Where Can I Sell Sterling Silver Flatware – Gorham Greenbrier Brand?

I want to sell my sterling silver flatware set.  It is Gorham Greenbrier brand and includes 12 5-piece settings with a butter knife and 8 serving pieces: 2 medium size spoons, 2 medium size forks, a gravy ladle, a sugar spoon and 2 larger size serving spoon/forks. What is all this worth and where can I sell it?  From Karalyn in Santa Fe, New Mexico

Hi Karalyn,

Depending on the condition of your set, you may have a number of options of where to sell your sterling silver flatware. The first thing we would recommend is to find out as much as you can about your silver tableware. Since you already know the make and brand is Gorham Greenbrier, look at the hallmarks and make sure you know exactly what they mean. Other things to look for are the age and country of origin.

Based on this information, you may be able to assess whether the set has much market value or if it is better to sell for its melt value. If you feel the market value is high, a local consignment shop may take them for you, but consider that they will probably take about 40% to 50% of the sale price as their fee to put your set in their store. They will also take into consideration quality, brand, collectability and the completeness of your set whereas precious metal refiners will only look at the weight and purity of the silver content available to extract.

So, if you don’t think your set has much market value or don’t want to deal with the hassle of taking your items to a store or selling on eBay or Craigslist, you can send them in based on the melt value. As a silver refiner, we will pay you on the actual value of silver in your set. You can use our silver value calculator to find the approximate value of your items at market price.

Take into consideration that knife blades are often made from stainless steel. Also, some knife handles and serving piece handles are weighted, meaning that they are filled with another material making them heavier and so they fit better in a user’s hand. This will affect the sterling silver melt value. We would recommend taking the knives out from the group and weighing everything else separately.

Also, silver prices do change regularly so we pay 75% of the fine silver content based on the market price of the day received and can typically process your sterling scrap silver and return payment within 1-2 business days. For delivery we recommend shipping with the US Postal Service’s flat rate shipping boxes. Please request the “Delivery Signature Required” option. Hope this was helpful to you!

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12 Responses to “Where Can I Sell Sterling Silver Flatware – Gorham Greenbrier Brand?”

  1. diane brugger says:

    how do i determine how many oz. of sterling silver does each piece of my flatware contain. for example: does a sterling hollow handled dinner knife with a stainless steel blade contain .8 oz of sterling? and is sterling the same value as a troy oz?

  2. Arch Enterprises says:

    Hi Diane,

    For a knife that has a weighted handle and a stainless steel blade we would recommend removing the blade and the contents in the handle. Use a postal scale or a scale that you may use for cooking to weigh the handle.

    Standard or avoirdupois ounces that your postal scale gives will need to be converted, since precious metal is measured in troy ounces which are actually heavier than standard ounces.

    1 ounce = 0.911458333 troy ounce

    Hope this helps!

  3. pat says:

    If my silverware says “gorham sterling” on the back, is this “sterling silver”? The pattern is Gorham Greenbrier. Thanks

  4. admin says:

    Hi Pat,

    Most likely if your silverware has “sterling” marked on it then it would be 92.5% or .925 silver.

  5. r lubka says:

    well what is the value of the knives and/or how do you determine what the value is ?

  6. Kurt Hecht says:

    How can I tell which silverware contains the most silver?

  7. Arch Enterprises says:

    Hi Kurt,

    The best way to tell if you have “real” silver is by the markings that indicate its purity. Most sterling silver will have a stamp of S, SILVER, 925, or .925 SILVER.

    925 silver is sterling silver meaning that it is made with 92.5% silver and alloyed with 7.5% of another type of metal.

    Without testing equipment it can be very difficult to tell exactly how pure your silver item may be if it is not marked. There are testing kits available but most of them involve you scraping and then testing with acid, so I would only recommend using this method if you know your items are scrap (not collectible or antiques).

    If you have a large lot, we may be able to test a piece for you. Please visit one of our contact forms and let us know or you can find our phone number listed as well.

    Thanks for everyone response!

  8. Dan says:

    How can I sell my flatware marked sterling silver and purchased 30 to 50 years ago?
    Dan

  9. Daniel Grant Jr says:

    How much ia a sterling silver, eight peice setting and serving peices worth in excellent condition, Buttercup pattern.

  10. Gloria says:

    Hello
    I have several pieces of my mothers German silverware. It has a
    millhoff 90 stamped on the pieces. Does this mean 90% silver plate?
    and is it worth anything? Thank You

  11. admin says:

    Hi Daniel and Gloria,

    It is difficult to give quotes based on the information you have provided.

    When customers say things like “excellent condition” and give patterns, it makes us think that you should also research the value of your items besides just the silver value — which is all that we offer returns on.

    Daniel – we will need the actual sterling silver weight of your items. We usually can return 75% of the fine silver content back to you on STERLING.

    Gloria – as we are not experts by any means in silverware stamps and hallmarks you might want to take your items to a dealer that specializes in silverware. Otherwise, you can try and run some test to determine if you have sterling. Most often sterling is indicated by a stamp of 925. The 90% could mean silver plate or the actual purity of the silver. Would not be considered “sterling” if it is 90% silver, but would still have silver value unlike silver plated materials.

    Here are some other blog posts that you can refer to about silver items.

    http://www.precious-metal-refining.info/silver-cake-server-and-serving-spoon-stamped-with-%E2%80%9Csilver%E2%80%9D-precious-metal-refining-blog/

    http://www.precious-metal-refining.info/what-do-the-markings-70-and-sss-on-my-silver-flatware-mean-precious-metal-refining-blog/

    http://www.precious-metal-refining.info/is-my-sheffield-silver-tea-set-worth-anything-precious-metal-refining-blog/

    Hope that helps! If you wan to request an estimate and provide us with some more information such as weight etc: here is our request an estimate form:

    http://www.precious-metal-refining.info/request-estimate/

  12. wowsers says:

    The production of silverplated cutlery on an industrial level began in Germany in the middle of the 19th century. Two factors limited the output:
    1. Access to electrical power was very limited at the time.
    2. Electrical current was quite weak compared to the present day.

    After some experimenting, engineers achieved the best results if they used a small bath, put one dozen table spoons and one dozen table forks in it, used 90 Grams of fine silver and then immersed the pieces until the silver anodes were dissolved and the silver had firmly settled on the cutlery. This took many hours and in the beginning made the finished pieces quite expensive. The engineers discovered that a little more than half of the 90 Grams used was spread on the 12 spoons (as they have a bigger surface than the forks), a little less than half was spread on the 12 forks. Using a larger bath would require a much longer plating process, which would have made the process even more expensive. To use more than the 12 + 12 pieces in a bath would result in:
    1. The pieces closest to the silver anodes would get a much thicker plating.
    2. The pieces farthest from the anodes would get a very thin plating.
    So the thickness of the silver layer would differ considerably.
    Using 12 + 12 pieces as described above and 90 Grams of fine silver became a standard in Germany. To document this, the “90″ was punched on the pieces. If companies wanted to produce cheaper cutlery, they used less silver, 60 Grams, 40 Grams or even 20 Grams, which made the plating very thin. Some used more, 100 or 150 Grams. Pieces were punched accordingly “60″, “40″, “20″, “100″ etc.

    The plating process was adapted to other pieces of flatware and cutlery; knife-handles, smaller spoons, serving pieces etc., so that the silver layer on them was as thick as on the table spoons and table forks. As the same standard process was used, they all were stamped with the “90″. New techniques made it possible to plate more pieces in bigger baths in shorter time, using much larger silver anodes. However, the thickness of the plating remained the same , so the marks remained the same.
    When plated cutlery became more affordable and more and more customers bought it, they began to ask how much pure silver their flatware actually “contained”. Manufacturers realized that they could use the answer as a method to promote sales and started punching a further mark that roughly provided the actual gram weight of the silver that coated the pieces. Unfortunately they used two different systems:
    1. Pieces that usually come in a dozen (table- forks /-spoons / -knives, coffeespoons etc.) are punched with the weight of silver used for plating a dozen pieces. So tableforks and tablespoons were marked with a “45″, smaller pieces were punched a lower figure (e.g. “35″), as less silver was needed to give them the same thickness of plating.
    2. Pieces that usually came singly or in pairs (serving pieces) were punched with the weight of silver on a single piece.

    Examples:
    If you have a table spoon marked “90″ and “45″ it means: the standard process as described above was used, on one spoon roughly 1/12 of 45 Grams
    (ca. 3,75 Grams) of fine silver were spread. If you have a sugar tong marked “90″ and “2″ it means: again the standard process was used, 2 Grams of fine silver were used to coat the piece. If you have a pair of salad servers, each piece marked “90″ and “4″ it means: again the standard process was used, on each piece 4 Grams of fine silver were used.

    This German system of silverplate marking has been adopted by other European countries, and is sometimes seen on Dutch, Danish and Austrian silverplate.

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