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Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Silver Plate Marks

We don't deal much with silver plate pieces but we receive an awful lot of questions about them. One thing that's confusing to many questioners is the plethora of confusing marks one finds on various silver plate pieces.

So, here's a list of clues. If you see one or more of these designations on your piece, it may very well be silver plate.

  • A1
  • AA
  • Coin Plate
  • Deepsilver or Deep Silver
  • Double or Double Plate
  • Electroplate
  • EP
  • EPC
  • EPBM
  • EPNS
  • EPWM
  • Extra Coin Plate
  • Extra Plate
  • Plate or Plated
  • Quadruple or Quadruple Plate
  • Reinforced Plate
  • Silver Plate or Silverplate
  • Silver Soldered
  • Sterling Inlaid
  • Sterling Plate
  • Triple or Triple Plate
  • XII
  • XIV
  • XS

Click on any picture to see a larger version. By clicking on "Comments/Questions" below, you can see posted comments and add your own questions and comments. Or, you can send us an email by clicking on "Email Silver Jim" in the right column.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Attention: Scrap Sterling Buyers

If you buy scrap sterling by weight, read on:

We receive many, many inquiries from readers interested in selling their sterling flatware and hollowware. Although we encourage them to try to find buyers who will appreciate their pieces for their utility and beauty, sometimes the best route appears just to sell it for scrap.

For these buyers, the marketplace is very confusing. Prices paid for scrap sterling vary widely. So, as a service to our readers, we would like to provide a list of potential scrap buyers along with information about the buyers and what they might pay for scrap sterling.

If you are such a buyer, send us an email. You can initiate that process by clicking on "Email Silver Jim" in the right column of the screen. Here's what we want to know:
  • Company name (required)
  • Contact first and last name (required)
  • One or more contact points, e.g., email address, telephone number, mailing address (required)
  • Price you pay for sterling - see below for options (required)
  • Any special requirements such as minimums (required)
  • Any costs the seller may have to bear, e.g., shipping, fees, handling, etc. (required)
  • Brief description of how your buying process works (required)
  • Your web site address (optional)
  • Description of your business history (optional)

Price Specification Options

  • We prefer a flexible formula that refers to the current day's price of commodity silver, whatever that may be. That way, your price can fluctuate as the silver price fluctuates. We'll convert the formula you provide to a standard one we will use to compare all sellers.
  • Price per gram of pure sterling you paid on a specific date in recent history. Tell us what the closing price of silver was on that day.
  • Price range per gram of pure sterling you have paid in recent history. Tell us the dates of the range.

What We Will Do

We'll prepare your information into our standard format and email it back to you for your approval. Then, whenever anyone asks us to provide a list of potential scrap buyers, we'll provide the information of all the buyers we have received to to questioner via email.

We promise not to publish the information in any other form. Of course, we have no control over the what the people we send it to will do.

Scrap buyers may update their information with us at any time.

We will not provide the names of potential sellers to buyers.


The service we will provide is simply an attempt to bring a potential buyer and seller together. We make no claims of accuracy regarding the information we provide to anyone. In no way are we to be party to any transaction or contract that may result. We are not acting as agents for anyone and we are not seeking, nor do we expect to receive, any compensation for this service. Buyers and sellers assume all responsibility for any transaction resulting from the information we provide and they understand that we will not be held liable for anything. We reserve the right to include, or not include, buyers on our list solely at our discretion and for whatever reason we may choose.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Selling Sterling Silver? Don't Be Lazy!

Shop around for the best price!

Here's a concrete example of why this is true.

Last week, we purchased a set of sterling flatware from an individual. The seller was someone we had bought from in the past so we felt comfortable talking with each other about the silver business in general.

Her set contained a little more than 1800 grams of sterling. At that time, commodity silver was selling for around $16.00 per Troy ounce. That meant that her set had a silver content value of about $850.00. If she sold the set to a silver scrap dealer, the worst offer she should have gotten should have been around $450.00. The first such dealer she visited offered her $248.00!

So, if you are trying to sell your silver, invest some time in finding the buyer who will pay you the most. For more hints regarding selling, click on "Selling" under "Labels" in the right column. You may have to scroll the page down a bit.

Click on any picture to see a larger version. By clicking on "Comments/Questions" below, you can see posted comments and add your own questions and comments. Or, you can send us an email by clicking on "Email Silver Jim" in the right column.