I have about 13 pounds of Anchor Hocking brand silver cookware and serving pieces. They are very old, dating back to the early 1900’s or before. Could you please tell me how much these are worth? From Kim in Long Beach, Florida

Hi Kim,

There are a couple things you should consider before sending your items in to be refined. The first thing is to make sure that your items are in fact sterling silver and not stainless steel or some other non-precious metal. The easiest way to do this is to look over your items to see if they are marked in someway with an 800, 900, or 925. If you do see these markings, then they are sterling silver and we could pay you for 75% of their fine silver value by weight.

It gets a little trickier if your items are not marked. When you say that you have “silver cookware,” if you are referring to pots and pans then it is unlikely that these are sterling, unless they were used as decorative pieces. Sterling silver serving pieces like gravy boats, trays and pitchers are common, but pots and pans were rarely made from silver.

Here are some markings indicating silver PLATED items:

  • EP – electroplated means silver plated
  • EPNS – electroplated nickel silver (ironic because there is not silver in nickel silver)

Sometimes you can tell the difference between sterling silver and other metals by the color of your items also. If you can see places where the silver appears to be worn away or flaked off then most likely you have silver plated items. Also if you try to polish your items and black tarnish rubs off, then that is a good indication that you have sterling silver, but not a guarantee.

As a precious metal refiner, we have sophisticated equipment that can test for precious metal content, but please note that we will only be able to return a payment back to you on sterling silver items.