Selling silver can bring you extra cash

December 2, 2011 12:17:30 PM PST
You know that gold is bringing top dollar, but if you have silver, it too can help pad your pocket as Christmas nears.

Before you rush to clear out your jewelry box, there are few things you need to know. Silver is bringing more than $30 an ounce right now but not everything that shines will bring you money. In fact, the things in your jewelry box are probably not going to bring you the most money.

John Carloss has a lot of silver and he is ready to sell.

"What I am finding out from my daughters, they really don't want silver," he said.

So Carloss decided to bring his unwanted items to Vincent Nolan, a buyer for the Great Escape Roadshow. Among the things Carloss is selling is a complete set of tableware, and while you may think jewelry would bring the most money, in fact it is the forks and knives and servings sets that are the most valuable.

"The alloys that are used in sterling jewelry are not as pure as the alloys used in sterling flatware," Nolan explained. "For that reason we pay a premium for sterling flatware sets, service pieces, the trays."

The flatware brought Carloss a bundle -- nearly $4,000. Carloss says it's a good idea to know what your items are worth before agreeing to sell them.

"I have done the research," Carloss said. "I have some people who are in the business as far as appraisals are concerned and they gave me a good idea about what the worth was."

We did not have any tableware to sell, but did have several items to unload. A bracelet from Tiffany's was worth more than $125. The other items needed to be tested.

Nolan said, "We take a very small film of metal to make sure that it is in fact what we are paying for."

It turns out our fancy serving dish is not silver at all -- just plated -- so no offer was made. A silver bracelet from Mexico seemed like the real deal, but it too is plated, as was a necklace, so they were also unwanted. We had some earrings that were silver, but only worth 10 bucks. Total cash -- $135.

If you are selling your silver, the Great Escape Roadshow buyers do not care if it is cleaned up or not, so don't waste your time cleaning. If your silver is stamped sterling, chances are it is worth something, but not everything that is sterling will be marked as such.
For more information, call 888-5-ESTATE (537-8283).

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