Did you just inherit a chest of silver or silver-plated tableware or a silver-plated tea service or punchbowl? If so, you could have something quite valuable on your hands.
Silverware is different from other recyclables, because a lot of value can often be found in smaller quantities. If you want to recycle automotive catalytic converters for the platinum they contain, for example, you’ll need to have at least 500 of them before recycling becomes worthwhile. The same is true for gold-bearing printed circuit boards. Although they contain gold, only a large quantity of escrap will yield a significant amount of money.
Why Silverware Is Different
First, silverware is often collectible. If you want an example of just how much one chest of silver can be worth, take a look at this Victorian silver desert service made in 1848. It includes 12 dessert spoons, 12 dessert forks, and 12 dessert knives. They come displayed in their original wooden chest. The set is currently being offered for sale by M. S. Rau Antiques in New Orleans. The price? $19,850.
Second, even small quantities of silverware can contain significant amounts of silver. If the set that you have is not valuable to collectors (consult a qualified appraiser to be sure), the silver alone can be worth a lot of money. Silver is currently trading at nearly $20/troy ounce on the London Fix. If you send a sample to Specialty Metals Smelters and Refiners to be tested, you could be in for a very pleasant surprise. Call us at 800-426-2344 to learn more.
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