My opinion is that it is OK for used sterling silver flatware to be a gift. In the spirit of full disclosure, I must say that I buy and sell used sterling flatware so I could be biased! Here are a few "talking points":
- Sterling pieces given as a gift should "blend" well with the recipient's existing set of flatware. If the set is new, gifts should be in at least "nearly new" condition. If the set is old, "gently used" pieces are OK.
- If the recipient is a stickler for specific hallmarks on the pieces, used pieces may be the only choice.
- If the giver is on a budget, he or she may be able to give two or more used pieces for the price of a single brand new piece.
- Recycling is a big deal these days. Manufacturing new pieces consumes precious energy.
- Make the recipient a collaborator - tell him or her where great pieces can be bought at great prices.
Before I got into this business, my mother-in-law purchased a used piece of sterling flatware for my wife and one for me every Christmas. It became somewhat of a tradition, much better than adding a new tree ornament each year. She lived to be 94 so we accumulated quite a set! All the pieces fit nicely into what we already had and the set looked as if it had been purchased at one time. This collaboration worked fine for us.
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