How to Find the Price of Silver

By Sam Feeder , last updated September 9, 2011

If you're trying to find the price of silver to see how much some of your silver jewelry or valuables are worth, there are ways you can do this to get a relatively accurate idea of what you could sell the silver for. Like the price of other precious metals or minerals, there are different levels of purity of silver in each item, which are often denoted in small stamps on the item itself when it was made to denote its silver contents for times just like this. There is also an ever-fluctuating price of silver on economic markets that will affect the value of your silver item. Check out more specific instructions listed below on how to accurately find the price of silver.

Determine How Much Silver Is in the Item

The most valuable type of silver, other than blocks of pure silver, is sterling silver, which is why so many silver items are called sterling silver and claim to be sterling silver. However, for something to be sterling silver it technically must be 92.5% silver and will usually be clearly marked with a stamp in small numbers somewhere on the silver piece with something like "Sterling," "Ster," or ".925" which reveals its authenticity. There are other marks that can denote this as well from around the world, but these are the most common ones. If the item is not sterling silver then it will be marked differently with numbers like .900 or .835, meaning it is 90 percent or 83.5 percent silver respectively.

What if There Are No Marks?

No marks is a bad sign as it could mean your "silver" item was "electroplated," which means that it's faux silver and doesn't really have any silver in it. This might require you to take a trip to a silver expert to be sure, though.

Weigh Your Item

Once you have determined the percentage of purity for the silver item, you will want to weigh the item as a whole, as you will need this number for the basic equation for how to determine the value of the silver itself. Make sure you get a good weight on the item after it has been cleaned and dried and nothing else is touching the scale the silver item will be sitting upon.

Find the Market Value

Next you will need to find the current market value for silver. As silver is a commodity like other precious metals and minerals, this price changes regularly. As the economy has been particularly bad around the world in the last few years, the price of silver will probably be relatively high, or at least higher than it was when you bought the silver item. Look up this price and write it down with all the other info on your silver item.

Add Everything with a Calculator

There are a number of different websites online where you can enter the percentage of purity in your silver, the weight of the silver item and the market value of the silver into a calculator which will spit out an approximate value for your silver item. You can also take it to a silver expert who will talk to you more in depth about the silver piece and its value. But this will take more time and effort.

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