Selling Silver | An Inexperienced Scrap Jewelry Owner's Guide

3 July 2015
 Categories: , Blog


Everywhere you look it seems that people are looking to buy gold; from the local pawn shop in town right down to your neighbor down the street. However, what most people do not know is that you can also sell scrap silver jewelry for cash as well. Even though silver may not be worth as much as gold to a gold and silver buyer, it is still valuable, which means you can exchange scrap pieces for real cash in your pocket. 

Can you sell all silver jewelry?

For silver to be of any value, it must contain real silver, but most of the silver jewelry you have in your collection probably does--unless of course it is merely costume jewelry, which is usually made with other metals. Even though sterling silver is often considered a cheaper form of jewelry, it is still required to contain at least 92 percent solid silver. 

What kind of markings does real silver usually have?

Most silver jewelry will be stamped in some way, even if it is merely sterling silver. This hallmarking is used to specifically indicate that a piece of jewelry is actually valuable materials. The silver may have a purity mark, such as the telltale 925 usually found on sterling, but could also have a trademark stamp from the manufacturer, which can be a lot of different things like images and letters. 

If a piece of silver is not marked, how can you tell if it is real?

Most modern silver will be marked, especially if it was purchased domestically. However, antique silver jewelry or jewelry that was crafted by someone other than a company may not have any markings at all. If you find a piece of jewelry that you suspect is silver and it has no markings, there are a couple of other things you can do to test what you speculate. 

1. Try the Clanking Test - Silver makes a highly recognizable noise when it is clanked against other silver material. Many coin collectors use the "clank test" when they are shopping for coins. Using a piece that you are sure is pure silver, drop the other unidentified piece of jewelry against it. The tone that you hear if the piece is silver will be much less reverberating. 

2. Check for Magnetic Qualities - Silver will not be attracted to a magnet, but various other metals that can be mixed with silver will. As a general  rule, if the suspected piece sticks to a magnet, it is likely not silver, or does not contain enough pure silver to be worth anything. 

After sifting through your jewelry box, you will likely have a nice little bunch of real silver to take to a gold and silver buyer such as Gold for Cash. If you have additional questions about selling silver for the first time, just ask the buyer for more information and guidance.