How to sell your silver jewelry and silver coins

If you’re looking to cash in on your silverware, silver jewelry or silver coins, there are a number of options for selling from silver selling parties to your local pawnshop.

Even though silver prices are well off their recent highs near $50 an ounce, silver’s still up more than 15 percent since the start of the year. Currently, the white metal’s worth $35 an ounce. If you’re looking to cash in on your silverware, silver jewelry or silver coins, there are a number of options for selling:

1) Pawnshops, coin shops or jewelry shops. The easiest and fastest way to sell you silver is to stop by a pawnshop, coin shop or jewelry shop. Keep in mind that you won’t get the so-called “spot price” for your precious metals for several reasons: 1) Gold and silver shops have to make a profit re-selling the scrap they buy from you; 2) It costs money to melt down scrap gold and silver before re-selling it; 3) Spot prices are quoted for “pure” or “fine” precious metals, and most jewelry, silverware and scrap isn’t pure.

If you have the time and energy, it can definitely pay to shop around. Don’t be afraid to ask a prospective buyer what the weight and “purity rating” is for your scrap silver. You can then take that information and call several other shops in your area to see if they’ll out-bid your first offer.

2) Coin shops. Coin shops typically buy scrap gold and silver in addition to coins. Keep in mind, though, that some silver coins are collectible, and that means they might be worth more than their weight in gold or silver. This is particularly true of Silver American Eagles, which are issued by the U.S. Mint and have a slight mark-up over the spot price of silver since they’re easily recognizable as real silver. “Proofs” or circulated silver coins have even more of a mark-up over circulated coins. In general, if you have gold or silver coins to sell, it’s best to try to sell them to a coin dealer rather than a pawnshop or jewelry shop as they have built-in channels to re-sell your silver coins.

3) eBay/online sales. eBay has a thriving marketplace for silver coins and – in some cases – scrap silver. Keep in mind, though, you’ll need to have a strong seller rating so that prospective buyers feel comfortable sending you cash. If you’re just starting out on eBay, don’t expect to get many bids on your silver until you’ve sold several items and received positive feedback from past buyers.

In general, you’ll get much better rates selling silver coins via eBay than you will taking them to a local coin, jewelry or pawn shop (right now, for instance, spot silver is quoted at $35 an ounce, while Silver American Eagles are selling for $45 each on eBay). That said, you’ll have to factor in the time it takes to photograph, list and ship your silver products. Pay special attention to eBay’s seller fees, too, and protect yourself by shipping your silver via insured and certified mail (two additional expenses that will also eat into your profits).

You can also consider selling your silver via an online or paper-based classifieds service (think Craigslist.org). It might take you longer to find a buyer, but you won’t have to pay fees and – if you have the luxury of time – you can wait until you find a buyer who’s willing to pay the price you want.

4) Host a silver party. A small company out of Massachusetts called Party of Gold, has basically put gold- and silver-buying parties on the map. Host a party at your house, and sell your own silver to the Party of Gold representative and help your friends do the same. Not only will you make money on the silver you sell, you’ll get 5 percent of the value of the silver your friends sell, too (and 10 percent of all the gold that sells). It’s a great way to make some pocket money and have fun with your friends.

Ultimately, the route you decide to go when selling your silver will come down to how much time you have to put into it. Keep in mind, though, silver prices aren’t set in stone. The value of any asset, after all, is what someone is willing to pay for it. With a little work, you can find the right buyer, and pad your pockets in the process.

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