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Silver and Flatware/Sterling Tea Set

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Question
Sterling Tea Set
Sterling Tea Set  

Bottom Stamp
Bottom Stamp  
Mr. Stringer,

This was inherited from family, but do not know of it's history.  The only stamp reads "MADE IN MEXICO STERLING."  We are looking to sell it and would be glad of an approximate asking price as well as any identifying information such as a pattern.

Thank you.

Answer
Hello.

It's disappointing that there is no indication of who made the set. That could add some value to the set. The "Sterling" mark probably is accurate but we have no additional verification in the form of a maker's mark. Some things have been marked as sterling when they really were not. There are some tests that a jeweler or similar business could run.

The first thing I'd do is to determine the scrap value of the set. That way, you'll have an estimate that's near the bottom of the price range. There is an article in the list below that talks about the scrap value of flatware. It would apply in your case also.

You might also take it by one of these "We Buy Gold" places to see what they will offer. If they offer somewhere around half the scrap value, you can feel comfortable that what you have truly is sterling and it will confirm your scrap estimate.

The question at this point is to determine the upper end of the value range. Unfortunately, the lack of a maker's mark comes into play again. It's hard to place a value on something when we can't completely identify it.

I'd look for similar sets that have sold recently on eBay. Here's an example: http://www.ebay.com/itm/8-pc-Mexican-Sterling-Silver-Tea-Service-389-oz-/2313923. This set actually sold for less than its scrap value. Why would this happen? The primary reason is that you probably will not find a scrap dealer who will pay 100% of the value because they have to factor in room for profit. Here's another example that sold just above scrap value: http://www.ebay.com/itm/Vintage-Salvatore-De-La-Serna-925-Mexican-Sterling-Silve .

Hope this helps you get started.

Jim






How you can help me - I get asked often by questioners regarding how they can help me. There are two easy ways.
(1.)   Visit my web site, http://www.SilverChatter.com , and check out some of the ads at the top and right side of that page.
(2.)   Read some of the articles in the list below.



FREQUENTLY ACCESSED REFERENCE INFORMATION:

OTHER WEB INFORMATION SOURCES WRITTEN BY ME
-- My blog: http://www.SilverChatter.com     
-- Examiner.com articles: http://www.examiner.com/sterling-silver-in-national/jim-stringer
-- My booklet, “Selling Your Silver”:  http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/georgiasilver

IDENTIFYING WHAT YOU HAVE
-- Sterling vs. silver plate: http://www.examiner.com/sterling-silver-in-national/sterling-vs-silver-plate
-- Locating your silver pattern:  http://www.examiner.com/article/identify-your-sterling-or-silver-plate-flatware-
Marks found on bottom/back of silver pieces: http://www.examiner.com/x-26031-Sterling-Silver-Examiner~y2010m1d13-Where-can-I-
-- Code letters on silver plate pieces: http://www.examiner.com/sterling-silver-in-national/what-does-this-mean-on-my-fl
-- The “Rogers” silver companies: http://www.examiner.com/sterling-silver-in-national/rogers-the-silver-industry

VALUE OF STERLING AND SILVER PLATE PIECES
-- Calculating the value of your sterling flatware: http://www.examiner.com/x-26031-Sterling-Silver-Examiner~y2010m4d21-Cheap-approa
-- Calculating the scrap value of sterling flatware: http://www.examiner.com/sterling-silver-in-national/calculating-the-scrap-value-
-- Value of sterling pieces:  http://www.examiner.com/sterling-silver-in-national/what-s-my-sterling-silver-fl
-- Value of silver plate flatware: http://www.examiner.com/sterling-silver-in-national/what-s-my-silver-plate-flatw
-- Value of gold plated flatware: http://www.examiner.com/sterling-silver-in-national/what-s-the-value-of-my-gold-
- Silver content in knives: http://www.examiner.com/sterling-silver-in-national/how-much-silver-is-a-hollow-

SELLING YOUR SILVER
-- Things to consider when selling your sterling: http://www.examiner.com/sterling-silver-in-national/things-to-consider-when-sell
-- Selling sterling silver for scrap: http://www.examiner.com/x-26031-Sterling-Silver-Examiner~y2010m1d11-What-is-the-
-- What to do with plated silver: http://www.examiner.com/sterling-silver-in-national/what-to-do-with-plated-silve  
-- Selling used silver plate flatware: http://www.examiner.com/sterling-silver-in-national/selling-used-silver-plate-or
-- Tips on getting the best price when selling silver plate flatware:   http://www.examiner.com/article/selling-silver-plate-flatware-for-the-best-price
-- Ads from businesses near you who BUY SILVER: http://www.silver-buying.com/      

eBay
-- Buying sterling silver flatware on eBay: http://www.examiner.com/examiner/x-26031-Sterling-Silver-Examiner~y2010m5d26-Buy
-- Locating sales on eBay: http://www.examiner.com/x-26031-Sterling-Silver-Examiner~y2009m12d30-How-do-I-lo

CARE AND CLEANING
-- Care of silver: http://www.examiner.com/sterling-silver-in-national/how-should-i-clean-and-polis




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Jim Stringer

Expertise

I answer questions about sterling flatware and other sterling pieces........... I answer value questions at http://whatisitworth.lovetoknow.com/questions/categories/silver. I also author a blog at http://www.SilverChatter.com and write articles about silver at http://www.examiner.com/sterling-silver-in-national/jim-stringer ........... Thanks to nominations from questioners, I'm listed in the Top 50 Experts for 2014 and 2015.......... NOTE: Please do not give me a verbal description of a pattern and ask me to identify it. Attach a picture if you need such help..........

Experience

Buyer and seller of sterling pieces for over ten years. Author of the blog, www.SilverChatter.com. Sterling silver writer for www.Examiner.com.

Publications
Examiner.com; SilverChatter.com; "Selling_Your_Silver: A Guide to Finding a Buyer and Getting a Good Price (www.lulu.com/spotlight/georgiasilver)

Education/Credentials
BS, University of Alabama; MS, University of Maryland

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