At Samuelson’s Buyers, we love silver! In addition to it being a beautiful metal in its own right, there are so many breathtaking items crafted from silver — we just can’t get enough.
In this month’s post, we’ll take a look at some of our favorite silver collectibles we see come into Samuelson’s Buyers.
What is a silver collectible?
Silver collectibles are a great way to own a unique piece of silver that holds artistic value while still exposing you to the investment opportunities of rare and precious metals.
Generally, silver collectibles are made from 100% 925 sterling silver. While many people think that silver valuables just means silver jewelry, nothing’s further from the truth!
The history of silver valuables
The use of silver as a material dates back over 5,000 years. Given its stability and durability, silver was used to make items both practical and decorative.
The use of silver became popular in the 15th and 16th centuries. This is when Europeans conquered South and Central America, home to many of the world’s largest silver mines. With silver more readily available, everything from currency to everyday household items were being forged from silver.
Today, silver is still being used to make beautiful items that people love. While the most obvious of these items is jewelry, which remains as beautiful and popular as ever, there are lots more, too.
The most popular of these items are flatware, holloware, and silver coins. Learn more about these incredible items below.
Silver flatware and hollowware
Silver flatware, or dining sets, were sold and marketed in the United States and abroad. While initially bought by the wealthy, as the middle class grew in the 1950s and 1960s more people could afford expensive flatware sets, which generally included:
Owning a flatware set was a must-have for formal occasions like holidays, celebrations, and other events. They were often also used for entertaining. Good flatware was a status symbol and sign of affluence. It was also an heirloom that could be passed through generations.
In addition to flatware, holloware is a very popular silver valuable that is a relic of a more formal and elegant time. While these items would traditionally be used in conjunction and at the same time as flatware, they were not sold as a set and were generally stand-alone items.
Holloware was built to be durable, and thus was generally made with a thicker silver than silver flatware.
Holloware items includes:
- Sugar bowls
- Coffee pots
- Soup tureens
- Water jugs
What type of silver flatware and hollowware is truly unique?
All good silver flatware and hollowware is made from solid sterling silver. Solid silver is marked as “sterling silver” or “sterling silver 925,” the 925 representing the 92.5% threshold of contained silver to be legally considered sterling silver.
Don’t be fooled by “silver plated” sterling silver flatware. While some will market this as sterling silver flatware, it’s simply plated with silver over a less valuable metal.
Most valuable silver flatware found today was made during the silver flatware boom of the 1950s and 1960s. Top solid silver flatware brands include:
- International Sterling
- Reed & Barton
- Many more!
Silver coins are a unique facet of silver collectibles due to being functional, artistic, and investment grade.
Silver was the first mass-produced form of coinage, and has been an integral part of the global currency day for millenia. The use of silver for currency can be traced from to the Ancient Greeks all the way to Great Britain through 1797. The United States even utilized silver in dimes through 1970.
This use of silver for coins was both practical and made sense given silvers intrinsic value. Silver was both easy to manipulate and form into coins and inherently valuable, meaning it was easy for governments to convince citizens to barter with the money.
Government issued silver coins
While no country currently uses silver as standard issue currency, many countries do issue silver “bullion” coins that can actually be used as legal tender.
These government-issue coins are desirable given that they are backed by governments, have interesting designs, and are relatively rare. They’re generally produced annually and retain a common characteristic representing the spirit of the country, such as an eagle or maple leaf. They generally feature one ounce of silver a piece.
Some notable government-backed coins that are favorites of collectors include:
- Silver American Eagle
- Silver Canadian Maple Leaf
- Austrian Silver Philharmonics
Unlike government-issue silver coins, “coins” minted that are not legal tender must be referred to as silver rounds.
While these coins cannot be used as legal tender, they still offer the benefit of holding a silver investment and can be designed in any way the minter chooses. This creates design opportunities not available to governments.
The only caveat with silver rounds is to always purchase them from a reputable seller. Since they are not backed by a government, make sure that you are buying a true silver coin.
Some of the most unique silver items we buy are silver jewelry pieces. While any silver collectible is created with artistic ambitions in mind, this is particularly true of silver jewelry.
Given their natural beauty, silver has been used for centuries as a material for jewelry. This tradition has continued and given us a number of stunning pieces. At Samuelson’s Buyers, some of our favorite silver items are vintage and antique pieces brought in from an estate or private seller who has lost sentimental interest in the piece.
Some top brands of jewelry that we love here at Samuelson’s Buyers include:
- Tiffany & Co
- David Yurman
- Judith Ripka
- John Hardy
- Georg Jensen
- Many more!
Have silver collectibles that’ve lost meaning?
For a number of reasons, silver valuables sometimes lose their sentimentality. Fortunately, you can still recover value by working with Samuelson’s Buyers.
No matter the type of silver valuable you have, we’d love to hear from you. At your private consultation, we’ll evaluate your item and help you understand its value. You’ll never feel pressured at any point and our team will always treat you and your valuable with respect.
Questions? Contact the Samuelson’s Buyers team with any questions.
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