If you have silver jewellery or silver flatware (cutlery, serving sets, etc.) laying around unused in your home and you are considering selling scrap silver, then you might want to first determine that the silver you have really does have value.

Sterling silver (at least 92.5% silver content in the piece) is the standard ideal, and typically the first test you’ll want to perform is a visual inspection for any stamps on the piece that identify it as Sterling. The most common stamps are:

  • STERLING
  • STER
  • 9.25
  • 925
  • STERLING 925
  • S/S
  • 925/1000
  • A standing lion, lion head

If you find any of the following stamps, you’ll know that your piece is silver plated, and is not worth anyone’s effort to revover the silver content:

  • PLATED
  • SP
  • EPNS

If you find no stamps, can’t make out the stamp, or find a stamp not identified above, you can also test it with a strong magnet (silver will not be drawn to a magnet, but steel and iron will), or rub it firmly with a soft cloth (silver will blacken the cloth). Neither of these tests is definitive.

A qualified jeweller can perform an acid test to determine with certainty whether your items is solid, quality, valuable silver.

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