What worth? Sterling flatware appraisal

sterling silver flatware

Phil asks:


Dear Wally, here is my second item for your appraisal. I am interested in selling this sterling silver flatware set. I am submitting a description and two photos for your appraisal.

Sterling Silver Flatware, serving of 12, initial “R”, plus additional pieces:


Knives 12

Forks 12

Soup spoons 12

Teaspoons 12

Lg. serving spoon 1

Lg serving fork 1

Butter knife 1

Sm. serving spoons 2

Sugar spoon 1

Gravy ladle 1

Cake server 1

Total 56 pieces

Wally, please let me know if you have any questions. Thanks in advance!


AW says: Boy, some people are going to be upset with this appraisal, but my job is to give you the actual current market value regardless of emotion and sentiment. Here’s the problem your and many Sterling Silverware sets are facing, it’s good for sellers, bad for purists.

The issue is that the price of scrap Sterling is so high right now that there is more value there in many cases than collector value. Collectors and purists don’t like looking at things this way because they are afraid of these wonderful items being melted down for silver value.

That said, I believe that investors that are buying on scrap value speculation don’t actually melt the silver down, but rather hold it on to it as a hedge against inflation.

You never gave a name or pattern for you set, and in this instance because of the above mentioned factors, that won’t matter so much unless it’s by an important company. At the time of this post Sterling Silver is at $14.52 per troy oz.

If your set is marked Gorham or any other significant maker, it would be worth more, but as you did not indicate so, I’m assuming it is not. Feel free to email me with more information.

Retail value: Does not apply to this post, instead I’m using spot price for Sterling based on an average of a Standard oz for each piece. Note that a Standard oz is different from a Troy oz., there are acutally 12 Troy oz per standard lb. – $816-$1200
(top price)

Wholesale value: 

Whatever the current scrap value of sterling silver is at the time you’re looking to sell.




Common trade terminology: Sterling Silver Flatware

Nicknames or slang terms: Scrap Sterling, Scrap Silver

Selling tips: You could sell on eBay to try and get better than scrap value, if you do this, then post the exact weight in your description and I see no need to let it go for under scrap value. If there is a good coin buyer or jewelry store in your area, they will pay the current scrap spot price instantly. Take a few minutes to educate yourself with weights and percentages so you’ll know if your being treated fairly.

In most cases, I believe it would be beneficial for your to give the prospective buyer a link to this page.

Care and storage tips: Common toothpaste is an excellent silver polish