Not interested in wearing, gifting, or showcasing your silver jewellery? If so, then inheriting, winning, or being gifted this precious metal and classic fashion accessory will likely see you converting it into cash. After all, why let something beautiful and valuable gather dust when you can transform it into something you actually want?
If you’re hoping to turn silver jewellery into cash at the very best price, read on — we’ve listed a few pointers to get you started on a road toward maximum profitability.
Do You Have Silver, or Is It Something Else?
First, you’ll want to know if you do have silver before you get your hopes up. A stamped hallmark can help you find the fineness (or purity) of the metal. In a piece of jewellery, this will typically range from .500, or 50% pure, to .925, or 92.5% pure (which is called Sterling silver). Generally speaking, the higher the purity, the higher the price by the gram, but don’t expect to find .999 (or 99.9%) purity in your jewellery, since this wouldn’t be durable enough for people to wear.
If you can’t find a hallmark, try a magnet. Silver is a non-ferrous metal — it’s non-magnetic. That means if the magnet draws the piece toward it, your item is likely to be silver plated or not made of silver at all.
Get a Proper Evaluation
Whichever method of evaluation you use, you’ll still need your silver jewellery evaluated by a professional who’ll bring years of experience — and often the help of X-ray technology — to determine the purity of your piece and explain how the specific brand and design may impact the price due to its potential collectability or rarity.
The best silver bullion dealers will provide free evaluations of jewellery, and ideally in-person, where they can walk you through the history of the hallmark or maker’s mark. They can also explain the precise chemical composition of your ring, necklace or bracelet and weigh it with an accurate scale.
Watch the Spot Price
Watch the current market price of silver using a financial website (e.g., Kitco, Market Watch, CNBC, Bloomberg, Reuters, etc.) or application (e.g., E*TRADE, Ameritrade, Yahoo Finance, etc.) to see if it’s performing well or in a slump.
But drill down a bit deeper to find the spot price, which will give you a good indication of how much silver can be purchased or sold right this minute (you can remember ‘spot price’ if you think of it as an ‘on-the-spot’ rate). Watch those spot rates and sell when you’re most comfortable with the price.
Find the Right Buyer
Professional buyers will publicize their rates and break them down by purity. Obviously, those buyers need to make a living; recycling or melting down silver costs money, and if they’re hoping to resell, they’ll need to make a profit. For those reasons, they won’t be able to offer you spot prices in exchange for your jewellery — expect a price slightly lower.
The critical point here is that they are transparent about those prices. Lack of complete transparency in pricing means you won’t have a good baseline expectation and could mean that the silver buyer doesn’t know what they’re doing or is looking to exploit the unwary.
With these starting tips in mind, you should be well on your way to getting the best price for your silver rings, bracelets, necklaces, earrings, and beyond. Good luck — and happy hunting for a professional buyer you can trust.