Silver FAQS: Frequently Asked Questions

How to sell: General | Silver | Gold | Coins

1. What is Silver?
Silver is defined as a lustrous white, ductile, malleable metallic element, occurring both uncombined and in ores such as argentite, having the highest thermal and electrical conductivity of the metals. It is highly valued for jewelry, tableware, and other ornamental use and is widely used in coinage, photography, dental and soldering alloys, electrical contacts, and printed circuits. Unlike Gold, Silver tends to tarnish, because it reacts with Sulfur and Oxygen. Click on GLOSSARY link to view illustrations..
2. What is “Solid Silver”? ...White Metal?
From 1 January 1999 new European legislation has brought the British hallmarking system in line with the rest of Europe. Until then, only wares containing a minimum of 925 part per thousand of pure silver were hallmarked and allowed to be referred to as solid silver. This new legislation allows a wider range of purity to be marked in the UK as silver. This means that a lower grade of silver (800) can also be marked in this country. Any "silver" without a suitable Sterling Guarantee hallmark should be treated as "white metal" as there is no guarantee as to how much silver the metal contains. Click on  GLOSSARY link to view illustrations.
3. What are Silver Hallmarks?
A Silver Hallmark is mark indicating quality or excellence. Historically, Hallmarks were used in England to stamp gold and silver articles
that meet established standards of purity.  The most frequently encountered Hallmarks indicating Solid Silver are: 
500830 900980
80084950Coin Silver
813870958Pure Silver
4. What is Coin Silver?
Coin Silver (900) is an alloy of 90% silver, 10% copper. It has been used for coining American currency. In times of silver bullion scarcity, coins were melted down and conveniently transformed into silverware, jewelry or tooled or machined into coin novelties such as love tokens, double headed or double tailed coins, etc.

5. What is Sterling Silver?
Sterling silver is a high-grade alloy that contains a minimum of 925 parts in 1,000 of silver (92.5 percent silver and 7.5 percent of another metal-usually copper).
6. What is Pure Silver?
Pure Silver is silver having the fineness of 99.9% containing no alloying metals.

7. Items sometimes made of Sterling Silver: (Click link to expand)
Art ObjectsComb & MirrorMatch SafesPlattersThimbles
Beer SteinsCommemorative PlatesNapkin RingsSalt & Pepper ShakersTaurine
Bowls CompotePicture FramesServing PiecesTrophies
CandelabrasCupsPill BoxesSnuff BoxesUrns
Candle HoldersDishesPitchersSouvenir Spoons Vanity Set
Candy DishesFiddle & ThreadPlace SettingsTea SetsVases
CoastersGobletsPlatesTeapotsWine Bucket
8. Sterling Silver Jewelery?
AnkletsChainsEarringsLapel PinsPill Ring
BanglesChampionship RingEnamels LocketsPinky Ring
BarsCharmsEngagement RingLove TokensPins
BeadsCigarette CasesEngineer's RingMasonic RingPocket Watches
Belly ChainCladdagh RingEstate JewelryMedallionsPosie Ring
Belt BucklesCloisoneEternity RingMexican JewelryService Pins
BezelsCocktail RingFilingsMoney ClipsSignet Ring
Birthstone RingCoin JewelryFindingsMother's RingTie Tacks
BraceletsCollege RingsFraternity RingNecklacesVintage Jewelery
BroochesCuffLinksGrainsOld Watch CasesWatch Fobs
CameosCuffs High School RingPendantsWatches
CastingsDinner RingKey ChainsPensWedding Ring
9. Popular Sterling Silverware Patterns: (Click link to expand)?
18th Cent. Am.FederalDelacourtHampton CourtModiglianiRose Tiara
AcropoleDubarryHannah HullMonumentRoyal Danish
Aegean Weave EloquenceHester BatemanNewport ScrollRoyal Husk
Angelique Embassy ScrollHomesNewport ShellSalina
AscotEnglish ChippendaleImperial ScrollOld AtlantaScroll and Bead
AshmontEnglish OnslowImperoOld ColonialSelecta
AugusteaFederal CotillionJaeOld LaceShenandoah
BaguettesFederalistJoan of ArcOld Maryland EngravedSilver Plumes
Barocco Fiddle ThreadKing EdwardOld Maryland PlainSir Christopher
Barocco ItalianoFontanaKing RichardOld MasterSpanish Baroque
BeadFrancis IKirk KingOld NewburySpanish Provincial
Bernini PolishedFrench ProvincialLa ScalaOld Newbury GoldStradivari
Bernini SatinFrench RegencyLaMerieOld Orange BlossomStrasbourg
Buttercup GiorgioLilyPalatinaTownsend
CamelliaGold Embassy ScrollLionPantheonTrellis
Candlelight Golden Aegean WeaveLove DisarmedParamountTrianon
CapitolGolden AshmontLuzonPointed AntiqueTriumph
CardinaleGolden Grande BaroqueManetQueen Elizabeth IVenezia
Celtic Weave GoldGolden Regency ShellMargauxQueensVision
ChantillyGolden RhapsodyMarie LouiseQuintessenceWedgewood
ChippendaleGrand ColonialMarie Louise  GoldRambler RoseWild Rose
CoburgGrand DuchessMarlboroughReflectionWilliam & Mary
ColfaxGrand RegencyMayflowerRegency ShellWllmsbrg Queen Anne
Colonial ThreadGrand VictorianMeadow RoseRepousseWilliamsburg Shell
CommonwealthGrande BaroqueMediciRhapsodyWinslow
CraftsmanGrande RenaissanceMelroseRichelieuWoodwind
DauphinGrosgrainMeridianiRomance of the SeaWorthington
MirabeauRose Point
10. Sterling Silverware Styles: (Click link to expand)?
1810 Bel ChateauCelliniFairfax Modern Victorian
AdamBenjamin Franklin ContinentalGeorgianOld French
Art Deco ByzantiumEl GrandeeGolden WinslowPrelude
Stieff Rose
11. Sterling Silverware Manufacturerers: (Click link to expand)?
English SilversmithsGorhamOld MasterScandinavianUdal & Ballou
CartierInternationalPuiforcatStrasbourg WMFUnger Brother
ChristofleKirk StieffReed & BartonTiffanyVera Wang
Georg JensenOdiotRoyal SealsTuttleWhiting
12. What does the term “weighted Sterling Silver” mean?
"Weighted sterling or weighted silver" usually refers to items such as sterling knife and serving piece handles, candlesticks, and often pedestal candy dishes, salt and pepper shakers, and trophies that instead of being solid silver, are in fact a cored composite of other materials.  Usually wax, or plaster, copper or sometimes lead is used in the base to give the item strength, stability and heft.  Encapsulating items with a “silver skin” on the visible exterior greatly reduces cost.    Manufacturers of such composite items are required by law to label them as “Weighted Sterling Silver” to ensure unwary consumers are not misled into believing these hefty item are solid sterling silver.
13. What is Silver Plated? ...Electroplated?
Silver Plated refers to a coating or plating of silver; tableware, such as flatware or hollowware, made of or coated with silver. 
Electroplated means having a thin electrochemical layer of metal deposited on its surface.  How thin?  The thickness is measured in angstroms.  A unit of length equal to one hundred-millionth (10) of a centimeter.  2.54 centimeters equal an inch.  Practically speaking, that’s literally next to nothing...  Mere glitter.  WE DO NOT BUY SILVER PLATED ITEMS.
14. How can I determine whether or not an item is Silver Plated?
Carefully check for quality marks.  Often the quality of materials used to produce an item is revealed by how the item is stamped.  Items marked E.P.N.S. (Electroplated Nickel Silver), E.P., E.P.S., E.P.C., E.P.C.A., E.P.B.M., E.P.W.M,, or items stamped with "silver plated, triple plate, quadruple plate, silver soldered, silver plate on copper, nickel silver, Rogers Brothers 1847, treble plate, electroplated -- are silverplated.  I S Silver  (stands for International Silver -- the company that bought Roger Brothers).  For further Illustrations of Silver Plated quality marks link to:
15. What is German Silver?
German Silver is the same as Nickel silver: a silver-white alloy containing copper and zinc and nickel.   The alloy contains NO SILVER.  The word "silver" merely reflect a silver-like similarity in metallic luster.  There are a considerable number of misleading names that seemingly "suggest" an item contains Solid Silver.  Upon further scrutiny, however, these materials are in fact base metal alloys which contain no silver at all.  The “puffed” expressions merely hype the material is “silvery" appearance.  The following link provides an extensive list of names that seemingly suggest an item is solid silver, but in fact do not have silver at all.  WE HAVE NO COMMERCIAL INTEREST IN SUCH ITEMS.  WE DO NOT BUY THEM.
16. List of Misleading Names suggesting an item contains silver, but  in fact contain no silver at all: (Click link to expand)
Afghan Silver ArgentumGerman SilverOregon SilverSilveroin
African SilverAustrian SilverGun MetalPaktongSolid Yukon Silver Warranted
Alaska MetalBengal SilverJapanese SilverPakfongSonora Silver
Albu SilverBrazil SilverLaxey SilverPaitungSterline
AlpacaSolid Brazil SilverMexican Silver PaitunSterlon
AlpaccaBrazilian SilverNearsilverPanama SilverTutenag
ALPBristol SilverNevada SilverPearl SilverTyrol Silver
Alpacca Prima NSCoin SilverNew SilverPotosi SilverUtah Metal
Aluminum SilverEngland SilverNickel SilverSiberian SilverVenetian Silver
Argentium Argentine PlateEPNS and EPBMNorwegian SilverSilvanirWolf Silver
SilverineYukon Silver
17. Does Silver Gold Buyers pay premium prices for quality Silverware?
Yes!  We pay up to a 25% premium for gently used silverware that has been well kept and is  in excellent condition: Tea Sets, Flatware Sets, Ornate Centerpieces, etc., and even more for elaborate, antique pieces.  Customers should contact Silver Gold Buyers' Purchasing Dept., describe their items by Manufacturer, Type,Style, Pattern, weight and condition and confirm our interest and submit them for examination and premium consideration.  If for any reason our offer is unsatisfactory, we will return your items at our expense.
18. Why is NOW! a good time to sell my silver?
Currently Silver and Gold Prices are very high. Back in 2000 Gold was trading as low as $270 per ounce and Silver was trading below $4 per ounce.  Prices have almost quintupled in a decade.  Newton famous observation: "What goes up will come down."  High "speculative prices" do not last as long as low "stable prices".   Why not cash in a at a terrific price while the market is hot.  Think about all the things you buy at a bargain these days. Sooner or later hot markets in  fizzle out.  Who knows where prices will land and how far down prices will fall when speculative demand tanks?   Proverbially, the bird in hand is worth two in the bush...
19. How do I go about selling my silver?
How?  Explore the Silver Gold Buyers Website:  the Glossary  provides the fundamental facts of precious metals, the Gallery of What We Buy, and our Buy Price circular illustrate many things we buy, then use the Silver, Gold and Coin Buy Price Estimators  to preview in advance an approximate buy price of what you will receive for the items which you are considering selling based on their quality, quantity at current market conditions.  Use the Silver, Gold and Coin FAQs  to immediately answer questions that often arise...  And reserve the Contact Us link to confirm our mutual interest in purchasing other items not specifically price listed or address questions not covered in FAQs.

Be sure to EXCLUDE all items that are silver plated or base metal alloys with misleading names that merely suggest the items shine like silver.  WE DO NOT BUY  PLATED ITEMS, BASE METALS,  OR COSTUME JEWELRY.

After you have identified and established by quality marks the item(s) are solid silver, categorically weigh your item(s)* and use the Silver Buy Price Estimator to obtain an approximate BUY PRICE based on current market conditions.  If the current silver prices for the items you wish to sell is satisfactory, please send us the goods.
Note:  If you have item(s) that are unmarked, but have reason to believe they are solid silver, but the Hallmarks have worn off, or the item is vintage piece or foreign silverware with unusual markings which you cannot interpret you may submit the items for a FREE assay.  We test all silver items received.  If your item tests out as solid silver, we will credit your account accordingly.  If not, we will immediately notify you and explain why it is not.   Keep in mind WE DO NOT BUY PLATED ITEMS. Should you still wish to have a plated, base metal item or piece of costumejewelry returned, upon timely request we will do so.  However, the return shipping and handling expense for silver plated or base metal items is your responsibility.
  2.     Read and accept Silver Gold Buyers'  Terms and Conditions.  These simply spell out the mutually fair and reasonable rules we will follow in the course of transacting business.  Afterward, you may request an SGB Shipping Kit sent to your mailing address.  If you wish to avoid postal delay -- simply set matters in motion immediately and print out your Silver Gold Buyers' Shipping Kit on line. 

3.    Pack your shipment..  place items in suitable containers.  Use either plastic a “Zip-Lock” bag, or aluminum foil or plastic wrap to secure small items (coins, rings, necklaces, etc.) and place them in a padded envelope or shipping Pak to prevent loss or damage.  For larger items (Tea Sets, Bowls, Cups) use appropriate sized Medium or Large Boxes with packing peanuts or bubble wrap... to prevent damage. 

You may link to the carrier of your choice (FedEx, U.S. Postal Service, United Parcel).  The links  are posted on the Silver Gold Buyers' Website for your convenience, and will help you locate FREE shipping supplies, instructions on how to properly pack, ship and obtain other services to suit your shipping needs.  Insure adequately, we can only cover the first $500 of a package on a prepaid and insured Shipping Label.  More is the senders responsibility. 
       4.    Select the shipping option (FedEx, USPS, UPS…) that best suits your needs. obtain a FREE preaddressed shipping label

on line. Insure adequately. and send:
Silver Gold Buyers
P.O. Box 14577
410 Superior Ave.
Cleveland Ohio 44114

Friendly Reminder:  Be sure to include the filled and signed out SGB Packing Slip Form with your shipment, that provides brief description of your shipment, your payment preference (check or bank wire on the signed form) and check to make sure the return mailing address is correct. If it is not or has changed, please correct it.  *Return Policy with Plated or Problematic Goods. Click to Expand

5.    Get Paid. 

You may track you insured package throughout the deliver process.  Ship with confidence…  all packages are processed
the day they arrive.  Payment authorized within 24 hrs.    
20. Why should I do business with Silver Gold Buyers?
Silver Gold Buyers  mission is to provide courteous, prompt, and professional service and guarantee your satisfaction.  We have testimonials to the fact.  We are licensed to conduct business… done business for many years...  our scales are certified by the State.  You'll be fairly paid according to the quantity and quality of your merchandise at current market prices. 

We help you "clean up" around the house and raise more cash by showing you how to identify and intelligently sell unwanted items of value,  which may just be lying around, collecting dust.  We explain in great detail  what constitutes “pay dirt” and what is mere “glitter”and how to sell your goods. 

We are -- completely transparent -- above board in our dealings.  We are neither ashamed nor afraid to publish our prices.  We empower you to be the judge and employ our service.  How?  ...By enabling you to preview in advance an approximate estimate settlement that you will receive based on the quantity and the quality of your goods at current market conditions. 

Afterward, you are at liberty to shop around and compare our buy prices against those of itinerant gold buyers, local pawnbrokers, jewelers, antique dealers, coin dealers, friends, etc. and reach an objective, factually informed decision that is to your satisfaction and financial self-interest.
We are very energetic and competitive – and go to great length to research the marketplace, check out the competition -- determine what constitutes a fair and reasonable price -- and what is not. Our mission is to provide our customer with genuine, not phony services; 

How? …By working harder.  We want it -- your business – scraps and all!  … Not just the light “cherry-picking mail-me-the-golden-goodies envelope” stuff, but the send us the mule pack – the “whole kit and caboodle” -- boxes of miscellany -- most of the fat gold buyers shun.  Why?  We believe work is “good”, keeps one healthy and true satisfaction is something one should cheerfully take to the bank.  Recycling all items no longer in use, or needed or wanted eliminates waste, saves energy and stimulates business activity.  More service generates what customers appreciate most: namely, more money to buy what they need.

In the event, weighing, examining, number crunching, appraising and traipsing around town in and out of shops haggling like a fish monger just is not your thing...  Relax!  We’ll do the work for you, spare you shoe leather, gas and probably save you a whole lot of time and needless aggravation by letting serious money just talk quietly and simply send you the check for your approval. 

Silver Gold Buyers' customers are never pressured to sell.  They choose to sell because the price is right!  If you submit your precious metal items for a fair offer and are not satisfied with the price, we will promptly return the items at our expense.        

All the things you need to conduct a safe, secure and satisfactory sale are at your fingertips...  We are not only out to make your selling experience interesting and informative, but also a profitable and pleasant experience as well.  One you will be glad to repeat and share with family and friends.   

Thank you for your interest, consideration and doing business!

Silver Gold Buyers