I have several large silver serving trays I would like to sell and also a tea set with silver over copper. Would they be of any value to melt down? From Ryan in Phoenix, Arizona

Hi Ryan,

Silver serving trays can be worth a fair amount of money melted down but you need to make sure your materials are in fact sterling. Silver tableware pieces that we will be able to refine are usually marked or hallmarked with one of the following markings:

  • Sterling
  • .925
  • 925/1000
  • .800
  • 800/1000
  • .900
  • 900/1000
  • S
  • SS

Find out more about where to sell silver for cash.

Markings on silverware can be located anywhere on the piece, but we see them most often on the backside close to the base of spoons, knives, and forks or on the back of the handle.

Because plated silver items have so little actual silver in them, they are not worth refining, consequently the tea set that you describe being copper and plated with silver will not be valuable to a precious metal refiner melted down. You may have more luck selling it online or checking with a local antique dealer.

If you are unsure about if your items are sterling silver or plated, watch this video that describes how to determine is a silver tray is sterling or plated.