Whether you need some extra cash or simply want to clean out the clutter and get rid of some old jewellery or silverware, selling silver can feel intimidating at first. Should you take it to a pawnbroker, a bullion buyer, or a jeweller? That can be a tough call to make if you’re not entirely confident about what you have.
If you want to get the best possible price, these tips can help you find out where to sell silver near you.
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#1 Is It Really Silver?
There is a quick and easy way to tell if your belongings are really silver. Most silver should have a hallmark, i.e., a stamp or marking indicating its silver purity. Typically, it will be stamped 925, 900, or 800, representing parts-per-thousand (or 92.5%, 90%, and 80% respectively).
If not, you can also use the magnet test. Silver and other precious metals are non-magnetic, so magnets should not be drawn to silver. Once you know it’s real, you can start taking further steps to get the best possible price.
#2 Separate the Good Stuff from the Junk
You don’t have to be an expert when it comes to silver, but it helps to put some minimal research into your silver belongings before you take them to be evaluated. Check to see if any of your old jewellery is made by a highly-desirable brand that might be collectible or if the age of other valuables makes them count as valuable antiques.
An evaluation will give you a better idea of their real value, but it helps to keep them separate, as some less reputable buyers may make an offer for everything, discounting the more valuable items.
What counts as junk? You can probably assume any broken jewellery will be melted down and recycled. Most silverware sets will likely meet the same fate, though if you have good reason to believe it might be antique or collectible, it’s worth checking.
When it comes to coins, the term “junk silver” refers to any old circulation coins made at a time when real silver was used for them. You can still get a reasonable price for them, but it’s important to distinguish them from investment-grade bullion coins or bars, which will sell for much more.
#3 Find the Appropriate Buyer
Once you have a better idea of what you have, you can start matching silver valuables to the right type of buyer. Here are some basics:
- Bullion buyers are generally your top option for every type of silver, including coins, jewellery, and miscellaneous valuables like silverware and tea sets. They’re even better if they also handle collectibles and get a better price for objects that could be resold rather than melted down.
- Jewellers will be a good option for jewellery that’s still in condition to be worn, especially higher-end brand names.
- Coin shops can also provide good prices for collectible coins.
- The prices you can get at a pawnshop vary widely. According to one investigation, prices offered for one gold watch varied by as much as 200% between 5 different shops, so they can be an unpredictable option.
In Toronto, you have plenty of options for all of the above. Do your research, check reviews, and you should be able to find a trustworthy option that will be interested in your unwanted silver.