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Monday, November 24, 2008

What About Monograms?

Monograms and other custom engraving add a personal touch to a set of sterling flatware. The most common type of monogram seems to be a single letter engraved on the top side of the handle near the tip. Sometimes, you might see three initials in a group. You may find the monogram on the bottom of the handle instead of the top.

Some custom engraving may relate to a significant event. For example, you might see a date or some word relating to the event. These are often on the bottom of the handle.

Custom engraving may add to the personal and sentimental value of a set as far as the owner of the set is concerned. The only problem arises if the set is ever put up for sale. Monograms cause the secondary market value to be reduced significantly. We don't have a hard and fast rule but we generally target one-half the value of comparable pieces without monograms.

So, if you are looking to buy pieces, you can get some great values if you don't mind the monograms. Or, better yet, if you run across pieces with monograms that normally would be yours, that's great!

Sometimes you find the name of the original retailer imprinted on the bottom side of the handle. The letters are typically so small, you need a magnifying glass to read them. We don't consider these to be monograms and they should not affect negatively the value of a piece. In fact they might increase the value because pieces like this probably are very old.

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