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How Much Is Sterling Silver Worth?

June 26, 2015 0 Comments

A quick and fast rule is that sterling silver is worth:

Sterling Silver is Roughly 80-85% of Spot Silver

Sterling silver is different from pure .999 fine silver in that it is actually an alloy metal that contains 92.5% silver with the remaining percentage an amalgam of other metals. The price that one would receive when selling sterling is directly related to the silver spot price. Just like spot silver, bulk trading takes place on the Commodities Exchange with the price fluctuating on a second-by-second basis. Although Sterling Silver needs to be at least .925 fine, when you sell your sterling you can only expect to receive around 80-85% because there is a spread for the dealer and refiner to make a small profit.

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Visit our scrap metal price page for up to date sterling silver prices.

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What Is Sterling Silver?

Sterling silver is an alloy used in commercial applications. Because of its lower purity (92.5%), sterling silver in not considered an investment grade metal and as such does not have much of an appeal for precious metals portfolios. However, it has mass appeal in everyday household items and has been used for hundreds of years (as far back as 30 B.C.).

Silverware: this is the primary modern day use of sterling silver. Dinnerware such as forks, spoons, and knives were very common in the mid-20th century. More ornate items such as tea sets were also commonplace. However, with the sharp rise of silver in the 1980s and also the twentyteens, many sterling silver sets were melted down due to the high price they would fetch just for the raw silver material.

Jewelry: throughout history, silver has been used for jewelry. The metal’s high sheen and pure white color made it a very attractive metal for rings, necklaces and pendants.

Musical Instruments: Silver also has great conductivity and resonance properties so it is used very frequently for woodwind musical instruments (saxophones, flutes, etc).

Why Not Use Pure Silver Instead of Sterling?

Pure silver is too soft of a metal for everyday use. By adding in other metals such as copper, this gives rigidity to the metal and improves strength. The downside to adding in these metals is that sterling silver will tarnish quicker than pure silver. This is why sterling silver dinnerware had to be polished so often.

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