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How much is a gram of silver worth? Asked Nina

How much is a gram of silver worth? Asked Nina

Silver granules on a scaleAlan, I’m confused. I have a very nice silver tray, silver cutlery, and a candlestick. I wanted to sell this pieces since a while so I asked different gold buyers for a quote. The offered prices confused me.The first buyer offered just $500, the second buyer $850, the third buyer $630, the fourth buyer $830 and finally I got offered $570. The different prices confused me. One gold buyer told me that silver sells per gram or per pennyweight. How much is a gram of silver worth? And is it just weighing and multiplying to find out the real value?
Nina from PortlandOregon

Dear Nina, generally spoken it’s just weighing and multiplying to find out the silver’s material value, I agree. But it’s highly possible that you have an item worth more than just the silver price. You can’t be careful  enough these days if selling silver. There are lots of unreliable buyers on the market. I asked you to send me photos and based on your information I can tell you that I’ve found out very exciting facts for you.
reDollar appraiser, AlanJensen

Current silver prices at a glance:

1 gram of .999 silver is worth $0.51 today
reDollar price for .999 silver per gram $0.48
1 gram of .925 sterling silver is worth $0.47 today
reDollar price for .925 sterling silver per gram $0.40
1 gram of .900 silver is worth $0.46 today
reDollar price for .900 sterling silver per gram $0.39

Nina wants to know, how much is a gram of silver worth?

Silver Kennedy Half Dollar coins on banknotesNina: I have silverware at home that I would like to sell. Tarnished cutlery, a broken candlestick, and an old, tarnished tray. Since weeks I have the pieces in my car. Whenever I have the time I stop by to ask buyers for a quote. I really want to get a fair price which is why I’ve started this time-consuming price comparison. I don’t remember all the purchase offers I got but I remember that the best offer was around $850 and the lowest offer around $500. I’m confused with the different offers so I’ve never sold the silver. I hoped my silver is worth maybe more than just 850 dollars. Alan, I’m not in a hurry. So why should I sell too hasty for a low price? One of the buyers, he was a really friendly guy, explained me that the value of my silver is calculated by the weight. He had a price list with the daily prices of gold and silver. He showed me the price list. There were prices listed for different qualities and different price units. He said silver sells per gram and per pennyweight. I took my cutlery (in total 9 spoons and 7 forks) to weigh it.  The weight of these 16 pieces is exactly 1,008 grams. money.cnn.com/data/commodities/ shows the current commodities’ prices, but not in gram or pennyweight. They publish their prices per troy ounce. I found out that one troy ounce weighs 31.1 grams. On the day of my investigation, silver had a value of $16.23 per troy ounce. What I did was dividing: $16.23 divided by 31.1 equaled $0.52. So I guessed that one gram of silver was worth $0.52 on that day. I thought I have 1,008 grams of silver cutlery and one gram of silver is worth $0.52 so the total value of my silver should be anything in the range of $524. Is that correct, Alan?

Alan: Almost correct. You’ve calculated the value of pure silver. When I look at your photos I see “925” hallmarks and “STERLING” hallmarks. Therefore your silver cutlery is made of 92.5% pure silver. According to that your calculation needs to be adjusted by adding the fact that we speak about 92.5% of pure silver. Your cutlery’s value is therefore 92.5% of $524 thus $484.7.

reDollar silver experts appraising silver cutleryNina: Now I understand my mistake. I called the friendly dealer and I explained him what I did but he couldn’t follow my explanations. So is it a good deal if I sell all my silver for $850 including the cutlery the candelabra and the tray?

Alan: Yes and no. $484 is the commodity value of your cutlery. If I look at this cutlery, I see just a commodity. There is no significant collector’s value connected with this pieces. You need to subtract a dealer margin. Reliable buyers will charge you between 10% and 15% for turning gold into cash and between 20% and 25% for turning silver into cash. Your cutlery has to undergo a melting process. I think a very good price for your silver spoons and forks would be in the range of $363 and $387.

Nina: That makes sense. So the total of $850 is a really low offer because my candelabra weighs about $1,320 grams. If I make the same calculation with my candelabra I get a total of about $526.54. My subtotal shows now around $860 but without the silver tray. Alan, the tray weighs 1,405 grams equaling a value of round about $560.45. If I don’t err, the selling value of all items should be $1,489.07. Is this correct, Alan?

Alan: Yes and no. Do you want me to surprise you?

Nina: Of course, Alan.

Sterling silver spoonsAlan: Your sterling silver tray is very tarnished but I was able to find out that this tray was made from a special brand. But let me ask you something: on the back I see concentrated scratches. It seems that someone filed the tray. Was it one of the dealers who did that?

Nina: Yes, it was a dealer. But the guy asked me for permission to do that. Is this a problem? I thought it’s just scrap silver.

Alan: The thing is, we have here a Tiffany & Co. tray. I guess, it was made in the late 19th/early 20th century. I would describe this rarity as a cut-crystal silver tray with alternating diamond and radiating sunburst motif coming with a silver mounted everted rim with flower heads and C-scrolls. The scratches are really bad as they reduce the value of the piece. I’m very sure that the dealer didn’t check your tray carefully or maybe he was not skilled enough to recognize the brand. I see right next to the rim on the back the hallmark saying “Tiffany & Co.” Without the scratches in mint condition such a tray sells for $2,500 or $3,000.

Nina: That’s a pity! Is it possible to repair the damage?

Alan: Yes, but you have to inform a potential buyer of the repair. It will reduce the price in any case. Our company can offer you $2,000 for this tray. I’m not sure how we would handle the situation but maybe we would sell it with a repair.

Nina: I understand. I don’t understand why nobody of these guys realized the value.

Alan: Maybe they did. Maybe they didn’t want to let you know. Probably they were in hope to buy your silver for a bargain.

Scrap silver piecesNina: And what about the dealer who scratched my tray?

Alan: I can imagine that he was in a hurry or not an expert. He didn’t check the markings. Almost all reliable gold buyers know that a vintage Tiffany tray is a rarity. Well, yours is tarnished but stunning.

Nina: Thank you for your time, Alan.

Alan: It was a great pleasure to help you.

Nina: My recommendation is self-evident. Thank you for the professional support. I will sell my cutlery and the candelabra with your company. Because I get much more from reDollar I can keep the fancy Tiffany tray what makes me very happy.

Other related questions asked:

Brenda from Boston asked: How much is a silver bar worth?

Julia from San Antonio asked: How much is .925 silver worth?

Learn more about silver:

Most silver items are just scrap silver. At least 9 out of 10 pieces: sell scrap silver
Flatware is very common in the US. Do you know that flatware was also made of so-called coin silver: sell silver flatware

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