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DOMESTIC

Antiques

Are your Silver Antiques Valuable?

Do you want to know if your family heirloom is actually a silver antique to be treasured?

Check your silver antiques for numbers or markings. These markings and numbers will identify if your antique is silver plated, pure silver or sterling silver.

Silver plated does not necessarily indicate low value, but sterling silver is always more valuable than silver plated items due to the higher content of pure silver.

Pure Silver

Pure silver is made up of 99.9% pure elemental silver.

Since this is very soft and difficult to shape it is not made for items that require any durability, daily use or sturdiness. Therefore, it is unlikely your family heirloom is made of pure silver unless it is contained within a piece of jewellery.

Pure silver is stamped 999.

Sterling Silver

Sterling silver is marked as 925 silver when it contains 92.5% silver combined with another metal (usually copper) for added strength.

A makers registered mark, also known as a hallmark may also be present.

In the UK the hallmark can denote the maker, the purity, the assay office, the date it was assayed and the duty mark (for items from 1784 to 1890).

Silver Plate

Silver plate has a base metal such as copper, nickel, or pewter which has a very thin layer of silver coated over the top.

It is often labelled EP (electroplated) or EPNS (electroplated nickel silver). Besides being heavier (due to the base metal), silver plated items have a slightly lighter silver colour.

Given the large concentration of base metal, silver plated items are more durable but conversely less expensive than sterling silver due to its percentage of silver composition.

Damage

Damage will affect the value of your antiques.

Silverplating can restore mildly corroded surfaces. Our craftsmen are able to make minor repairs recovering value. Generally if items require repair, they also need re-plating as repair can leave solder heat marks which needs plating for full restoration.

If you would like to know if your antique can be restored and repaired then contact us today.