For those of you that have any silver jewelry, watches, or authentic silver items lying around, you'll be happy to know that pawning them at your local pawn shop could earn you some quick cash. Luckily, silver is always in demand. How much a pawn shop will give you for your silver items is based on many factors. Let's take a closer look at what affects the price of silver as well as how to get the most out of your silver when pawning it at your local pawn shop.
How a pawnshop prices your silver
The open market
Just like jewelry shops and boutiques, a pawn shop will price your silver items based on the current market price for silver and then factor in things like its purity and weight. The market value of silver fluctuates regularly and is affected by the economy, current events, and supply and demand. To get an idea of the market value of silver various websites tracks the prices of several precious metals. These are great to use if you are wanting to find the current value of your pieces of silver.
Purity and weight
The millesimal fineness system is used to signify the purity of the silver. This is referred to as the fineness or purity of the silver. The purity is always expressed as a percentage.
A higher percentage of pure silver indicates a greater weight, which means the more you can expect for your silver. A pawnbroker will always try to earn a profit on buying or selling any silver items. The pawnshop will base the price of the silver on the factors mentioned above, while still trying to make a profit.
How to determine the purity of the silver
One of the easiest ways to determine the purity of silver is to look for markings. These markings are called Hallmarks and may be printed very small and often a magnifying glass is needed to identify them. The markings signify the percentage of silver in the item.
The higher the number, the higher percentage of silver. An item with a marking that states "Sterling .955 indicates that the item is made up of 95.5% silver.
Anything that is less than .999 is generally a mixture of copper and silver, called an alloy. Alloy is most commonly referred to as Sterling Silver.
Determining the weight of silver
The weight is easy to determine. You will need a scale that weighs to a tenth of a gram. The weight of stones or embellishments in silver jewelry needs to be subtracted from the overall weight of the jewelry to determine the true weight of only the silver.
Determining the value
A pawnshop owner will take into consideration the fineness, weight, and market value to price out your silver. Here's how to calculate the value:
- Multiply the weight of jewelry by the percentage of silver that the jewelry indicates. This will indicate the number of grams of actual silver to work with.
- Multiply the grams of silver by the current price of silver in grams. Remember, when taking your silver items into a pawn shop, you can expect to get less than what you
have calculated the value at, as the pawnshop will still need to make a profit.
How to get the most out of silver at a pawnshop
- Go with as many pieces as possible – be sure to bring along all certifications of purity and original packaging. This will help you negotiate the best deal.
- Do some research – Get to know the basics of how precious metals such as silver are weighed and appraised.
- Clean your jewelry – Make sure your jewelry has been cleaned properly. Avoid using harsh cleaning materials. A clean piece of silver will likely bring in more cash.
- Be realistic – Once you have an idea of the value of your item, have a realistic expectation of what a pawn shop will offer you.
- Be prepared to negotiate – Pawnshops are notorious for being open to negotiating, provided your negotiations are realistic. The more knowledgeable you are about your item, the better you can