For many, selling silver is a viable way to put some extra money in their pockets. Perhaps you are looking to clear out some unwanted or unused silver items, or additional dollars would be helpful during these times of high inflation. Regardless of your motivation, selling silver online can be a rewarding process. We’ll answer a few common questions, like how and where to sell silver and how much silver is selling for to guide you through the process.
Where to Sell Silver for the Best Price
Cash For Gold USA is a reputable online buyer of precious metals like silver, gold, platinum, and palladium. We’ve been in the scrap metal business for over 35 years, and we’ve paid out more than $50 million to our customers since 2005 alone. Unlike pawnbrokers, we focus solely on dealing in metals. This expertise allows us to give you the most accurate, up-to-date values for your items.
How Much Is My Silver Worth?
One of the biggest considerations for selling silver is the value, or current market price that you will receive for your items. At Cash For Gold USA, the condition or appearance of your silver isn’t important. All of the material we purchase gets melted down, refined, and recycled, so we buy silver items of value regardless of how damaged, broken or ugly they are. The amount we pay for items is based only on the ratio of silver to non-silver in the material, a characteristic known as purity.
In the U.S. market, silver items typically fall into one of four common purity grades:
- Fine silver (.999, or 99.9% silver)
- Sterling silver (.925, or 92.5% silver)
- We focus primarily on this grade of silver, as it is the most common and can be made into the widest variety of items
- Coin silver (.900, or 90% silver)
- This includes “junk silver” coins that have no collectible value but were made with 90% silver
- German silver (.800, or 80% silver)
The purity grade of a silver item can often be found stamped onto the piece somewhere. A sterling silver bracelet, for example, might be marked “sterling silver” or “.925.” If it is not marked, specialized purity testing can be done.
Silver-plated items can also be sold for cash as scrap silver, though their value depends greatly on the type of alloy used and the thickness of the plating. If you send us a silver-plated item, we will determine the content and value of the plating to ensure you get a fair price.
Examples Of Valuable Silver Items You May Have At Home
There’s a good chance you’ve got some valuable silver items just sitting around and taking up space. Here are just a few things to look for.
You may not realize how large a role sterling silver plays in our everyday lives. Unlike soft pure silver, sterling silver is relatively durable and can be used to make all sorts of items. You might sell silver jewelry you never wear, or sell your worn sterling silver utensils to help fund a nice replacement set.
Besides jewelry, here are a few common items that contain sterling silver:
- Coffee and Tea sets
To help identify sterling silver, look for common markings that indicate the manufacturer or purity level. For example, sterling silver is often marked with 925, 900, or 800.
Here’s a list of the most common sterling silver flatware manufacturers:
- Alvin Silver – Labeled as “Alvin,” typically over a dragon emblem
- Dansk Silver – Labeled simply as “Dansk”
- Durgin Silver
- Fine Arts Silver – “Fine Arts Silver” in a circular stamp
- Gorham Silver – Company emblem includes an anchor and bear and the letter “G”
- International Silver – noted as “International Silver” or “I. S. Co. Sterling”
- Kirk and Smith – The words “Kirk & Smith
- Lunt Silver
- Oneida Silver – Either “Oneida Sterling” or “Heirloom Sterling”
- Reed & Barton
- Rosenthal Silver
- Saart Brothers – Either labeled as “Saart Sterling” or “SB Sterling”
- Tiffany & Company – “Tiffany & Company Makers”
- Towle Silver – Emblem is the letter T with a griffin inside. May also be listed “Towle”
- R. Wallace Silver – Very common brand with tons of different emblems such as “R.W. & S.” and “Wallace Sterling”
- Wheelock Silversmiths – Will say “HandMade Sterling Wheelock Newport, R.I.”
“Junk Silver,” a.k.a. Coin Silver
Do you keep a piggy bank or loose change jar in your home? If so, you might have non-collectible “junk silver” coins made with 90% silver that can be sold for a profit.
Common American coins you can sell for cash value include:
- 1878-1904 and 1921 Morgan dollar (90%)
- 1892-1915 Liberty Head “barber” half-dollar (90%)
- 1916-1930 Standing Liberty quarter (90%)
- 1932 and 1934-1964 Washington quarter (90%)
- 1942-1945 Jefferson “wartime” nickel (35%)
- 1946-1964 Roosevelt dime (90%)
- 1964 Kennedy half-dollar (90%)
- 1965-1970 Kennedy half-dollar (40%)
To help you determine the value of your “junk silver” coins, you will need to weigh them and multiply that by the current spot price of silver. Although this process may be time consuming, the thrill of the hunt can pay off dividends.
Even if it’s old, broken or in terrible condition, you can still get cash for silver by selling it as scrap. Things like snapped necklace chains, bent silverware, and even that ugly pair of earrings you got from a well-meaning relative can be cleared out of your drawers and turned into cash.
Others have side-hustles and even full time businesses searching for scrap silver. Flea markets, yard and estate sales, manufacturing facilities, and other public places often have scrap silver that is valuable.
Silver Plated Materials
While we are happy to accept your scrap silver and sterling silver, we do not buy silver plated materials. These items are typically composed of copper, pewter, brass, and other base metals. A thin layer of silver is then added on top to enhance the appearance. As such, there is no melting value of the silver itself. To determine if your item is silver plated or sterling silver, look for a lack of markings, flaking, or green coloring. These are all signs of plating.
Testing Silver At Home
Before you sell your silver online, there are some ways you can confirm it’s real and estimate its purity.
- Visual inspection: If the item’s purity has been stamped or marked on it, you should be able to find it with a visual inspection. Certain types of items tend to be marked in specific places, such as on the clasp of a necklace or the underside of a fork. Depending on the size of the item, the mark may be very small and require a magnifying glass to read.
- Acid test: An at-home nitric acid test kit can approximate the purity of silver in just a few seconds. A few drops of nitric acid are placed on the material, and the acid changes color depending on its purity (cream = 90-100%, gray = around 80%, green = less than 75%, black = not silver). The estimates are broad and it relies on your perception of color, but this test can tell you if an item is genuine and kits typically cost less than $20.
Unfortunately, at-home testing methods cannot tell you the exact purity or value of your silver. The only way to determine this accurately is to have an expert test it with a specialized tool like an XRF analyzer. This impressive gadget aims an X-ray at the material and uses atomic-level measurements to determine which elements are present and in what amounts, to the nearest part per million.
As a result, many will forego the at-home testing process and send their silver to a reputable business like Cash for Gold USA. Our secured facility and expertly trained team will provide you a valuation and seamless experience.
How to Sell SilverOnline: Our Process
Wondering how and where to sell silver or other precious metal items for cash? Here’s how the Cash For Gold USA sales process works:
- Fill out our short online form for free shipping materials. At your request, we will mail you a FedEx shipping label.
- Once you receive your FedEx label, just package up your silver, gold, platinum, and/or palladium items and use the provided label to ship it to us for free.
- Within 24 hours of receipt, our experts will evaluate the silver pieces and we will mail you a check for their determined value.
- If you are not satisfied with the amount of money you receive for your silver, simply notify us within 14 days of the check date. We’ll cancel the payment and your items will be returned to you at no additional charge.
As you can see, selling silver online and to an established buyer is a practical solution for many individuals. Although there are a myriad of considerations, having the right team and resources will ensure you make the best and most financially rewarding decision possible.
Cash for Gold USA has decades of experience buying silver and is here to help. Ready to sell your silver for cash? Simply fill out our form now or call (866) 300-1430 today!