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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Thinking Inside the Box: Investing in Boxes that Contain Precious Metal

Thinking Inside the Box: Investing in Boxes that Contain Precious Metal

We have previously written on this blog about all kinds of collectibles that can contain gold, silver, platinum and other precious metals. We’ve explored canes and walking sticks, barware, smoker’s accessories, buttons and medals, and lots more. Today, we’d like to direct your attention to another investment that should be on your radar... Boxes that contain precious metals.

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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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A Guide to Investing in Liquor Flasks

A Guide to Investing in Liquor Flasks

If you’ve spent any time poking around antique stores, estate sales, or online, you already know that liquor flasks are not hard to find. That must be because in years past, many “gentlemen” and “gentlewomen” carried them on their persons, along with pocket watches, pocket knives, silver toothpicks, combs and other accessories that have gone out of vogue today.

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Is It Time to Talk to Your Parents about their Precious Metals?

Is It Time to Talk to Your Parents about their Precious Metals?

If your parents, grandparents or other family elders are downsizing or moving into adult living communities, this could be a good time to talk to them about the silverware, jewelry and other precious metal items they own. Why talk to them today? Consider these reasons...

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Make Money Investing in Silver Shot Glasses and Barware

Make Money Investing in Silver Shot Glasses and Barware

Why would anyone invest in a set of sterling silver or silver-plated shot glasses, in a silver cocktail shaker, or in sterling swizzle sticks? It seems a little crazy. Silver tarnishes after all, and keeping it shining bright is a time-consuming chore. Why not just buy items made of glass or stainless steel and skip the tubs of silver polish?

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Why Watching Downton Abbey Can Help You Make Money in Precious Metals

Why Watching Downton Abbey Can Help You Make Money in Precious Metals

Watching Downton Abbey can alert you to all kinds of antique precious-metal items that you can find if you’re shopping online, at antique stores, at estate sales . . . just about everywhere old metal items can be found. Here’s a checklist of items that we noticed during just one episode of the show...

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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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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

Platinum Sterling - What You Need to Know about this Precious Alloy

If you’ve visited a jewelry store in the last few years, you noticed that platinum sterling and platinum-plated sterling have become top choices for engagement rings and other pieces of jewelry where hardness, beauty, tarnish-resistance, and durability are required.

How did platinum and sterling join forces to become beautiful jewelry? Let’s learn more.

Shown: Jewelry and jewelry scrap containing platinum, silver and other platinum group metals that our customers have sent in for recycling and refining.

Shown: Jewelry and jewelry scrap containing platinum, silver and other platinum group metals that our customers have sent in for recycling and refining.

A Brief History of the Platinum Sterling Alloy

A little more than a decade ago, American Bullion Inc. (ABI) of Carson, California, created and registered a trademark for a new kind of alloy, Platinum Sterling™. The goal was to create an alloy for jewelry that would be beautiful, resistant to tarnishing – in others words, a silver-colored alternative to karat gold.

The result was a great success. The resulting alloy was durable, beautiful, and much more tarnish-resistant than sterling silver alloys.  Many jewelers observed that while the alloy looked similar to both white gold and sterling silver, it was both harder and heavier.

Beyond the Alloy: Platinum-Plated Silver Jewelry

In the same period of time – about the last decade – a growing number of jewelry manufacturers have also expanded their manufacturing of platinum-plated silver jewelry, especially engagement rings and earrings, in which platinum-plated posts are as tarnish-resistant as pure platinum, yet less expensive than similar items made of pure platinum.  If you search online, you will quickly find platinum-plated silver items made by both very high-end jewelry companies (including Swarovski) and other jewelry brands too (Vinani).

You will also notice that a growing number of platinum-plated silver watches are being sold today, and with good reason. They look as elegant as watches that are made of pure platinum, but in most cases are more economical to buy.

The Marriage of Platinum and Silver Could Spell Profits for You

If you have come into a quantity of either platinum silver or platinum-plated silver jewelry items – or scrap left over from manufacturing them – you could have a quantity of precious metals that are well worth recycling. Call 800-426-2344 to learn more.  

Related Posts:

An Invitation to Jewelers, Pawnbrokers and Other Jewelry Professionals to Partner with Our Precious Metals Refinery
Why It Pays to Find a Refiner for Silver, the Forgotten Precious Metal
What You Need to Know about Recycling Alloys of Precious Metals
How Much Platinum Does Your Platinum Jewelry Really Contain?
Six Traits of the Best Platinum Refiners