Different Types of Silver


Different Types of Silver

Do you have real antique silver? Real silver is never without value but to determine if it is worth a lot of money there are a few details which you will need to know. First, cean the silver completely so you will be able to read and markings and backstamps.

There are two types of silver:

Silverplate: Silverplate is a process of coating a base metal with silver so that the end results looks like pure silver but is actually worth much less. If the item feels light in weight for its size, it may be just silver plated.

Sterling Silver: Sterling Silver is stamped on the back with the word Sterling. It means that the silver is either pure or made of .925 silver with .075 copper added. All Sterling Silver created in the United States after 1850 will be stamped with one of three marks:


If the silver does not have this mark, it is either very old or not sterling silver. If you suspect that your silver is quite old, and not be marked, take it to a professional to have it acid tested. This test will determine if the item is real silver.

Silverplate has no real monetary value. There just is not enough silver in it to have enough value to someone to melt down, and generally does not have much resale value. But if is a family heirloom, then it has plenty of sentimental value.

Sterling silver is valuable both because it can be refined and thus retains the current price for silver and because the flatware and other pieces usually maintain their resale value and desirability. Antique silver is also valuable as an antique, sometimes far beyond what the silver content would dictate.

If you want to research what type of Silver you own, start at this website they have lots of great information on Silver and Silver Markings - Online Encyclopedia of Silver