Many of you have probably witnessed how a piece of great historical value has passed from generation to generation… until it reaches you! It is then, forgetting about the nonsense, when you wonder: Well… What will be the value of this item? However, as we already explained, if it is difficult to know the value of a modern object, what about an ancient one?
Determining the value of an antique, whatever its nature, is at least expensive, and the same occurs to a silver tray, for example: To calculate its price, quotation or quality is usually a very relative task, given that many factors are involved, such as time, production costs, cultural context, social imposition, charm… in short, various parameters. So, what to do next?
There are a number of very useful tips (hence the current post) that will help you to get a better idea of the value and will make you aware that good silver items deserve an exhaustive analysis.
Ready to do the test?
1. Find the official version
What do we mean by that? It’ s very easy: you have to look for an authenticity mark, that is, the stamp that certifies the quality of the item. How? By turning over the object and looking for the mark. If there is only one mark, it does not mean that it is more or less important, since it can have several of them, either on the sides or on the corners.
You will also have to find the appropriate signs, typical images, numbers or identifying letters… because this information will allow you to determine the value of your silver tray. But remember that this is not the only step you need to consider. Of course, in case you have any doubt, it will be essential for you to call one of our experts, who will help you to complete the valuation of the item.
2. Define the quality leap
At this point, we simply want you to keep in mind a high version of silver: the sterling silver. This is the most valuable silver on the market, and it is represented by the number “.925” (with the dot at the beginning).
So you already know that if an item is stamped like this, it will be much more likely to increase its selling price.
3. Find its “ancestors”
This expression may sound a little weird, but you’ll probably agree with us that the age of a tray is key to define its cost, and therefore it is important for you to have as much information as possible about that one you want to analyse.
There are many possibilities, including the authentication mark, which you should compare with other trays of the same style and which are listed on an official guide; you might find it on websites or in books. Of course, a 50-year-old tray is not the same as a 100-year-old one. Again, an expert will better evaluate this point, as it is one of the most challenging ones.
4. Revise the damages
You must examine the damages to check if there is any kind of deterioration, such as bumps, dents or evidence of defective welding… This will be decisive in reducing its value.
So please pay special attention to every detail to make sure that you do not make any mistakes during the analysis.
5. Learn from history
A relevant information you should know is the manufacturing date of your item; no matter the exact date, the century would be enough for you to understand that those objects produced in the 19th Century were often made of lower quality silver, usually of copper with a thin silver plating.
6. Value its weight in silver
And never better said! The more a tray weighs, the more it costs, and that is true. As we said before, it is also crucial to focus on the date of creation and, of course, on the style.
For example, the production period is decisive to know the price of your tray: those made with very straight and predictable lines are usually from the 20th Century, and therefore are less valuable than those with curved and sinuous edges, which rather belong to the 19th Century, and thus are more expensive.
Do not hesitate to check the balances between supply and demand, or the selling prices in different auction houses or jeweller’s, as these data will help you to better understand what your silver tray is worth.
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