Sterling dinnerware: Is there a place for sterling in "your stack?"

Discussion in 'Bullion Investing' started by myownprivy, Jan 8, 2020.

  1. myownprivy

    myownprivy Well-Known Member

    Do you accumulate silver with noncoins and bars? For instance, how many of you thrift sterling dinnerware: utensils, bowls, candle stick holders, napkin rings, etc?

    Do any of you actually USE any of these items in your home? Or, do you resell it or refine it yourself to 999?
    ripple likes this.
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  3. Randy Abercrombie

    Randy Abercrombie Supporter! Supporter

    Not me. Numismatic rounds are all that grabs my interest. I do have a decorative few bars mixed in that came to me as gifts one way or another.
    ripple and Inspector43 like this.
  4. Collecting Nut

    Collecting Nut Borderline Hoarder

    Does this answer your question?
    A sugar spoon
    A food pusher
    Hair curlers heated by a hurricane lamp
    Sugar cube tongs
    Ice cube tongs
    A baby teething ring
    Hat pins
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  5. myownprivy

    myownprivy Well-Known Member

    That stuff's great. Besides the sugar spoon, what could you possibly use? It's tempting to try to start using things on a daily basis at my home so I can be a fancy pants and eat from a silver spoon.
    ripple likes this.
  6. Collecting Nut

    Collecting Nut Borderline Hoarder

    We can use almost all of them. That is just a small assortment of what I actually have. We are into antiques.
  7. furryfrog02

    furryfrog02 Well-Known Member

    Only sterling I have is in the form of coins. When we go to thrift stores I always check the dishes to see if there is any but it is always plated crap.
    slackaction1 and ripple like this.
  8. -jeffB

    -jeffB Greshams LEO Supporter

    I wouldn't turn it down for free or a small fraction of melt value. But we're already overwhelmed by clutter, and the last thing I want is a new class of collection that doesn't store compactly. And I don't think I'd want the fuss and bother of maintaining sterlingware for daily use.
    ripple and Paul M. like this.
  9. Histman

    Histman Too Many Coins, Not Enough Time!

    I collect whatever I can find in Sterling out at the swamp meet or in thrift stores. I also get anything "weighted Sterling" and break it down for the silver itself. Eventually, I will sell it all in one lot and use the money for coins. :)
    ripple likes this.
  10. medoraman

    medoraman Supporter! Supporter

    I have been thinking for a few years of getting a nice 12 place sterling set. I have no idea why, just that I have always wanted one. Would I consider part of my silver pile, maybe, but I know that selling for melt you take a huge hit. My "problem" is I know the buyers pay WELL under when they buy, but all I have met seem to want hefty premiums when they sell. Great if you can get it, but I would prefer a narrower buy/sell spread. Knowing they buy so far under melt, I am holding out for a set I like around melt, but haven't found it yet. I am not in a rush.
    ripple likes this.
  11. myownprivy

    myownprivy Well-Known Member

    The problem I see is buying a new sterling dining set is radically overpriced relative to its melt value. But the other problem is finding a full set (or close enough to full that it is useable) at a thrift store or antique store is very difficult.
    ripple likes this.
  12. ripple

    ripple Active Member

    Plus 1, I recently got a necklace cheap and I don’t wear jewelry, except for cheap watches, so I sold it and bought an ASE.
    Mr. Flute likes this.
  13. TheFinn

    TheFinn Well-Known Member

    The only one I wouldn't keep are candlestick holders. They are just foil filled with clay and wax.
  14. yakpoo

    yakpoo Member

    I collect William Spratling silver, but I wouldn't melt it.
    ripple likes this.
  15. TexAg

    TexAg Well-Known Member

    My mom just sold a 12 piece Gorham Strasbourg place setting at a supposedly reputable high end jewelry store that buys gold and sterling silver. I was visiting her over Christmas in Houston. I called my local coin dealer ahead of the transaction who warned me she would not get a fair price probably around 80% of melt. My dealer would pay her 88% of melt sight unseen if we didn’t like the jeweler’s deal. It was like pulling teeth to get the jeweler to tell us how much under spot he was offering my Mom. Unfortunately, I didn’t have my jewelers scale with me, and he did not weigh them in front of us. Finally, he admitted he pays 82%, and sells to a local refiner. I told him my dealer back home would give us 88% of spot. He finally raised his offer to match that after telling me my dealer friend can’t be making any money. My Mom was insistent on selling the set to the jeweler. I was pissed at the man for acting like we were insulting him for asking questions. Like we were just supposed to trust him. At least I talked her out of selling him some 18K Venezuelan gold jewelry that had been in her family since she was a child. I say all this to tell you that the silverware was in good condition, and all my Mom got for 48 pieces was $737. However, if you buy a used 4 piece place setting online it can cost upwards of $180! Probably not a good investment in sterling silver unless you plan to actually use it. The problem with sterling silverware is that it is not in vogue with younger generations.
  16. medoraman

    medoraman Supporter! Supporter

    This post is exactly what I hear. That is why I am frozen by being cheap. Given what I hear people get when they sell, it's hard for me to stomach 10-20% or more over melt of what dealers want. Since these usually are pretty highly discounted versus spot, I would think offering spot for a set would be attractive, but no one wants to sell for that.

    Oh well, I have wanted one for a couple of decades now, one day the right deal will come along.
  17. TexAg

    TexAg Well-Known Member

    Best you could hope for is what happened to my Mom’s friend. Her friend went with another friend who wanted to sell a multi place setting of silverware to a jeweler. The jeweler’s offer was low ball, and the friend offered her the same amount and bought it on the spot. Probably made the jeweler mad, but Mom’s friend got the silverware for a great price. Keep your ears open for family or friends who are selling their silverware either because they don’t use it or need the money or both. Then make them a reasonable offer that is a win-win for both parties.
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2020
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