Is It Gold? Yes! Is It Valuable? Hard to Tell!

Is It Gold? Yes! Is It Valuable? Hard to Tell!

Gold-plated and gold-covered items look beautiful - and they look expensive. But even though many collectible items have a beautiful surface of genuine gold, some contain only a tiny amount of the precious metal. Over the centuries, tiny amounts of gold have been beaten thin and used to decorate all kinds of items, even buildings.

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Make Money in Antique Silver Shaving Mugs and Accessories

Make Money in Antique Silver Shaving Mugs and Accessories

A century ago when sterling silver was a relatively cheap metal, it was used much more extensively than it is today to make all kinds of items that were used by people every day. Most every home had silver, or silver-plated flatware, salt and pepper shakers, candlesticks and candelabras, serving plates and dishes, barware and other items for daily use.

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Don’t Fall Victim to Counterfeit Sterling Silver

Don’t Fall Victim to Counterfeit Sterling Silver

Why would anybody bother to counterfeit sterling silver? After all, silver sells for lower prices than any other precious metal. Why would anybody take the trouble to counterfeit it? The simple answer is that counterfeiters have learned to take cheap, silver-plated tableware, stamp them so they look like they were made by prestigious manufacturers, then sell them to collectors for high prices. In other words, they are artificially inflating the collectible value, not the metallic value. 

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You Just Found Something Made of Argentium... What Is It?

You Just Found Something Made of Argentium... What Is It?

Let’s say that in your hunting for valuable items made of precious metals, you come across something made of “Argentium.” It could be a bracelet or other piece of jewelry in its original box with paperwork that says it’s made of Argentium. Or maybe a salesman at a jewelry store or estate sale winks at you and says, “This piece is extra valuable because it’s better than sterling... it’s Argentium!” It’s bright and white and shiny like silver... but what is it?

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How to Eliminate the Middle Man and Get Top Dollar for Your Silver Scrap

How to Eliminate the Middle Man and Get Top Dollar for Your Silver Scrap

Silver scrap is a unique item in the world of recycling. In most cases, it isn’t found in a neat shiny bar or piece that a refiner can weigh and then say, “This is half a gram, and it is worth X number of dollars.” In most cases, silver scrap comes in forms like these...

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Get a Grip on Your Silver Investments

Get a Grip on Your Silver Investments

When you consider those traits side by side – beauty, softness and a tendency to tarnish – it explains why silver has often been used to fashion handles for a variety of objects that you should be on the lookout for when you go hunting for precious metals in house sales, antique stores or estate sales. You will only rarely find knives with silver blades, for example, they wouldn’t hold up well. But you will find many of these objects...

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Can You Make More Money Recycling Silver than any Other Metal?

Can You Make More Money Recycling Silver than any Other Metal?

Gold, platinum, palladium, rhodium and the precious metals are trading for much higher prices per ounce than silver. But does that mean that you should write off silver as a profitable investment metal? Not at all. Here are some pretty compelling reasons why you could make more money in silver than you can with more glamorous precious metals.

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The Cash Cleanup . . .

The Cash Cleanup . . .

If you forgot to do any spring cleaning, these energizing autumn days can be a good time to get going. If you do, there is a pretty good chance that you’ll discover some items that will provide you with a bigger payback than you realize. Here are some items that are lying around my house. Odds are pretty good that they can be recycled very profitably by a top precious metals refinery like Specialty Metals Smelters and Refiners. 

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Sterling Silver Flatware Brands and Marks to Watch For

Sterling Silver Flatware Brands and Marks to Watch For

Be aware that if you find even one spoon or fork from one of these prestigious makers, your discovery could be worth a lot of money to silver dealers, individuals whose sets are missing the item that you found, or as sterling silver that we can recycle for you.

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How to Buy Underpriced Silver at Estate and Home Sales

How to Buy Underpriced Silver at Estate and Home Sales

Experienced silver-hunters tell us that they find much more silver at home sales than they find in antique malls, where everything has been picked over by antique dealers or estate sale specialists. If you’re lucky, you may stumble onto entire boxed sets of sterling silver tableware – you might even find an heirloom set of Old English silver.

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Lock in Future Silver Price Increases Today . . .

Lock in Future Silver Price Increases Today . . .

If you have been waiting to recycle or sell silver until trading prices rise, we invite you to consider a Specialty Metals Smelters and Refiners Pool Account.  Our Pool Account offers significant benefits, including the ability to sell your silver when prices rise in the future.

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Need Extra Cash for the Holidays? Why Not Recycle Your Precious Metals Now?

Do you tend to leave a certain number of things unfinished? I know that I do, because I sometimes procrastinate. One example? I have two old snow tires that are leaning against the back wall of my garage. They don’t fit on my current car. I really should figure out what to do with them – sell them on Craigslist or take them to my mechanic to see if he can give me a few dollars for them maybe – but I never quite get around to it. I also have some nice old picture frames that I could cut down and use on some pictures that I have in the house. But do I do it? Of course not.

Many of our customers send us sterling silver flatware, silver-plated tableware and hollowware as shown above for us to refine and recycle.

Many of our customers send us sterling silver flatware, silver-plated tableware and hollowware as shown above for us to refine and recycle.

Another Class of Things You and I Should Attend to

Those are just a few examples of some of the loose threads that need to be tied up in my house and my life. Are you anything like me? If you are, then you have left some things undone too. So you and I should turn our attention to “loose threads” and put some extra dollars in our wallets right now, just in time for holiday spending. 

I’m referring to loose threads that involve precious metals that could potentially be refined and recycled. In my life, they include . . . .

  • A box of old silver-plated tableware that my wife and I inherited from somewhere, about 10 years ago. We don’t like it, we don’t use it, but it’s still sitting around. If I got it together to send it to a top silver refinery like Specialty Metals Smelters and Refiners, I would probably get some cash for it, just in time for the holidays. How much money would I get? I don’t know, but Specialty Metals could tell me in no time at all. And just in case you thought Specialty Metals only deals with businesses, you would be wrong. They work with individuals like you and me, too.
  • A weird little gold charm that I inherited from my parents after they died. Maybe it belonged to my grandfather? It looks sort of like a dragon, only it has a little compartment in its stomach where it is possible to keep  . . . a pill, maybe? Not too sure what. I don’t know whether this strange little item is 18K or 24K gold or just what, but a top gold refinery like Specialty Metals could tell me in no time flat. Who knows, it could be worth a very nice chunk of change. If you look in your dresser drawers, you might find something similar.
  • A large old gold-toned salad fork and spoon that I ended up with somehow. They’re in a drawer in my dining room. I don’t even know where I got them. I doubt that they are made of gold. It’s much more likely that they are silver with some kind of thin gold plated finish on them. Are they worth $5 or $500? I have no way of knowing. But I do know that I can find out very fast by sending them to Specialty Metals Smelters and Refiners to be tested. And again, it would be good to have a little extra cash for the holidays.

What Are You Procrastinating About?

It’s one thing to be stalling about old snow tires, and another thing to be procrastinating about recycling items that could potentially contain very valuable quantities of precious metals.

So with the holidays coming up soon, today could be the day for you and me to get moving. Let’s call 800-426-2344 to turn the stuff we’ve been stalling about into cold cash.

Related Posts:

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Why Big Dollars Could Be Hiding in Small Quantities of Silver Tableware
Checklist of Places to Look for Precious Metals in Your Home
Recycling Gold Filled Scrap - Big Dollars Could Be Hiding in Small Items

Why You Can Make More Money than Ever by Recycling Silver

It might surprise you to learn that until the middle of the 20th century, silver was not widely regarded as a precious metal. Prices were so low back then – in fact, historical data from The Silver Institute shows that silver was selling for only about 75¢ per troy ounce in 1950. Such giveaway prices explain why silver was used so extensively as plating and in pure form. The price of silver has fluctuated widely since then, but has been on a steady rise. By 1999, it was selling for nearly $10. And these days, it is trading for between $18-$20 on the London Fix.

Shown: Photo of shipment of silver-plated scrap sent to Specialty Metals by a customer to be refined and recycled for the best prices on silver.

Shown: Photo of shipment of silver-plated scrap sent to Specialty Metals by a customer to be refined and recycled for the best prices on silver.

To summarize: once silver was cheap, today it is not. That situation has created an opportunity, because older silver and silver-plated items that date from the days of cheap silver can be found just about anywhere – in estate sales, antique stores, auction houses, and elsewhere. If you can find those items and recycle the silver they contain by sending them to a silver refinery like Special Metals Smelters and Refiners, you can end up with a lot of money thanks to of today’s high silver prices.

What kind of older silver items should you be looking for?

Smaller Antique Items, Including

  • The handles and tips of walking canes
  • Letter openers
  • Lighters and lighter cases
  • Paperweights
  • Buttons
  • Belt buckles
  • Cigarette and cigar cases
  • Eyeglass frames and cases
  • Commemorative plates and medals
Many of our customers send us sterling silver flatware, silver-plated tableware and hollowware for us to refine and recycle.

Many of our customers send us sterling silver flatware, silver-plated tableware and hollowware for us to refine and recycle.

Tableware, Including

Adornments, Including

  • Jewelry of all kinds
  • Hair pins and combs
  • Pocket watches, fobs and chains

Home Decorations, Including

  • Candlesticks and candelabras
  • Picture frames
  • Light fixtures and switch plates
  • Mantle and wall clocks
  • Trophies

How to Cash In on Today’s Higher Silver Prices

Gather up your silver items and call Specialty Metals Smelters and refiners at 800-426-2344. Your collection of small silver and silver-plated items could be worth much more than you think.

Related Posts:

Why It Pays to Find a Refiner for Silver, the Forgotten Precious Metal
The Puzzling, Profitable Process of Refining Silver-Plated Scrap Items
Finding Value in Cutlery from the Golden Age of Silver Electroplating
Why Big Dollars Could Be Hiding in Small Quantities of Silver Tableware

Don’t Overlook the Value of the Silver-Bearing Items You Own

Gold is currently trading for over $1,300 per troy ounce, platinum for over $1,500, and rhodium for over $1,100.

Silver, in contrast, is trading at about $21.

In light of those statistics, it’s tempting to think that you’re likely to get a lot more money by recycling gold, platinum and rhodium than you will ever get from recycling silver. But that kind of thinking is a mistake, because silver is contained in a surprising number of items that you could have on hand.

All you need is a top silver refinery to extract a lot of value from items like these . . .

Wise Recyclers Don’t Overlook Silver

If you have quantities of those items, please remember that they could be worth much more money than you expect – even though they are made of silver, not gold, platinum, rhodium, or another more glamorous precious metal.

Please give us a call at 800-426-2344 to learn more.

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Why It Pays to Find a Refiner for Silver, the Forgotten Precious Metal

Checklist of Places to Look for Precious Metals in Your Home

Where are precious metals hiding in your home? Some of the places are obvious, like silverware, others less so. Appliances can be hiding platinum-bearing thermocouple wire. In addition to circuit boards, your electronics can be hiding gold contacts, pins and other meltables. So we created this checklist for you to use when you’re preparing to sell your home or simply doing some spring cleaning…

Shown: a kitchen filled with buried treasure - precious metal bearing appliances, silverware and more, that can be recycled profitably by Specialty Metals.

Major appliances

  • Electric and gas stoves
  • Air conditioners
  • Refrigerators

Smaller appliances

  • Microwave ovens
  • Toasters and toaster ovens
  • Coffee makers, irons and other devices that generate heat

Household electronics

  • Radios and televisions
  • Remotes
  • Gaming consoles
  • Cellphones
  • Personal computers, computer components, and tablet computers

In the kitchen

Around the house

  • Silver and gold-plated trophies and plaques
  • Silver and gold-plated metal picture frames
  • Gold-plated faucets and bathroom fixtures (rare)
  • Old gold-plated lighting fixtures (rare)
  • Old gold, silver and platinum jewelry of all kinds
  • Old silver and gold-filled eyeglass frames
  • Coin collections
  • Darkroom supplies, chemicals and equipment

And if your spring cleaning uncovers any “buried treasure” in your home, call Specialty Metals Smelters and Refiners at 800-426-2344 and we can help you figure out what you’ve got and how much it’s worth.

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How to Get Top Dollar for Silverware and Gold Jewelry
Finding Value in Cutlery from the Golden Age of Silver Electroplating
The Puzzling, Profitable Process of Refining Silver-Plated Scrap Items
What Is Karat Gold and How Can You Find Out What Yours Is Worth?

An Invitation to Jewelers, Pawnbrokers and Other Jewelry Professionals to Partner with Our Precious Metals Refinery

If you’re in a business that has given you a quantity of silver, platinum, or gold-containing items – like old cutlery, silverware, rings, watches – you definitely have precious metals that are worth refining. The problem is, it’s hard to understand just how much precious metal those items contain. And the more different items you have, the more confusing it becomes.

Shown: Jewelry and jewelry scrap containing platinum, gold, silver and other platinum group metals that Specialty Metals recycles and refines.
  • Older silver-plate, for example, can contain larger quantities of silver than more modern plated flatware and tableware do. But how can you know how much silver is really in your silverware or whether it is worth recycling?
  • Items of gold jewelry from other countries are often not stamped with standard karat numbers. Sometimes there are no numbers at all. What should you be looking for?
  • Older platinum jewelry sometimes has no markings to indicate how pure the platinum is. (Newer platinum jewelry is usually stamped with a marking like “950 Plat,” which means that the platinum is 95% pure.)

Avoid the Confusion

Often, the only way to cut through the confusion is to send your items to a qualified precious metals refinery that can analyze them and tell you precisely what you have. Why not call Specialty Metals Smelters and Refiners at 800-426-2344 to talk things over? Even if you have a mixed collection of items, we can help you understand just what they are – and then help you get top dollar for the precious metals they contain.

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What Is Karat Gold and How Can You Find Out What Yours Is Worth?
How to Get Top Dollar for Silverware and Gold Jewelry
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Why Big Dollars Could Be Hiding in Small Quantities of Silver Tableware

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.

Image showing sterling silver flatware, silver-plated tableware and hollowware that Specialty Metals can refine and recycle profitably for your company.

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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Do You Own Silver-Plated or Pure Silver Items? This Online Encyclopedia Helps You Identify them Fast

Did you just inherit a pair of silver salad serving spoons from your grandmother? Or did you just acquire a large quantity of older silver or silver-plated cutlery?

Image showing sterling silver flatware and hollowware that Specialty Metals can refine and recycle profitably for your company.

No matter how few or how many silver items you own, you probably have a lot of questions on your mind. Yes, the pieces that you own are stamped with little markings on the underside of their handles. But what do they mean? How can you identify the company that made the items that you own? How can you tell whether they are pure silver or silver-plated? And most important of all, is your silver likely to be worth a lot of money or only a few dollars?

If you’re asking questions like those, you need to know about 925-1000.com’s Online Encyclopedia of Silver Marks, Hallmarks, and Maker’s Marks, available for instant research online. It’s a vast online reference to silverware patterns, markings, manufacturers, and more. Best of all, it contains thousands of images of the markings that are stamped on the silverware items that you own. It may take a little time and digging to identify just what you have. But the good news is, you are almost certain to learn more about your holdings.

Here are some of the features of this remarkable online resource for owners of silver items.

  • A library of images of marks and hallmarks and stampings from America, Great Britain, France, Italy, and many more countries.
  • A database of manufacturing dates and critical information about silverware that was produced by the world’s most important manufacturers, including Tiffany, Lunt, and more.
  • A collection of images of silverware patterns that helps you identify what you own.
  • Links to dozens of online resources and books about silver.

What Is Your Silverware and Silver-plated Tableware Worth?

The Online Encyclopedia of Silver Marks, Hallmarks, and Maker’s Marks doesn’t list values for the pieces of silver tableware that it has catalogued. That’s a job for an appraiser who specializes in silverware.

If you complete your research with an appraiser and determine that the real value of the items you own is contained in the silver that they contain, call Specialty Metals Smelters and Refiners at 800-426-2344. We’ll be happy to discuss your silverware with you and explain how we can help you realize the greatest return by letting us refine and recycle your silver and silver-plated items.

Related Posts:

The Puzzling, Profitable Process of Refining Silver-Plated Scrap Items
How to Get Top Dollar for Silverware and Gold Jewelry
Finding Value in Cutlery from the Golden Age of Silver Electroplating
Why It Pays to Find a Refiner for Silver, the Forgotten Precious Metal