Wait! Don't Scrap Your Silver Just Yet!

Silver has escalated to its highest price since 1980, and it's time to make crucial decisions. To scrap or not to scrap? First and foremost,
are you absolutely certain that the object you want melted isn't a rare or important piece crafted by an important silversmith? If it was made by a silver company, are you positive it isn't one of only a few produced? These are questions that you should take into careful consideration before scrapping. Keep in mind that during the last rush to the refiners in 1980, tons of important silver that will never be reproduced was recklessly disposed of. Some of it was saved from the flames by the hands of knowledgeable silver dealers, but the majority will never be seen again in this throw-away society.
I suggest giving these objects as gifts, especially if they are handwrought or contain beautifully hand-engraved monograms or chasing. These pieces are works of art and should never be melted. Why not wait for birthdays, anniversaries, or holidays, and surprise your friends or loved ones? If your silver is damaged or heavily tarnished, it might be easily restored by a specialist in silver restoration, making it useful again. If you still intend on selling your silver, consider a reputable antique dealer who has silver appraisal experience, or contact an auction house.
I've spoken to many individuals who didn't do their research before scrapping, finding out soon afterwards that their silver was far more valuable than its silver content alone. Please give serious consideration to what you're looking at before shipping it to a refiner.
Jeffrey Herman, Founder & Executive Director Society of American Silversmiths PO Box 72839 Providence, RI 02907 401/461-6840, Fax: 401/461-6841 E-mail: snipped-for-privacy@silversmithing.com Home Page: http://www.silversmithing.com
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