Selling Silver Flatware

22 posts in this topic

I have silver flatware from my grandmother - I think service for about 10. I used it for some years but now it is just taking up room in a big drawer in my kitchen. I'd like to get rid of it. It is American and I think it is triple plated. The silver is worn off a bit on some of the fork tines.

 

Would I be better to take it to some auction house or sell it to my local gold/silver guy?

 

It is very colorful right now so I will have to clean it up.

 

Alternatively, would anyone be interested in it? It is a family heirloom and I would like to see someone appreciate it.
 

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If your granny is German she probably fell for one of the first MLM scams of the post war period. 

They went round door to door selling these silver flat wares for high prices with the promise that if "the Russian" were ever to come then they would have something silver to trade.

The sellers did not tell that the silver would lose value if everybody were to sell at once and that the actual silver is only a thin coat on aluminium.

Stepmother still has the set that her mother bought for a lot of Marks back in the early fifties.

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Many of our US Grandmas & Grandpas bought silver and china and ... too, as they had lived through the stock market crash of 1929 and the depression years.  They were just doing their best to protect us.  And nice feasting was a way of being grateful for a table full of food.  They did their best,  and we love them for it.  

2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I used to collect British hallmarked silver, but I normally ignored silver plated items unless the item was unique or was collectible on its own, such as a pair of Archibald Knox silver plated pewter candlestick holders that had seen better days.  I never bothered with plated flatware because it had no melt value and was difficult to sell except as a functional daily use flatware service.

 

I hate to be a Debbie Downer, but the only market for plated flatware I knew of at the time was reclamation firms who specialized in providing replacement items for other sets.  They would break up sets that had missing or damaged pieces in order to complete other sets.  However, they were usually only interested in common patterns that were easier to sell.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
20 hours ago, fraufruit said:

Would I be better to take it to some auction house or sell it to my local gold/silver guy?

 

Don't want to disappoint you but given that Sterling Silver (925 solid) has a buying price of only €0,48 per gram, silver plate has little or no value beyond how useful the plated item is and to be honest not many people have the will or time to keep silver clean these days, so I doubt you would get much for it at auction! Clean it up and retain it for the heirloom it is.:)

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have my grandparent's silver plate, use it at Xmas.  Polishing at Xmas is something of a tradition, used to be my father's job, but my children now do it.   Sure, it is not worth much, but has been used for several generations.   Also a couple of pieces of furniture much older.  All very used and battered, and not worth anything.   They fit in pretty well with IKEA stuff.  I like the continuity.  I light a candle in a candlestick my great, great, grandmother lit one in.  Possibly her mother too.  

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you are committed to getting rid of it, maybe ebay, if that's not too much effort. That way, someone who really wants it has a chance of ending up with it, which would be nice. 

 

 

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My grandmother's family came from Germany but a couple of generations before her. Until just some years ago, it was typical for a couple who was marrying to pick out a silver and a china pattern. They could register at a store and the wedding guests could go there (all online now) and buy them a piece or two or serving dishes/utensils. I was made to polish my mother's silver at a very young age and she had loads - tea sets with trays and she an my dad won silver bowls and such golfing. I hated it.

 

Flash forward and I inherited my grandma's silver. My siblings had their own and didn't want it. I did use it here for years alternating with my stainless flatware. I just chucked it in the dishwasher (horrors) and never had to polish it. I stopped using it some years ago and now just want rid of it. My son doesn't want it. Kids don't want any of their parent's stuff these days. I took nothing from my parent's house other than the jewelry my mom bequeathed to me.

 

I sure would like to use that big drawer. Ready to give it away if anyone is interested. 

 

I'm aware the price of silver is in the crapper right now but it usually rebounds.

 

While we're at it, I also got my grandma's gold and silver rimmed china. I use it almost daily and also put it in the dishwasher. Criminal. I alternate with my Polish pottery every day dishes.

 

 

2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My adult children like the old stuff.  For special occasions, it was a tradition from when they were small.    But sure, if you have something beautiful, use it.  That is what it is for.  Have almost none of the old china.  A couple of pieces, that I use rarely, and wash by hand.  If I had god rimmed I would wash by hand.  Great way of cleaning my fingernails.   Which is good at the mo, as my dishwasher has broken yet again.

 

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, fraufruit said:

I was made to polish my mother's silver at a very young age and she had loads - tea sets with trays and she an my dad won silver bowls and such golfing. I hated it.

I had to polish the silver, too. But thanks to my grandfather helping spark an interest in chemistry at a very young age, I figured out I could add a shitton of baking soda to a bowl of water, put some aluminum foil (not tin!), and then just drop items in and let 'em sit for a few minutes. The serving trays had to be done a little differently since there weren't bowls big enough. Also, hot water speeds up most chemical reactions, including this one. 

 

1 hour ago, fraufruit said:

I sure would like to use that big drawer. Ready to give it away if anyone is interested. 

 

I'm aware the price of silver is in the crapper right now but it usually rebounds.

Could you send me pics, either here or to my username at gee-male daht commie pinko bastard? Maybe I could take it off your hands. 

Also, the price of silver fluctuates but never by much, save for the one time nearly four decades ago when the shitheel Hunt brothers tried to corner the market but were busted for the manipulation. Its a commodity metal with none of the sexiness of gold causing all its fluctuation. Plate is literally atoms thick and can be controlled that finely by controlling how much electricity is used down to only a few score trillion electrons. It's rarely worth the cost of intentional recovery. Rather, it's collected in the by-product and slag of the steel recycling and together with lots of other collected metals from electronics, refined from that mess en masse

 

3 hours ago, slammer said:

she probably fell for one of the first MLM scams of the post war period. 

 

Was that an MLM ("multi-level marketing" -- a pyramid scam) or just a regular scam selling worthless shit to a lot of marks for a lot of [Deutsch]Marks? That is, were buyers also expected to rope in their friends, family, and acquaintances to then flog more sets (which they'd get a special "distributor price") in the standard pyramid fashion?

 

If there were actual MLMs running, could you ping me with any other info and references you have? Even names of people or brand names, anything at all. The Germanistik historian in me is especially interested as this is really the ending of my 1848-1948-ish military history specialty which "ends" on the transition into the Cold War. I also have some other shit on the back burner relating to MLMs, scams, and other interrelated problems.Thanks.

 

woof.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just an idea:

 

A lot of animal rescues have auction sites on Facebook where people advertise stuff they don't need anymore or they have made to raise money for the charity. Anything from books, CDs, crafts, meetings with trainers, dog & cat accessories. The money goes to the charity who lets you know when they have received it and the postage gets paid to you. Once the money is transfered, you ship the goods. Animal rescue organisations are quite low on funds because of the influx of dogs and ban on flea markets etc and other fundraisers. 

 

Here are two that I follow. The first one is a very small German shepherd help, the other one an animal shelter that also has a programm for dogs with "special effects" which is very cost and (wo)man power intensive:

 

Spendenauktion der Altenburger Schäferhundhilfe e.V. | Facebook

Auktionsgruppe Tierschutzverein Viernheim und Umgebung e.V. | Facebook  

 

I have also dropped off at a member of the ASH before cause she goes to fleamarkets with the donanted stuff that doesn't sell online. Every euro counts... 

 

 

 

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks, maxie. I don't do Facebook and I really don't want to clean the silver ever again.

 

@snowingagain 

As I said, I used the silver for years and now I use the china. I also only drink out of crystal except for coffee, some of it is fine and some is heavy and I put it all in the dishwasher. I think every dishwasher has a crystal/china cycle now to use after a party. I just use the regular cycle.

 

Like my mama used to say, "If it doesn't go in the dishwasher or microwave, I don't want it."

 

(Of course I have some special hand washables like knives, etc.)

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
39 minutes ago, BadDoggie said:

I had to polish the silver, too. But thanks to my grandfather helping spark an interest in chemistry at a very young age, I figured out I could add a shitton of baking soda to a bowl of water, put some aluminum foil (not tin!), and then just drop items in and let 'em sit for a few minutes.

 

That is how I've always cleaned my flatware but with salt instead of baking soda and boiling water. Works a treat. So does a big aluminum pan instead of aluminum foil but I have used both when the pan wasn't big enough.

 

When I was a kid, it was the silver polish, washing and buffing. Arggh!

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, fraufruit said:

Like my mama used to say, "If it doesn't go in the dishwasher or microwave, I don't want it."

It's not so much the dishwasher as it is the detergent. Most are rather harsh, though not nearly as bad as it was many moons ago.

Bonus dishwasher tip: Avoid packets like the plague. In short, all the soap gets dumped early on after the short sycle which cleans off most of the solid matter, leaving nothing but a bit of residual stuff on your dishes for the main cycles. That complex detergent door is there and complicated for reasons other than being a minor nuisance.

woof.

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We thought our old dishwasher was dying about a year ago. We always kept Klarspühler and Salz in it and ran cleaning programs. The glasses were coming out whiteish and some specks of food on dishes. Himself came home with Claro dishwasher tabs (not pods) and we've never looked back. We also buy Claro laundry detergent as well. It is Austrian and a miracle product. I even order for my son in the U.S. where it isn't so cheap.

 

Oh, and it is green.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Tabs are fine -- the secondary stuff survives the first short clearing-off wash. and the pellet is supposed to make it through to rinse. Powder & Klarspüler & salt if you have hard water (yes, that means MUC even though it's fucking feathers compared to Regensburg's liquid chalk) seem to be best overall, with tabs second, and fuck pods.


woof.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 minutes ago, BadDoggie said:

Tabs are fine -- the secondary stuff survives the first short clearing-off wash. and the pellet is supposed to make it through to rinse. Powder & Klarspüler & salt if you have hard water (yes, that means MUC even though it's fucking feathers compared to Regensburg's liquid chalk) seem to be best overall, with tabs second, and fuck pods.


woof.

 
I use the tabs for my dishwasher, so that’s good to know. 
 

To go a bit off-topic, what about pods in the washing machine? I use cold water for certain things in the washing machine. 

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just now, klingklang77 said:

 what about pods in the washing machine? 

Watch the video I linked which explains it all. Your clothes don't get an initial short run to get most of the muck off… unless you set your machine to do a pre-wash, in which case most of the soap from your pods washes away with before the main cycle drain & refill. Unless you have a super-complicated machine (complicated? in Germany??) made to take pods and powder/liquid for pre-wash, which you probably don't. What a fucking waste of money to save four seconds of pouring powder into the normal panel drawer cup(s).

 

woof.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
14 hours ago, BadDoggie said:

a regular scam selling worthless shit to a lot of marks for a lot of [Deutsch]Marks?

I remember one of those from my early childhood, when my parents had no electric fridge yet. The scammers sold large bars of ice from their horse-carriages and my parents put it into their "refridgeration box". It lasted only a few days, so they were scammed regularly.😃

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
21 minutes ago, jeba said:

I remember one of those from my early childhood, when my parents had no electric fridge yet. The scammers sold large bars of ice from their horse-carriages and my parents put it into their "refridgeration box". It lasted only a few days, so they were scammed regularly.😃

 

Reference:Ice Houses

 

Not sooo long ago for example in Norfolk (East Anglia) people would saw blocks of ice out of the frozen lakes / broads to store in the ice houses for all-year use.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now