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Extra cash from Grandmom's sterling silver flatware

Sterling Fork
Sterling Fork
J. Stringer

Selecting a sterling silver flatware pattern was once on the standard checklist for many new brides. Many, perhaps most, new brides today have decided to forego that task. And many are not even interested in using sterling flatware inherited from Mom or Grandmom. Some are looking for extra cash by selling that inherited set.

I'm of the old school that would cherish such a set but I understand that life gets in the way sometimes and may present us with a need for cash. If you fall into this category and are thinking about selling that set, here are some things to consider:

  • Make sure it's sterling. Look for the word, "Sterling", on the back of spoons and forks. Absence of that word could indicate that the set is made of silver plate or stainless steel. In such cases, the value probably is not great.
  • Identify the manufacturer and pattern. Here are some web sites that may help:
    - Sterling Flatware Fashion
    - Online Encyclopedia of Silver Marks, Hallmarks & Makers' Marks
  • Look for actual sales of your pattern on eBay. Looking at items that have not yet sold may help but the items that actually did sell will be much more informative regarding price.
  • Try to sell to someone who wants a set for personal use. Such buyers generally pay higher prices than dealers. Craigslist and eBay can help find those buyers.
  • If you have to sell to a dealer, get several offers.
  • Sell to a scrap dealer as a last resort. These dealers generally are those that advertise, "We Buy Gold". You can take your set to such a place just to get an estimate. It will be the lowest, most likely.

For more information regarding selling silver, check out this site: