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Examples of Items in Your Home That May Contain Sterling Silver

Sterling silver, valued for both its durability and beauty, can be found everywhere from fine holloware and jewelry to coins and instruments. Considering silver’s market value, even small amounts can be worth collecting and bringing into a reputable dealer for evaluation.

At Jack Hunt, we evaluate and purchase pieces that are primarily made of silver. Here are some items in your home that may contain silver.


Jewelry pieces, especially those that are vintage or created in small batches, are often made using sterling silver. Silver is a popular metal choice for jewelry in part due to its durability for everyday wear and relative affordability when compared with gold and platinum. Silver is also hypoallergenic, which makes it a practical choice for those with sensitive skin or allergies that can’t wear jewelry from other metal choices. When considering jewelry for to bring in for evaluation, you can include:

  • Rings, bracelets, charms, necklaces, earrings, and brooches.
  • Men’s cufflinks and tie clips
  • Watches, including pocket watches and vintage pieces.
  • Jewelry that’s broken or tarnished, as the silver has value even if the piece can’t be repaired or worn.

Holloware & Kitchen Items

silver forks and spoons with antique patterns

Sterling silver is a traditional material for holloware and kitchen items due to its strength, durability and design appeal. Using silver in these settings has historically been associated with tradition and status, leading these pieces to often become heirlooms passed down through generations. It’s also a practical material, as silver has antimicrobial properties that help to prevent the growth of bacteria and other potentially dangerous effects of food contact. Example of kitchen items that may include silver include:

  • Holloware sets, which may include bowls, jugs and soup vessels, in addition to flatware such as serving utensils, forks, spoons and knives.
  • Tea and coffee accessories including teapots, coffee pots, creamer containers and sugar bowls. It’s common for these to come in matching sets.
  • Serving decorations such as trays, pitchers and candelabras.

Musical Instruments

close up of silver flute

In addition to the aesthetic appeal of sterling silver instruments, the acoustic properties of silver help to ensure that instruments generate a consistent and clear sound. Silver’s properties encourage sound projection and an overall quality of music. Instruments that are often made using significant amount of silver tend to be in the wind and brass category, including:

  • Flutes
  • Piccolos
  • Trumpets
  • French horns

Home Decor, Awards and Collectibles

Home decor, awards and collectibles are more likely to include silver than gold due to silver’s visual appeal at a more affordable cost. These may include:

  • Photo frames
  • Vases and decorative bowls
  • Antique hand mirrors
  • Hair brushes and combs
  • Collectible models and miniatures
  • Awards from competitions


Silver American dollar from 1794

Sterling silver has been used in currency for hundreds of years. It wasn’t until the late 20th century that many countries shifted away from using the material due to the increasing cost. As a result, most recent coins that contain sterling silver are from special commemorative issues rather than standard coins you’d find at your local bank.

Identifying Sterling Silver

Sterling silver is composed of 92.5% silver and 7.5% other metals, as silver on its own is too soft for many uses. Additional strength is often added in the form of copper, among other metals.

Genuine sterling silver will often have a type of hallmark or stamp. Those marks may include:

  • Sterling
  • 925
  • 92.5
  • A lion passant symbol (for British silver)

Similar to gold, silver isn’t magnetic and neither is the copper that’s often used to strengthen the sterling silver. As a result, a simple magnet test is an easy way to test items you’re unsure about. If the item is magnetic, it’s not made of real silver or gold.

When in doubt, you can contact our team to ask questions or schedule an expert, no obligation evaluation.

We offer expert, no obligation evaluations:

Gold, Silver & Platinum

Coins & Currency


Holloware & Flatware

Sports Collectibles