How to Sell Scrap Silver for Maximum Profit

by Contributor ; Updated July 27, 2017
Silver coins may be worth more whole than as scrap.

Gold prices are up, but it is silver with the highest percentage gain for investors and others who buy and sell precious metal. This article will help you when you decide to sell scrap silver to get the most for the silver you sell.

Step 1

Find out the purity of your scrap silver. Most bullion rounds and bars are considered pure silver and are usually marked .999 or Fine. U.S. silver coins minted in 1964 or before are 90 percent silver. Selling them will bring less than spot value or spot price to cover the cost or refining the scrap to pure. Sterling silver is mixed with harder metals to guard against wear. It is 7.75 percent other metal and is often marked as .925 or sterling. Some vintage silverware is 90 percent silver and often called coin silver.

Step 2

Consider whether the spot price of silver by weight is more than the silver is worth on its own. One sterling silver set may be marginal as a collectors item and bring the best value as scrap. Another brand or pattern may be worth many times what silver content will bring. For example, a Georg Jensen piece may be $5 or $6 by weight, but worth several hundred dollars to an antiques dealer. The same is true for U.S. coins or silver jewelry. Make sure the silver item is not worth a premium over its silver content.

Step 3

Ask around and find a buyer with a good reputation. If silver is pure like bullion that is marked and known and in even ounces you should be able to get today's spot silver price from any good coin or metal dealer. Even pawn shops will buy at spot in most areas. If the item needs refining, shop for the best price. Most dealers buy coins and other silver items at a rate minus refining cost plus profit. To maximize profit, try to sell to the actual refiner. With coins and bullion, you may get retail if you know people buying as an investment against inflation.

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