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How to sell a sterling silver tea set

Silver keeps going up in price, and as of 2010, it is approaching record highs. This leads many people to want to sell their heavy silver tea service. Getting a good deal when selling your silver tea set involves researching to make sure that you are selling to a reputable source and that you are selling close to the current "spot" price of silver. If your jewellery is premium, be sure to get several offers before selling it.

Determine the current spot price of silver. This is the price per ounce at which silver is trading on either the London or New York market. It is easily found online at sites such as Kitco.com, where the price is updated by the minute.

Identify the silver tea service that you are trying to sell. Usually silver tea services are marked "Sterling" or "925" meaning that it is 92.5 per cent silver, and 7.5 per cent other alloy metals. Also note if the piece is signed by a prominent design house such as Tiffany & Co., which can increase the value.

Find a reputable dealer by using a directory, such as a phone book for antique dealers. Call and let the dealer know what you have. Ask if he is buying silver tea services and what price he pays per ounce of silver. Check with several dealers to compare prices and try local coin and jewellery shops that may deal in antique silver.

Try to sell the item yourself. Putting ads on Internet notice boards such as Craigslist or listing an item on eBay is a way to attract retail buyers who will likely pay more than a dealer for your item. When listing, use plenty of pictures and include the weight of the tea service in ounces.

Tip

Try local jewellery stores and coin stores as they may be able to pay more than antique dealers because they operate at tighter profit margins.

Warning

Be cautious of using mail-order gold and silver firms without a traditional brick-and-mortar storefront.

Things You'll Need

  • Digital camera
  • Scale
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About the Author

Egon Schiele is an art connoisseur who has been writing professionally for more than a decade. He works as a practicing attorney, and enjoys writing on many different topics for online publications such as eHow, Trails, and various contributions to blogs as well as print publications aimed at collectors of antiques.