I have several very heavy large silver serving trays, 55 pieces of silver plate and sterling silver utensils, and another 30 pieces of assorted sterling and silver on copper pieces. I have about 30 pounds of this stuff. Watched your videos and your website is very good. I need to either sell for scrap or melt to refine the various pieces. I am just tired of storing this stuff. What’s my next step?  Thank you for your informative videos. From Matt in Tulsa, Oklahoma

Hi Matt,

Glad to hear that you watched the videos about valuing sterling silverware.  Since you watched them, you now know that the pieces that are silver plated over copper have very little value and that some of your other items may be weighted or contain parts made from stainless steel.  Based on this, we would recommend sending in only your items that are clearly marked 925 sterling silver, sterling, or 800 and holding out any plated items, and removing the weighting materials from any items.

For the benefit of all who read this, silver plated copper pieces are not good candidates for precious metal refining as they contain very little silver.  If you have a lot of this material, you may be better off selling these to a scrap metal dealer. If you have pieces that are not marked sterling, you may have to conduct some research on your own to determine if they are in fact sterling. We would recommend first running a strong magnet over your items and if the magnet sticks to anything, they are not sterling. Our testing equipment would determine this, but we would hate to see people pay to ship in worthless items.

If you see any of the following markings on your pieces, chances are they are not sterling silver and you can take them out of the refining pile. These markings indicate something other than sterling such a plated or nickel silver.

Nickel Silver – or Alpaca
Plated Silver – Marked as EP or EPNS
G – German Silver

To get a rough estimate on what your sterling silver items are worth, make a pile of items that you know are sterling and that are not weighted. Weigh these items together and then you can use our silver value calculator to find the market value of these items. You can send all your items into our refinery and we will process and evaluate all the items. We typically pay 75% of the fine silver content by weight for your items. On your packing slip, please indicate the following options:

  • If you would like us return any non sterling items back to you.
  • If you would like us to call you before refining.

Otherwise, we will refine all the available sterling silver and recycle any metal that is not precious. If you would like more information on silver refining please visit the following resources:

Refining Sterling Silver Flatware Information
Finding the Value of Sterling Silver Video