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How can I tell if my silver is rare or just common grade?

There are several ways to ascertain whether or not your silver is rare or just common grade:

  1. Prestige and Luxury Brand Manufacturers - If your silver has a manufacturer's back stamp on it that is from a prestigious manufacturer, then you likely have something that is more rare. Examples of silver companies to look for would be Tiffany, Georg Jensen, Buccellati, Puiforcat, Gorham Martele, Faberge, Paul Lamerie, Hester Bateman, Paul Storr, Lebolt, Kalo, Unger Brothers, William Spratling, Los Castillo, Antonio Pineda and Hector Aguilar. If your silver is made by these brands then you probably have something rare. We recommend you visit:

  2. Old Antique Silver - If your silver is over 200 years old, then it will likely be considered to be rare and will be worth more than scrap value. If you are unsure of the age of your silver, we recommend you visit:

  3. Ornate Silver - If your silver is very ornate with a huge amount of flowers, scrollwork, cherubs, figures, leaves, animals, or any other types of fancy decoration, then your silver is likely more rare than just common and will probably fetch more money than just its intrinsic silver value. Example patterns would be Francis 1 by Reed & Barton, Repousse by Kirk, Stieff Rose by Stieff, Versailles by Gorham, Paris by Gorham, Grande Baroque by Wallace, Sir Christopher by Wallace, Romance of the Sea by Wallace, Lily by Whiting, Old Orange Blossom by Alvin, Chrysanthemum by Tiffany. These are just a few examples. There are hundreds of more silver patterns that are considered more rare and worth a premium.

  4. Museum Grade Silver - If you own a piece of silver that you saw a similar piece in a museum or if you saw it on TV on Antiques Road Show or another antiques oriented platform, then it is likely that you too also have a rare piece of silver. Please visit:

  5. Unusual Piece Type - If you have a piece of silver that is of a very unusual piece type that you have never seen anywhere else before, then it is likely something more rare than not. Examples of unusual silver pieces would be: asparagus servers, Saratoga chips servers, bonbonniere spoons, aspic slices, pudding spoons and cucumber servers. There are many other rare styles of pieces. You will have to use your own judgement on your silver collection. To see example of unusual pieces types, please visit:

We hope this helps you get an idea of how to determine if your silver is rare or not. If you can not self identify or self appraise your own items, then often it is best to contact a silver expert for advice, evaluation and help. We are here to assist you with any all questions you have on silver. Email us at:

We Buy! We want to purchase silver pieces like the ones shown above! If you have items that you'd like to sell, or even just want to get an idea on valuation

please click the email us button for a quote.

Please send us photos, measurements and item descriptions. Thanks, Greg Arbutine

Sterling Silver Buyers Owner

Sterling Silver Buyers wants to purchase your rare sterling silver flatware and hollowware! Please sell your rare silverware items to Sterling Silver Buyers!

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08 Nov 2023
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That was a very helpful article. Thanks!

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