Sterling silverware, because of its high silver content, is often thought of as a good investment, apart from whatever sentimental, aesthetic, or functional values that it may hold. For this reason, people who have inherited these items, and who are now in need of money, might very reasonably consider selling them off. If you are among these individuals, here is what you should know about that silverware prior to the sale.
First, unlike dental gold, Selling Your Sterling Silverware is usually valuable just the way it is. They do not need to undergo a refining process, although some bit of shine might help a little. And because they are valuable as is, that means that the better the condition they are in, the more valuable they become. They are not expected to have no wear and tear at all, as they must have been used at one point, but a decent-looking set, even with some wear and tear, will still fetch a good price.
Second, you will probably get a higher price if the sterling silverware is still complete. That is because collectors love getting the whole set, and the uniqueness of each piece can be better appreciated when they are complete. However, you can still get some money out of an incomplete set of silverware, especially if the company which made them is still around, as they can be sold as replacement pieces for another person’s set.
And of course, as with any other item, rarity and historical value will play a significant role in its sale. This is called its provenance. If these items happen to have a long history, with matching papers to prove it (wills, letters, receipts), they are more likely to fetch a higher price. This is also true if the maker is not in existence anymore, and even better if the silverware can be proven to be associated with a significant historical figure.
Consider all these factors first, and if worse comes to worst, like if you happen to break every single one of the pieces, then consider selling them for their silver content. Just be sure to have them appraised by a qualified individual beforehand, so you will know how much money to expect.