Everything You Need to Know to Buy and Sell Sterling Silver at Auction 2017-01-12T12:58:50+00:00

Everything You Need to Know to Buy & Sell Sterling Silver at Auction

Sterling
Bullion
Coins
Silverplate
Coin Silver
German/Nickel
Sterling
Bullion
Coins
Silverplate
Coin Silver
German/Nickel






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Ask a Question About Your Silver

Sterling Silver or other silver objects are commonly found in Connecticut homes or antique stores, or more likely at a family member or friend’s home. Maybe you found something in your parent’s attic or stumbled across a treasure at the local flea market. Have you ever wondered what that item might be worth?

Before you can assess the value, you will need to identify the type of silver you have, its purity, and whether or not it has value beyond the weight of the metal that comprises it.

At Nest Egg Auctions, our roots are in the Silver City, Meriden, CT, which was the home of manufacturing giants like International Silver and Meriden Britannia Company. Nest Egg Auctions has become the best place in Connecticut to buy and sell sterling and bullion silver, as well as numismatic silver coins, and silver plate.

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Georg Jensen Tulip Brooch and Earrings

Georg Jensen Sterling Silver Jewelry

How is Silver Weighed?

Most silver is weighed using Troy ounces or OZT for short. It is an international standard that allows traders in precious metals to communicate with a common unit of measurement. Gold is also traded using Troy ounces.

One Troy ounce = 20 Pennyweight = 31.1 Grams = 1.097 US ounces

Sterling

Kalo Shops Arts and Crafts Sterling Tea Set

Sterling is 92.5% pure silver and the remainder is an alloy of other metals, especially copper. The other metals add to the durability and the hardness of the fine silver without affecting the appearance for use in making coins, jewelry, and other objects. The sterling standard was created because pure silver is too soft to create functional objects like serving pieces or bracelets. The sterling alloy is believed to have originated in Continental Europe and spread by way of colonization.

Common Sterling Items You Might Encounter:

  • Sterling Flatware
  • Sterling Jewelry – Rings, Earrings, Necklaces, Bracelets, Brooches
  • Sterling Pocket Watches & Wristwatches
  • Sterling Cups, Plates, Bowls, Trays, Candlesticks, etc
Gorham King Edward Sterling Flatware

Here’s a Helpful Tip!

When you’re buying or selling sterling jewelry, keep in mind that certain items will have value well beyond their weight in silver. Jewelry made by certain designers, like Georg Jensen or David Yurman, will bring a significant premium.

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Bullion

Full Roll of .999 Silver Eagles

Bullion is a term that typically refers to silver used for investment. Technically, the value of bullion is determined by the purity and mass of the metal itself. Some markets only trade in bullion that has a certain purity, usually above 90%. In the United States, fine silver coins are frequently minted and traded as bullion. Sometimes finely minted bullion in the form of coins or bars from reputable sources can bring a premium beyond the silver value.

When uncertainty or instability in the global economy is high, silver and other precious metals are often considered safer investments, driving demand, which in turn increases the price people are willing to pay. However, when stability returns to the market a lot of investors will refocus their interests to opportunities that will yield higher returns.

A lot of bullion is considered fine, with a purity of .999 or 99.9%, as compared to sterling, which has a purity of .925 or 92.5%.

You Might Also Find:

  • Ingots
  • 1, 10, & 100 ozt bars from Engelhard, Credit Suisse, Apmex, A-Mark
  • Silver Eagles
  • Maple Leafs
  • 90% Coins
  • 40% Coins
100 Troy Ounce Bar

A Note About Silver Bullion & Coins

According to Connecticut General Statute § 12-412 (45) Gold or silver bullion, legal tender of any nation, rare and antique coins. Sales of and the storage or use of rare or antique coins, gold or silver bullion and gold or silver legal tender of any nation, traded according to its value as precious metal, provided such exemption shall not be applicable with respect to any such sale, storage or use in which the total value of such bullion or legal tender sold by the retailer is less than one thousand dollars.

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Coins

1884 CC UNC Morgan Silver Dollar

Silver coins, whether ancient coins or more contemporary, often have a value that exceeds their silver content. Coins were minted as currency by ancient civilizations and can still be found in circulation today. Some can be very collectible and have a wide range of value. US coins, for example, can have particular value to numismatists when they are in good condition, but when they are heavily circulated, their value begins to drop until it is no longer collectible and they are traded for their silver value.

United States coins – dimes, quarters, half dollars, or dollars, minted prior to 1964 are made of 90% silver. Certain other coins and special issues minted from 1965 and later contain 40% silver.

There are also a wide variety of coins from around the world and from ancient civilizations that are highly sought after by collectors.

We sold this Lorkis Silver Stater for $4,920!

Lorkis Silver Stater - $4,920

Silverplate

Meriden Britannia Company Silverplate Mirror

Silverplate is produced by applying a layer of silver to a base metal, usually copper alloy, to produce an aesthetic effect similar to sterling. It frequently has very little actually silver content. High quality silverplate items include coffee or tea sets, flatware, serving items like trays or bowls, and decorative items. While there is little value in silverplate for its precious metal content, there are many items that can be collectible for their decorative appeal or rarity.

Coin Silver

Two Coin Silver Repousee Cups

Occasionally, you may discover objects or flatware, especially spoons, that are made of coin silver. The name is derived from the process of melting down coins to produce other objects. Because this practice occurred all over the world during different periods, the purity of coin silver can range from .750 to .900, or 75% to 90%.

What About German or Nickel Silver?

You may have heard any of these terms at an auction or on an item in your home. Neither of them actually reference silver, but instead they reference an alloy containing no actual silver. It does not mean that your item is not an antique, so consult an expert if you think your item may be valuable.

So What’s Next?

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