Scrap Silver

What is Scrap Silver?

Scrap silver could be your road to riches, or at least a few extra dollars in your pocket than you have now. There are many people that earn extra cash from hunting out scrap silver and then selling it on to dealers, and the beauty is that most people have such silver in their possession without giving it a second thought.

Basically, scrap silver is anything made of silver that no longer has worth for its intended purpose. Its usually thought that scrap silver is made up of old, unwanted jewelry, and certainly this is in part true. Cufflinks, bracelets, rings, earrings, necklaces and other items that are no longer used, or are broken, and that contain silver can all be scrapped for their silver content. If you’re scrapping jewelry, don’t forget to remove the stones, as the silver dealer won’t pay you for them, he’s only interested in the silver content.

Sterling silverware – tea sets, spoons, cutlery, plates, old trophies – may be unwanted or unused. That old silver serving plate may have been sat in the bottom of a cupboard for years. Why not scrap it and make some money?

Clips, pins, and some wire have silver content. Don’t throw such items in the waste bin, throw them in a scrap silver bin, instead. It will take a fair amount of such items to make collecting them worthwhile, but once you do you’ll be surprised where they can be found.

And there are lots of other items that can be gathered together and sold as scrap silver. What about that old watch that doesn’t work anymore? And that picture frame that Aunt Mary bought for your wedding, and you’ve never used? Tankards and cups, old coins, pens, cigarette lighters…the list is almost endless!

How do you know its silver?

Though much silver is hallmarked, many hallmarks are bogus. The only way that a metal can be tested is with a silver testing kit.  A silver testing will test for grade of silver: the lower the silver grade, the lower the value of silver. For those that scrap a lot of silver, the purchase of a test kit will be a worthwhile investment. You can use the silvers grade in carats to determine the total percentage of silver by weight.

Click here to browse silver testing kits.

Now you’ve collected all that scrap silver, what do you do with it?

Well, sell it!

You can sell scrap silver to High Street brokers, or online. With silver prices where they are, and the economy how it is right now, there are plenty of dealers willing to buy scrap silver to melt down and resell. If you sell online, make sure that you use a recorded and insured mail service to deliver your goods to the buyer.

The price you receive will depend upon the ‘cash price’ of gold. Then the dealer will discount this price, usually by 5% to 10% to allow for wastage in the melting down process and a margin for his troubles. Silver is measured in troy ounces (there’s 12 troy ounces to a pound), and this is equivalent to approximately 31.1 grams.

Jewelry can be sold at auctions, or in High Street dealers, or through internet auctions like eBay. Silver content of jewelry can be determined with our carat conversion chart. The jewelry can then be weighted in terms of troy ounces and priced with the carat.

Example: A 0.5 ounce piece of 18 carat silver is worth 0.5 * (current price of $20) * 0.75 = $7.5 in raw silver. Jewelry may be worth more than it’s raw price of silver but now you have an idea of the value.

Carat conversion:
58.33% – 62.50% = 14k (acclaimed 58.33%)
75.00% – 79.16% = 18k (acclaimed 75.00%)
91.66% – 95.83% = 22k (acclaimed 91.66%)
95.83% – 99.95% = 23k (acclaimed 95.83%)
99.95 and above = 24k (acclaimed 99.99%)

Be careful what you scrap!

Whilst there is plenty of money to be made from scrapping silver the road to riches has many pitfalls.

If you are scrapping jewelry, for example, it’s wise to ask a jeweler the value of the piece, or perhaps conduct an internet search. However you do your research, make sure its thorough, as there are many stories of people scrapping jewelry not realizing that the piece is worth far more intact than as scrap silver value.

In fact, this is a good maxim to follow for any potential scrap silver items. Ensure that they have no value as the item itself, and you won’t end up kicking yourself later!


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