Silverware is a general term used to describe a wide range of household items including cutlery, tea service, candlesticks, platters and serving bowls made of Sterling Silver or silver plate. The term has also been extended to cover stainless steel flatware though these items are not actually considered silverware as they contain no silver.
Silverware tends to tarnish and requires maintenance like polishing to keep up its beautiful appearance. 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 which may restore and resell silverware (and therefore place a premium on design, pattern, condition and age) GoldFellow purchases 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. Silverware must be marked .925, Sterling Silver, Sterling or Ster in the metal. If the item is not stamped with one of these markings directly in the metal, it may be silver plated which GoldFellow® does not purchase.
Antique silverware on the other hand may not be marked as above but may instead have a “royal” type of marking like a “crown” commonly referred to as a hallmark. To research and view photos of common silverware hallmarks to assist in determining if an item is Sterling Silver or silver plated, GoldFellow® suggests perusing the following website:
With regards to modern silverware, if the item is not marked as Sterling Silver specifically as shown above, but has a pattern or manufacturer’s name stamped on the bottom or back, consumers may Google the silverware pattern and/or manufacturer to make certain the items are silver and not silver plated before shipping to GoldFellow®.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Silver_%28household%29 – Silver (household)
http://www.modernsilver.com/basichallmarks.htm – Basic Hallmark Identification