ASCAS Association of Small Collectors of Antique Silver
article # 181
by Lauren Chung
(click on photos to enlarge image)


Collecting antiques and old objects can be a thrilling experience, as these objects take you to the ancient times. You can visualize and re-live the history of a particular era just by looking at the collectible item. However, you need to be careful while investing in antique silver collection, so that you do not end up buying a fake item or pay more than its worth. Before buying any collectible, it is advisable to go for professional appraisal. Correct identification and appraisal of an object help in insuring the object against loss or damage. Besides, it gives information about the historical significance of the object, how to care for your possession and how to preserve it.

While buying antique silver collectible, look for some label, hallmark, signature or some other identification mark that can tie it to certain time period or historical person. Once the piece is correctly identified, it becomes easy to value it. The valuation of an antique piece depends on its rarity and its present condition. You can buy a collectible, whether it is a toy, jewelry or a coin, once you are totally convinced about its authenticity and price.

silverplate spoon holder and cruet set

Some silver collectors are under the impression that heavier the object, more valuable it is. But, this is not true. Sometimes objects made from silver plate are heavier, but silver plate is electroplated nickel silver. It is cheaper than original silver. However, it is not always true that silver collection made from mixed metal are worthless. If they have historical significance and can be tied to specific era, they can be pretty precious.

You can look for some engraving while buying silver collectibles. Engraving represents date of manufacture or some memorable occasion. This helps in deciding the age of an artifact. If you see any tempering with the original engraving, you should be suspicious about the authenticity and age of an object.

The shape and style of antique silver collectible also reveal about the time period of its making. The style of the decoration, inscriptions, hallmarks etc are helpful in finding out the maker and time of making the object. All these factors help in valuation of a collectible object.

Aghlabid Dirham (silver), minted in Kairouan in 189 AH, with the names of the Abbasid caliph al-Ma'mun and the first Aghlabid emir Ibrahim I (Ibrahim ibn al-Aghlab

Generally, authentic and premium pieces from 17th or 18th century fetch good price. Try to locate a family, who owns authentic pieces that remained in the same family for generations and were passed to the next generation from previous generation.

While buying a collectible item check for its authenticity, rarity, condition, whether it has been repaired earlier. Make sure that it is not a stolen property. If you have any doubts, you can take advice of a professional appraiser. Once the object is acquired, take necessary steps to preserve its beauty by cleaning and caring it regularly.


Lauren Chung
- 2014 -
About the Author: Lauren Chung has a hobby of collecting antiques, old objects, pottery, wall art and collectibles made from silver such as tea sets, dinner sets, candle stands and jewelry. Her silver collection includes mysterious looking silver jewelry pieces and trinkets, silver coins, medals and exotic looking silver artifacts. She encourages using coupons of stores such as Amazon, Target or eBay coupon code for savings.