many ounces or grams of silver your collection has.
There are some cases where collectible or designer jewellery may be worth more than the silver content, but in most cases, the actual weight of silver is the only real concern.
The good news is that this means that you usually don’t need to worry if your jewellery is broken or tarnished.
Be aware that there is a significant price disparity between silver and gold. Gold jewellery will likely sell for many times that of silver. That said, selling silver can still be a lucrative endeavour, especially when you have heavier pieces.
Silver Flatware: To Clean or Not to Clean?
Traditional flatware has been made of silver for thousands of years. Silver is unique as a metal in that it does not taste much like anything, unlike alternatives like copper, so it quickly became the material of choice for wealthier tables.
However, while silver is less reactive than most other metals, certain foods can contribute to tarnishing. The question is, should you clean your silver flatware set before you go to sell it?
That really depends on the set’s age. If it is an antique or vintage (and antiques are generally at least 100 years old), polishing your silver flatware is a great way to brighten it up and make it look more appealing when you go to sell it.
If you are dealing with an older set, though, polishing the set could strip away the valuable patina. When it comes to collectible items, leave the care and maintenance to the experts.
Silver Coins: Bullion, Junk, or Collectible?
One of the most popular uses of silver is in coins. Once a crucial metal used in actual dollars and small change, it is now used primarily in commemorative coins and bullion (investment-grade, 99.9% pure silver coins and bars).
A coin collection with real silver can prove quite valuable, especially if bullion coins are involved. The best place to sell these is often a bullion dealer or a coin dealer.
The trick to selling silver coins is identifying what you have. Bullion coins should be easy to identify. They are made by one of many national mints around the world, such as the Royal Canadian Mint or U.S. Mint. They should have their bullion content stamped directly onto one side.
Junk silver coins colloquially refer to circulation coins that have real silver. These are your old quarters and dimes made in and before the 1960s. While still valuable, they won’t sell for as much as bullion.