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Sterling Silver 3 Jun, 2020
Antique silver tea set
I was gifted this antique silver tea set from my grandparents. It have old hallmarks on it and has ivory in the handles. Wanted to know what I could get for it. I think that the one of the marks (RS) is for Richard Sawer, Dublin - req 1797. silversmith - 2 Salus Court, Fishamble St. died 1812. But the issue is that it matches the (RS) that I looked up but it has a boarder around the (RS) that matches the boarder of the Royal Irish Silver Co. I think that one mark (h) is for the year 1853. These marks are on two of the pieces. Then on the two others in the set have a mark (JS) which I believe is for John Smith - Dublin - reg 1827 - silversmith - 12 Grafton St. (1827) Craredon St. (1850). It has a (M) year mark with I believe is for the year 1882. These two pieces also have MARSH on them stamped? Dont know what those mean. On all 4 pieces, it has three other marks that I don't know.. One looks like an Eire/Harp with a crown on top of it One looks like a guy standing over something One looks like a lady facing left with a small ponytail like hair on the back On the plater, there is a couple stars and a Crest on it that says Crede Deo - Latin for "Trust in God" J H H Atkinson Coat of Arms James Henry Hollis Atkinson, son of Thomas Bradford Lieutenant-General British Army https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Bradford-5809 James Henry Hollis (Bradford) Atkinson (1819 - 1871) James was born in London, England in 1819. His father Sir Thomas Bradford married Mary, the daughter of James Atkinson of Newcastle. James, his eldest son later changed his surname to Atkinson in compliance with the will of one Ralph Atkinson. He was a landowner and magistrate. In 1840 he married Ann Louisa Ellice. He passed away in Morpeth, Northumberland in 1871. Atkinson (Angerton, near Morpeth, co. Northumberland). Erm. on a fesse double cottised gu. betw. three pheons az. a lion pass. betw. two roses ar. Crest — On a mount betw. two roses stalked and leaved ppr. a pheon az. Motto — Crede Deo. Northumberland, Hartburn James Henry Hollis Atkinson of Angerton Hall, died 1871 James was born in 1819 in London. He was the eldest son of Sir Thomas Bradford second husband of Mary Ann flic.kr/p/LFwqo daughter of James Atkinson of Newcastle c1838 he took the name and arms of Atkinson in compliance with the will of Ralph Atkinson. His paternal grandparents were Thomas Bradford and Elizabeth Otter. He had a half-brother and a half-sister, named Charles and Mary Ainslie from his mother's first marriage He described himself as a landowner and magistrate.
Estimate: $1,200 - $1,800

When talking about silver items that are available in the market, most of them refer to sterling silver (instead of solid silver).

This metal composition is used for the manufacture of several items such as silverware, jewellery, and musical instrument.

If you are interested in getting your sterling silver pieces evaluated (and eventually sell them in the future), you have come to the right place.

You will learn about what goes on in making sterling silver items, what makes them highly valuable for collectors and how a specialist appraise silver sterling.

What is Sterling Silver?

Sterling silver should not be confused with pure silver. The former is not made of 100% silver. Instead, it is a metal alloy made up of 92.5% of silver and the rest is copper (or nickel and zinc). This makes it durable enough to be formed into various shapes and sizes to create the item that you want.

No silver flatware is made with pure silver.  Pure silver is only found as bars with the purpose of trading silver as a commodity.

Sterling Silver Cutlery

Johan Rohde: “Acorn”. Sterling silver cutlery. Georg Jensen after 1945. Weight excl. pieces with steel 1649 gr. (58)

Estimate  $3,331– $4,164. (SOLD $3,164 USD)

What items are made of sterling silver?

There are several things you can make with sterling silver. While sterling silver is valuable, the type of item you own can heavily influence its value when appraised. Below are common categories of items that are made with sterling silver:
 
Silverware: The use of sterling silver for dinnerware or silverware is probably the most common use of this type of silver due to the high polish quality. It is also not uncommon to find ornate designs in the sterling silverware that were produced in the market. Some of the silverware items that are made with sterling silver are knives, spoons, and forks.

Teapots: teasets are commenly made of sterling silver

Cutlery: We have dedicated a whole section to this
 
Musical Instruments: There are also several musical instruments that require silver components. For example, flutes and saxophones have been known to comprise of sterling silver metal pieces in them.
 
Jewellery: Aside from silverware, the use of sterling silver for making jewellery is also prevalent. Therefore, most of the collectible sterling silver items are prized jewels. Pendants, rings, and brooches are pieces of jewellery that make use of sterling silver.

Georg Jensen Silversmithy
Estimate  $3,000 - $5,000  USD (SOLD $3,000 USD)

What features are evaluated in sterling silver?

There is a lot of research involved when trying to determine the value of sterling silver. It is important to research the individual features because one small factor can make the cost go up or down. These are the features that are evaluated during the appraisal of sterling silver:
 

  • Maker of the sterling silver
  • Weight of the silver
  • The year it was made
  • Condition of the sterling silver item
  • Type of manufacture (such as chasing, casting, die striking, or repousse)
  • Pattern of sterling silver
  • Amount of pieces (if the item is part of a set)
  • Craftmanship
  • Hallmarks and other unique features
  • Presence of any paperwork
  • Amount of similar items in production
  • Other materials used for its manufacture

 

Sterling Silver vs Pure Silver and Silver Plate

Sterling silver is often confused to be the same as pure silver or silver plated items. However, there are plenty of differences among them. If you are planning to buy or sell your sterling silver items, it is important to know the difference as they also differ in value.
 
Sterling silver has a high silver content and is mixed with copper, nickel, or zinc. Meanwhile, pure silver is made of 99.9% silver. However, it is difficult to find pure silver items these days. Silver is a soft type of metal. Hence, they are not used for the manufacture of items because they are hard to work with on its own. The ideal way to manufacture items using silver is, therefore, to mix it with other metals such as with sterling silver.
 
Finally, silver plate items are the least valuable from this list. They do not contain silver in their composition; instead, they are only coated with a lining of silver to give it that shiny appearance. If you own silver plated items, you won’t be able to sell it (or do so at very low price).

What hallmarks are present in sterling silver?

It is pretty common for manufacturers that make items out of sterling silver to incorporate hallmarks and other stamps into their item. This is a highly significant factor that is used in appraising sterling silver. Hence, you need to look for them when you own sterling silver items. It can provide important details for the valuation of the item, such as its purity, origin, date of manufacture, and the name of the manufacturer. All of these factors can indicate how rare and precious the item is.
 
In addition, these hallmarks are also what the expert appraisers look for in sterling silver items. The hallmark is a good indicator of the items authenticity especially since there are several manufacturers of fake sterling silver. With this hallmark, you will be able to guarantee that the item is made with genuine sterling silver.

How much is sterling silver worth?

Sterling silver features an intrinsic value that makes it a highly coveted collector’s piece. However, antique pieces tend to bring in more value. As mentioned above, there are several features and factors that are evaluated when appraising sterling silver items. Since many items are being destroyed for scrap, the remaining sterling silver pieces will considerably become more valuable over the years.
 
Since the value of sterling silver is not fixed, it makes the item you have even more valuable. It can go up or down on a day’s notice. The silver spot price is used as baseline for pricing sterling silver commodities. The best way you can determine its actual worth is to have a professional appraise it.

How to take care of sterling silver?

The use of other types of metal to create sterling silver makes it more durable. However, the presence of other metal content also makes it prone to tarnishing. The copper, zinc, or nickel content in the metal alloy could react to the oxygen or other natural elements, which causes it to tarnish. Therefore, cleaning and taking proper care of your sterling silver is important.
 
For sterling silver jewelry, it is recommended that you wear it often. The natural oils from your skin can fight the process of tarnishing on the metal. In addition, you can also store it inside a sealed pouch or bag. This will help to protect it from moisture that can cause the metal to tarnish.
 
In terms of cleaning sterling silver, you must only use cleaning solution or cloth that is designed primarily for this type of metal. Also, you need to follow the instructions for its use. Avoid the use of regular cleaning solutions. You could potentially destroy the silver and lose a significant amount of its market value!

Where can you get sterling silver appraised?

If you want to get sterling silver valued, go to a professional. At Mearto, we have expert appraisers for all kinds of silver, including sterling silver. Therefore, you can send in photos of your sterling silver items so it can be looked into by one of our experts. This will enable you to determine the value of your items and you can start making money off of it.

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