When pawning silver, the price you will get from pawnbrokerswill depend on your silver, its condition and the current spot prices. Like all precious metal dealers, the offer that you will get for your silver will depend on what is happening on the silver open market and other factors including the purity and weight of your silver.
The purity of silver is not measured in karats like gold but it is measured in what is known as “millesimal fineness”. Silver is traded 24/7 so its price fluctuates a great deal. Pawnbrokers are in the business of making money and so profit is important to them, so it could be quite a stretch to expect a pawnbroker to buy your silver at a price that is very close to spot. So, how exactly do they get to the prices they offer on silver.
Determining millesimal fineness
Knowing your silver finesses can help you get a general idea of what your silver pieces should be worth. Fineness is inscribed either on the sides or inside. Silver bullion’s fineness is usually inscribed on the bullion itself and it will be indicated on the bullion itself and on the certificate of authenticity that usually comes with bullion.
Silver Fineness / Hallmarks and what they mean
Silver commonly comes with inscriptions like 800, 958 and 999. These numbers represent the purity of the silver. 800 mean the item contains 80% silver, 958 means that the item has 92.5% fineness whilst 999 denote 99.9% purity. 999 is the purest form of silver and it is usually used in making gold bullion. Other purities that is lower than 99.9 often contain other metal alloys. Copper is often used as an alloy to harden this precious metal because, in it’s purest for, it is very malleable and copper itself does not discolor silver. Most people are familiar with sterling silver. It is made of a 7.5% copper and 92.5%. Silver alloy.
Weigh your silver
Before a Pawnbroker can give you a price for your silver item, he will weigh them. You can determine the weight yourself at home with your kitchen scale. Bullion is easy because it’s weight will be stated on the surface or in the Certificate of authenticity. Jewellery and that family silverware you’ve inherited from grandma definitely needs to be weighed. If you have stones or other non-silver embellishments estimate how these contribute to the overall weight of your pieces.
Pawnbrokers will buy all kinds of things however the amount of money they offer will be less than what the items are really worth. So, Once you’ve managed to calculate how much your silver items might be worth, expect a pawn broker to offer you a fraction of that value. As mentioned before, pawnshops are in the business of making money. They need to turn a profit if they are to stay in business. However, if you are not happy with one quote, you can always take your silver items to other pawnshops until you get a better offer.