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Silver Explained  //  The Different Types of Silver

Silver Explained

Tucson Silver Buyer

Wondering whether your jewelry or flatware is really sterling silver? Want to find out how to tell if your silver items are solid, plated or weighted? Want to find out how much your silver is worth in Tucson, AZ? Read on as a local Tucson Silver Buyer explains how to evaluate your silver flatware, jewelry and other items.

Sterling Silver. .925 Silver. Weighted, plated, reinforced. What does it all mean?

Like gold jewelry, silver jewelry (and other items) contains varying levels of silver purity. For example, Sterling Silver is .925, or 92.5% silver. Other items may have higher or lower silver content. Like gold, silver is valued based on the purity, and the overall weight of the item. With silver, however, there are often special considerations that need to be taken into account when pricing a piece. Some pieces are weighted or plated, and it may be necessary to separate the weigh from the silver to measure the weight of the silver itself.

When you are looking through your silver you may see a lot of different markings and labels. Here is some information that may help you in your search to determine how much silver content your items have, and whether or not they are solid or weighted:

  1. Coins: These are .900 silver on average.
  2. Sterling (.925): This is 92.5% silver.
  3. .999 Silver: This is pure silver.
  4. 800 or .800: This is 80% silver, and while rare, does exist.
  5. Sterling Plated: This is plated silver and does not contain enough silver to sell, while these pieces are beautiful, the value is not in the silver content.

The value of an item is based on the total weight of the item, and its silver purity. Each of these purities should be valued differently when you sell your pieces to a Tucson silver buyer.

Weighted Silver

Weighted silver is common in candlesticks and serving pieces. This means that the piece is not 100% silver, but instead has cement, metal, glass, or some other material in it to make it heavier for use, while at the same time making it affordable to buy. The weighted material must often be removed before an offer can be made on the piece.

Weighted and Reinforced Silver

This is also common, and means that in addition to the cement or other weights, there are also strong metal rods throughout the piece to give it stability. This takes away further from the silver of the piece, but does not mean that it is not worth selling. This material must often be removed prior to getting an offer.


Have you ever seen strange markings on the bottom of a silver pot, or the back of a silver fork? These are hallmarks, or markings by the maker of the piece that can tell you who made the piece, when it was made, and the quality of silver used. is a good encyclopedic website that has many Silver Marks, Hallmarks and Maker’s Marks to help you look up the markings you see on your pieces to better understand their origin and purity.

What Types of Things May be Silver?

The list for this can go as far as your imagination. For years things as strange as phone dialers and cake breakers have been made out of silver, so it always pays to look for that marking on anything you have that you think may be silver, but there are some common things to look for first.

  • Flatware: This is things like forks, spoons, knives, ladles, and other serving utensils
  • Serving pieces: These are things like bowls, plates, trays, and other things you may find on your table
  • Pots and Cups: Tea sets, coffee pots, even drinking glasses can be found made of silver.
  • Candlesticks and Candelabras: These can be small and hold one candle, or be large and hold many, the skies the limit.
  • Jewelry: Necklaces, rings, bracelets, we all have some

It may surprise you how much your things are worth, and it only takes a few seconds to send Tucson Silver and Gold a message with the details of your piece and its weight so that you can get a preliminary estimate of what you could receive. Contact us to turn your unwanted silver into cash today.

Sell Your Silver in Tucson, AZ

Interested in finding out how much your silver is worth in Tucson? Want a Tucson silver buyer to evaluate your silver and offer you a competitive price? Contact Tucson Silver and Gold, we’d like to speak with you!

  1. Debbie McFarling01-05-12

    I have a box of flatware silverware My mother in law gave me years ago. The Box says 1847 Rogers Bros and on the back of the pieces it has 1847 Rogers Bros IS Adoration looks like 48 piece set with serving pieces. Can you give me a ideas if it is worth selling or should I just keep it.

  2. Deborah07-01-12

    I have two different silverware sets I would like to get evaluated.

  3. cynthia08-04-12

    I have a lot of peruvian 925 pieces of heavy jewelry. Any idean if it’s worth anything?

  4. Janet Radtke04-13-18

    I have a 1936 Oneida Coronation Silver plate service with 178 pieces that I would like to sell.
    Are you interested?
    Thank you
    Janet Radtke
    7153501011 cel

  5. Liz Lambert05-15-18

    I have a four piece Tea/Coffee Set by F. Peruzzi, 925 sterling silver Teapot, coffeepot, sugarcoat, and creamer with a silver plate tray. It was purchased in Florence, Italy in the 1950’s by my Aunt. I believe that the style is Italian Baroque. The weight of the pieces are; Teapot – 1274g, Coffeepot – 1202g, Sugarpot – 508g, and Creamer – 442g for a total of 3,426g Sterling silver. Thank you for your assistance.

  6. Garci Sinnett08-12-18

    I have a dresser jar w/ screen&powder puff unused mirrored silver lid weighed&reenforced 838. Could you tell me its estimated value & where I might offer it up for sale?

  7. Lucianna Nelson07-12-19

    Hello I have 5 or 6 rings that have the have the markings “925” on it. Are these worth anything?

  8. mary02-09-21

    I have a Amston sterling reinforced 838 silver creamer and sugar from around the 1950’s is there any value in it?

  9. Laura04-24-22

    2 goblets saying Crescent Silver MFG – almost 5” tall

    Joanne Wilcox 7217 footed pitcher
    8 1/2” tall

    Thank you,

  10. Brandon06-27-23

    I have silver items made by well known American smiths, are these worth more than melt? Names like Kirk and sons
    and Black Star and Frost.

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