Sterling Silerware

How To Tell If Flatware Is Sterling Silver

Sterling silverware tends to tarnish and requires maintenance such as polishing to keep up its beautiful appearance. Silver tarnishing is a tell-tell sign that your silverware is made up of sterling silver. Many people tire of this chore and seek to sell their silverware.

Buyers of precious metals like GoldFellow® purchase items made of Sterling Silver to melt and refine. Unlike retailers that may restore and resell silverware (and therefore place a premium on design, pattern, condition, and age), GoldFellow purchases solid sterling silverware in any condition strictly by weight and purity and by the day of purchase silver price.

GoldFellow® only purchases items made of sterling silver. Sterling silverware must be marked .925, Sterling Silver, Sterling, or Ster in the metal.  Silverware with these markings on the metal are made of sterling silver.1 If the flatware is not stamped with one of these markings directly in the metal, it may be silver-plated, which GoldFellow® does not purchase.

Items with this marking are NOT Sterling Silver

How To Identify Sterling Silverware That’s Antique

While most modern sterling silverware will have the identifying markings listed above; antique silverware may not be marked in that way. Instead, antique sterling silverware may have a “royal” type of marking like a crown design commonly referred to as a hallmark.2 If your silverware is antique and does not bear the typical identifying markings, it’s best to research and view photos of common silverware hallmarks to determine whether your items are sterling silver or silver plated.

How To Tell Flatware Is Sterling Silver With No Markings

In a few cases, modern silverware may not have the markings listed above, but it could still be made of sterling silver. If your silverware is not marked as Sterling Silver with either .925, Sterling Silver, Sterling, or Ster in the metal, it may still have a pattern or manufacturer’s name stamped on the bottom or back. Owners of that silverware may Google the silverware pattern and/or manufacturer to make certain the items are silver and not silver plated before shipping to GoldFellow®.

GoldFellow Buys Silver!

At GoldFellow, we buy silver. We let people mail in their sterling silver jewelry, coins, and silverware, in return for a quick cash payment. Contact us or call 1-877-696-5346 today to see how easy it is to get cash for silver!

Additional Reading


  1. Pamela Wiggins, The Spruce Crafts – An Introduction to Silver Markings and Terminology
  2. Roland Arkell, Antiques Trade Gazette – Hallmarks