What is your silver jewellery collection worth?
Working out the value of your silver jewellery is not easy, especially if you don’t have experience in the field. You may have better things to do than learn the finer points of valuing precious metals!
The value of silver, as a metal, is determined by the weight, the purity and the current ‘spot price’. This is its current market value.
It’s rare to get paid spot price for your silver jewellery if it’s being sold as scrap. This is because you’ll have to pay a commission on the transaction which goes to the dealer. This commission is how silver dealers make money.
Usually, you will only be able to sell silver at spot price to a bullion dealer, they tend only to deal in very large amounts.
Are you wondering “is my silver valuable?” If it is antique or vintage it may be worth more than its scrap value. That’s where valuing it becomes difficult.
Our experts have years of appraisal experience, they can spot valuable silver jewellery even if it’s broken or tarnished. If in doubt don’t just sell it to a scrap silver dealer, they may not be able to spot a rare or valuable piece. Instead, if you want to sell silver jewellery, try our service for free.
Though professional silver valuation is recommended, there are some ways to establish what silver jewellery is worth, and the tips below can help you get some idea before you send it to the pros.
Silver jewellery brands
When looking through your jewellery watch out for these names: Cartier, Van Cleef & Arpels, Tiffany, Georg Jensen, Thomas Sabo and Links of London, silver jewellery made by these fashion houses are usually quite valuable if authentic. However, there are a lot of copy designs in these jewellery brands making silver valuations tough.
Check the jewellery to see if it has any marks. Is it signed? Silverware markings can give a big clue to its value.
Does it have hallmarks or a 925 stamp or tag? Silver stamped 925 is at a good level of purity. It means this piece has 925 parts silver combined with 75 parts other metals. Silver stamped 800 means the ratio is 800/200.
You are likely to see silver ring markings or silver chain markings stamped as “.925” for instance. This depicts the purity of the silver, helping a great deal when getting silver valued.
There may be maker’s marks or foreign assay marks on a vintage piece of silver jewellery.
Makers marks are a sign that the piece is old or vintage and so could be worth more than just its weight as silver.
Are pearls in silver settings valuable?
In modern jewellery, it’s common to use cultured pearls. These are created by oyster farming. In older pieces of silver jewellery though pearls are more likely to be natural. Unlike silver valuations, the only way to tell for certain is to x-ray the pearls, but many dealers can tell by looking at the shape and the shine of the pearl.
Cultured pearls are worth far less than natural pearls. While both hold value, the natural ones are more sought after and so will be worth more money.
A lot of older jewellery was also set with seed pearls, particularly in the Victorian era. Remember it’s common to replicate pearls in jewellery using plastic. Although this is rare on silver jewellery it’s worth having your piece appraised before selling it.
Silver jewellery with semi-precious stones
Colourless gems may not always be diamonds. It is very rare to get diamonds on antique vintage silver jewellery. Where they are included they tend to be a little lumpier than the modern-day equivalent as the cut of them is less precise.
Tiny or very small diamonds rarely hold value. There is a huge markup on diamond jewellery at jewellery stores. because the new ones are often in high demand. However, the resale value is low.
In some instances, old jewellery may contain precious stones from mines which are now exhausted. If that is the case the precious stone will be a lot more valuable.
Coloured stones or semi-precious stones tend to hold less value. Rubies, sapphires and emeralds are becoming more popular. A piece of silver jewellery containing red, blue or green stones should be appraised. If the piece is vintage the stones are more likely to be valuable than in a modern piece.
In modern jewellery, the gems that are used tend to be heated. This causes differences in colour, shape and sparkle. Vintage or antique stones were untreated and this usually means they are more valuable.
Look for stones that are clear, shine brightly and have no bubbles in them, these are more likely to be real.
Determining the authenticity of gemstones is very difficult. The practice requires years of study and even then the results can only be provided with a degree of accuracy.
If you have old silver jewellery with red, green or blue stones in it, make sure it’s appraised by an expert. They are far more likely to know the difference between a replica and a real gem. However, remember, 9/10 pieces of jewellery set with stones are semi-precious or costume stones.
Antique silver jewellery
If your silver jewellery looks highly unusual it may be rare or antique silver jewellery.
Look for brooches, earrings, hair clips, pendants any type of vintage silver jewellery depicting bugs. Victorian and unusual vintage jewellery is more likely to be valuable.
Though valuing vintage silver jewellery is tough, it is more likely to be valuable than just the cost of its weight as scrap silver.
Is Your Silver Worth Selling?
You can sell your silver jewellery to Vintage Cash Cow no matter what condition it’s in. We’ll tell you how much your silver is worth and then you can decide if you’d like to sell it. If we think you can make more selling privately we will advise you to try it, we’ll even give you the benefit of our experience selling on these sites.