Did you know that the Sterling Silverware cutlery sitting in your kitchen draw is a veritable “silver mine”? With the price of silver reaching record levels more and more people are realising that Nana’s old spoons, forks, knives, serving spoons, dishware, candlesticks, tea-service set, tableware, silver flatware and so on is worth it’s weight in silver!
Sterling silver is an alloy of silver containing 92.5% of silver and 7.5% of an “alloy metal”, usually copper. The sterling silver standard has been around for a very long time.
Silverware has been the standard for setting a proper table when hosting guests, however given the rise of sterling silver and other manufacturing methods, it’s become less popular and troublesome to maintain. In the house steads of old, wealthy families would have butlers responsible for maintaining the collection of silver – including cleaning and polishing. In middle-income families a few items of silver or silverplate may have been displayed on a buffet table, cabinet or simply locked away for security.
If you have silver cutlery yourself you’ll know how time consuming it can be to store, use and clean all silverware associated with special functions!
Sterling silver will be appropriately hallmarked with stamps to indicate it’s authenticity. This could include fine silver of 99.9% silver or better (normally only used in the making of bullion bars), Britiannia silver at 95.84% sterling (more pure than sterling), Mexican silver of 95% purity, North American coin silver, German silver of between 80%-90% depending on the manufacturer.
Hallmarks on silver are not to be confused with makers’ marks, which alone are not considered “hallmarks”. A hallmark is simply an indication of the metal content, such marks may read: 800, 813H, 925, 925S, 935, 960, sterling, etc. Symbols on the items may include: an eagle’s head, boar’s head, triple crown, the lion passant (walking lion), etc.
Perhaps you inherited a silver-set from family and you simply cannot bother with the hassle of cleaning and safety storing it – no matter the reason, your silver flatware can net you a pretty penny!
When selling silverware in New Zealand, talk with the silver buying experts at Gold Smart to turn that unwanted dining set into piles of cash!