Oakton Coins & Collectibles buys any type of sterling silver.

Not a week goes by without someone with some sterling telling us that their kids don’t want it. It’s just not fashionable anymore, but it still has value. We are very strong buyers of actual silver flatware, although most of it gets melted down for industrial use. Only sterling silver flatware with desirable name brands (Georg Jensen, Tiffany) has much value over the precious metal content.

Sterling silver flatware is made of an alloy containing 92.5% pure silver and 7.5% copper. The copper gives it strength, since pure silver is too soft. To be marked “sterling,” it must have a minimum of 92.5% pure silver (although some older pieces use lower amounts of pure silver: .800 – 80% and .500 – 50%). Silver requires a good deal of care, as it tarnishes and must be hand polished often.

Sterling silver (or otherwise) must be refined to .999 pure silver. Only then it can be used for applications like medicine, electronics, brazing alloys, chemical equipment, catalysis, and photography. As we see it, you have a few options for silverplate: use it, hand it down, or sell it. Even though silver is not the most expensive of the precious metals, full sets usually add up to quite a bit of money.