July 26, 2022

Over the years, everyone collects jewellery, trinkets, and collectibles that they may stop wearing or caring for. They show up in our lives as gifts, impulse buys, heirlooms, and more. When the time comes that you realize you haven’t worn that necklace in years or there’s a dent in that ring, selling your silver jewellery is an excellent way to turn old, unwanted belongings into some extra income.

Silver can be a very valuable metal. Alongside gold, it’s one of the precious metals commonly used as an investment vehicle. It’s also a metal in high demand in a number of industries, from medicine to electronics and more.

There is a robust market for selling silver jewellery, even if it’s old or broken. The metal can be melted down, recycled, and reused as coins, bars, jewellery, or in one of many industrial applications. Jewellery in good condition from the right brand name can also be resold as-is, and going that route can fetch a better price.

As professional buyers of gold and silver coins, bullion, and jewellery, we offer the best prices on precious metals in Toronto. This guide will help you learn more about what you can expect when you bring your silver into Muzeum and how you can make sure you get the best possible price when you sell.

How to Tell If It Really Is Silver

Silver can be a bit of a chameleon. People are often disappointed when they realize something they thought was valuable was not made out of silver after all or that an object they thought was pure silver was only silver plated. There are several ways to tell if a piece of jewellery really is silver.

#1 Check the Hallmark

Like gold, silver is a soft, malleable metal. In its purest forms, silver is easily damaged, and it has to be alloyed with other metals like nickel, copper, or zinc to give it durability. Most silver should have a hallmark, a stamp or marking that indicates the purity of the metal used in the piece.

There are three standard silver markings: .500 (50% pure), .800 (80% pure), and Sterling, which is .925 (92.5% pure). You may also encounter other alloys and markings, such as Britannia silver, often marked 950 and is 95% pure. Fine silver means that the purity is 99.9%, but this is too soft to be used in jewellery.

#2 The Magnet Test

Silver is a non-magnetic metal. If you hold a piece of jewellery up to a strong magnet and the piece is instantly drawn to it, it is likely not silver. You’re looking for no reaction. However, even if there is no reaction, it still is not guaranteed, and you should bring it in for evaluation.

#3 Bring Your Silver in for Evaluation

At Muzeum, we do free in-person jewellery evaluations, as well as evaluations for coins, paper money, and other precious metal items. With an evaluation, we’ll confirm the silver content of your jewellery. At-home ways of determining silver content are not 100% accurate. We use XRF machine technology to determine the purity of precious metals with complete certainty. X-ray fluorescence (XRF) is a non-destructive technique used to determine the composition of any material.

In addition to confirming the weight and purity of your jewellery, we will also check the design and brand of any jewellery you bring. If we believe there’s a market for the piece to be resold as it is, we will pay top price for collectibles.

Two silver rings on a necklace

Weights and the Purity of Your Silver

Knowing the silver content of your jewellery will help you anticipate the price you can get for it. The higher the silver content per gram, the better price you’ll get.

When you’re looking for places to sell your jewellery, find a buyer that advertises their rates for silver jewellery and coins. You can find all of Muzeum’s rates for silver, including the price per gram of .925 Sterling silver, .800 and .500 silver. Prices change daily based on markets.

How to Prepare Your Jewellery for Sale

Preparing your jewellery before you sell it can help you get a better price and avoid tactics some buyers may use to drive down the prices they offer. If you set yourself up for success, you’re more likely to get a better price.

#1 Organize Jewellery by Silver Content

You want to make sure that you get paid for every piece based on its own weight and its purity. Some buyers may attempt to weigh all of the pieces together and pay based on the piece with the lowest silver content. Sterling silver should earn a better price than .500 or .800 silver, so you want separate offers on pieces of different purity.

If you’re selling more than just jewellery, it will also help if you organize by category, i.e., jewellery, flatware, bullion, and coins.

#2 Weigh Your Silver

If you have a scale handy, you can even find out how much you have by weight. If you don’t have a scale, don’t worry too much. A good buyer will be transparent with you when they evaluate your jewellery.

#3 Look Up the Price of Silver

Before you go to a buyer, see if they make their rates public. If not, you can also look up the spot price of silver for the day. This is not the price a buyer will offer you, as they expect to make a profit, and they may still have to cover the costs of melting down and recycling the silver. However, it can give you a guideline for when you do start getting offers.

#4 Get Multiple Offers

You don’t have to accept the first offer you get from a potential silver buyer. If you’re not certain about the price you’re quoted, take it to another buyer and compare offers.

How Important Is the Condition of Your Jewellery?

This depends on what kind of piece you’re selling. If the piece was made by a luxury-brand designer or it could be considered an antique, condition may be a factor in the final price. However, most jewellery will simply be melted down and recycled. The price you get is based on its intrinsic value, i.e., the value of the silver. In this case, old or broken jewellery will not necessarily sell for less.

Although many people feel like they should clean or polish their silver so that it looks radiant and new to the buyer, it is not usually recommended that you polish or clean your silver before selling it. Polish can even have the effect of reducing the value.

However, you may want to clean and care for jewellery for personal use. These tips for cleaning your old jewellery will help you do it right and avoid impacting its value:

  • Don’t mix chemicals with jewellery. Cleaning chemicals can react to the metal and change the colour of precious metals, and damage necklaces, bracelets, and rings. Cleaning products often contain ammonia, which can damage jewellery.
  • When it comes to storage and maintenance, exposure to sunlight will tarnish silver, so it’s best to find somewhere away from the sunlight to keep silver items.
  • The best way to clean jewellery is with an unbleached white cotton cloth, soap, and water. Wipe the jewellery gently and lay it on a towel where it can dry naturally.
Two diamond and silver rings

Is Now the Right Time to Sell Silver Jewellery?

Finding the right time to sell your jewellery can feel like a monumental task. You want to get the best price possible. Does that mean you should sell it today or wait and see what prices are like tomorrow? Watching the price of silver is not likely going to result in getting the best price for your jewellery.

Gold and silver prices are not easy to predict. Investors spend their careers trying to predict asset prices. There is no certainty about where prices will go.

The best time to sell your silver jewellery is when you want or need the money. Putting those funds toward something productive like paying off debt or spending it on something you actually want is a much better use of money than keeping it stored in old jewellery.

That said, there are market forces that tend to impact silver prices in certain ways. If you have the patience to wait for favourable silver prices, these may be worth paying attention to.

Gold Prices

Silver prices tend to move hand-in-hand with gold, which itself moves largely based on investor demand. Silver prices are slightly more volatile than gold, rising and falling faster than the more established metal, but they tend to move in the same direction.

Industrial Demand

Silver is used in a number of industrial applications, not just jewellery. It’s used in smartphones, flat screen T.V.s, solar panels, automobiles, medicine, and more. This means silver can have a complicated relationship with recessions. Industrial demand rises during economic growth, but investor demand may increase during times of crisis.

Political & Economic Situations

Investors tend to be drawn to silver as a safe haven. The global political climate can have a real impact on precious metal prices. Global conflict can even tighten supply, causing shortages and a subsequent climb in price.

Sell Your Silver Jewellery with Us

If you have silver jewellery that you no longer wear or want, bring it to Muzeum for the best possible price. We will provide a free in-person evaluation of your jewellery and give you a fair offer for each piece.

In addition to in-person sales, you can also sell us your jewellery by mail if you don’t live in the GTA. If you send us a description of your jewellery, we can provide a quote and insured packaging, and we pay once we’ve received and confirmed the delivery.

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