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How much is my silver box worth?

The value of antique silver boxes will be influenced by a number of factors. Just as you would when buying various silver pieces, especially antique ones, you need to have it professionally appraised to ensure accurate valuation.
You first need to evaluate the type of silver used for making the antique box that you own. This is the first and most important factor that appraisers look into when estimating the value of your silver box.
The provenance could also be factor, if you can prove its history and where it comes from.

Next to the type of silver it is made from, any hallmark present in the silver box is also used as a factor for valuation. The hallmark will verify its manufacturer, origin, and history. All of these factors combine to showcasing the rarity of an antique piece and could significantly boost its market value too. A few kinks or faults should be no cause for worry. This is to be expected of any antique piece. As long as you can guarantee the authenticity of the silver box, you will get a good valuation for it.

Where did you get your silver box from?

Antique silver boxes are collected for a variety of reasons.

Some collect them for storage purposes, either for storing jewelry or other valuable items. Meanwhile, others purchase them for decorative purposes as they add a vintage element to interior décor.

Whatever your purpose is for acquiring or owning silver box is, you need to know its value in the market should you desire to cash in on this antique heirloom.

What is silver box used for?

Silver boxes serve many purposes depending on how the owner would like to utilize it. Antique silver boxes are often elaborately decorated. The fact that they are made of silver also add to the aesthetic value. The combination of quality workmanship and quality material combine to making it a functional piece that every homeowner can make use of.
These silver boxes are often used for storage purposes – to contain valuable items such as jewelry and other keepsakes. For some owners, they are used for decorative purposes. You can place them in your writing desk, bedside table, or your living room as an accent piece. It can add a touch of class to your home’s interior design. In addition, they also make great gifts due to their value in the market.

What is the origin?

Most silver (snuff) boxes comes from United States, England and Russia. Where boxes from United states and England are normally marked, this is not true for Russian boxes.

If it is of russian origin there is a good chance it it either one of the two most known types: Niello box or lacquer box. Niello boxes tend to be a bit cheaper than lacquer, but marking and engraving can make a huge difference.

What are the different types of silver boxes?

When talking about antique silver boxes, they come in various forms, styles, and purposes. It is therefore important to differentiate because they also vary in terms of how they are appraised in the market. Silver boxes can be any of the following:

  • Antique snuff box: This type of silver box is typically small in size. In fact, it is small enough to fit into a pocket. It also tends to feature ornate details that add to its value. Throughout history, a silver snuff box is used as a symbol of wealth and status. This is one of the reasons why it is currently considered a high-valued collectible item.
  • Antique silver pill box: Just like a snuff box, this one is also small in size. The name suggests that it is used for containing pills and medicines. Since it is manufactured for function rather than ornamental purpose, it often has less detailing on it.
  • Silver jewellery box: The jewellery box is another type of antique silver box that is sought after by antique collectors. To this day, jewellery boxes are sold and manufactured. But the ones made with pure or sterling silver are costly to acquire. Hence, they are collected by many as they serve a purpose while also being of decorative use.
  • Silver trinket boxes: A trinket box is typically medium sized. It is quite similar in purpose as jewellery boxes. However, they can also be used for storing other treasures aside from jewellery.
  • Silver cigarette box: Finally, a silver cigarette box is also medium in size. It does not come with any elaborate detailing as the other types of boxes listed above.

How do you care for silver boxes?

Taking good care of your antique silver boxes is crucial if you want to preserve its value. Any silver item is prone to suffering from tarnish. To prevent this from happening to your antique silver boxes, you must store it somewhere that it is not exposed to airflow and humidity. For example, you must place it inside a glass case. It is also recommended that you wear gloves when handling the silver box.
When you want to remove dust or other imperfections, simply wash it with soap and water. Do not use any cleaning agent such as oil or chemical polish as it can create tarnish (not to mention diminish the authenticity of the silver box). When you are done washing it with gentle soap and water, use a cotton cloth to dry your antique silver box. You will notice that its shine and luster has been restored significantly. Be extra careful in choosing the cloth you use. Wipe it using only soft cotton to remove dust and tarnish without damage.

How do different types of silver boxes differ in value?

The first factor that could heavily influence the appraisal of antique silver boxes is the type of silver used for making them. Majority of the silver boxes that are available in the market are made with sterling silver. Meanwhile, there are also those that use pure silver. The latter is more expensive than sterling silver. If you own a pure silver box, you can get a higher appraisal for it.

On the other hand, silver plated boxes are the least expensive because it only consists of a layer of silver covering instead of being actually made of silver. With that said, silver plate boxes have no real value.

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Would You Like to Sell Your silver box?

Mearto offers two opportunities to sell your silver box based on its current fair market value:

Customers with silver box expected to sell for $5,000 or more can take advantage of our complimentary Consignment Concierge service. We will contact leading auction houses on your behalf, collect offers and help you negotiate the terms of a consignment agreement. There is no additional fee or commission for this service.

For customers with silver box valued between $50 and $5,000, Mearto offers an exclusive Marketplace, which is accessed by a number of art, antiques and collectibles dealers around the world. If there is interest in your item, you will be contacted directly with offers through our platform. In the event of a successful sale, Mearto takes a 7% transaction fee.

To learn more about options for selling your silver box through Mearto, please click here.


Lindsey Bourret is the Managing Director at Mearto. In addition to overseeing the daily operations of the business, she also enjoys sharing her extensive knowledge of the fine art and antiques market with our customers through our website, blog, e-newsletter and social media accounts.

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