Collecting & Investing in Silver
Buying silver should always be a pleasure and selling should be as profitable as possible.
• Condition is one of the most important factors to consider when buying or investing in silver. If you choose the finest quality you cannot go far wrong. Condition is everything and people will always be prepared to pay for the best.
• Carry a hallmark book with you. Bradbury’s Book of Hallmarks is excellent and small enough to slip in your pocket or handbag
• Buy from a reputable silver dealer, often the family-run jewellery shop in many towns. Buying from silver dealers belonging to LAPADA (London & Provincial Antiques Dealers Association) or BADA (British Antique Dealers Association) will afford you extra protection and confidence.
• A reputable silver dealer will always draw your attention to any restoration and this should be reflected in the price.
• Ensure you get a receipt and detailed description, mentioning any defects.
• Good silverware can be found at auction houses but you will not get the same consumer protection compared to buying from a silver retailer backed by BADA or LAPADA. When buying from an auction house caveat emptor (buyer beware) applies, placing the onus on you to recognise repairs and defects.
• If buying silver pieces at auction be aware that you will be charged a commission of 10% to 25% plus VAT.
• Retailers are obliged by law to show all prices including VAT where applicable, unless there is a clear sign stating VAT will be added later.
• Keep your insurance valuations somewhere safe, preferably with a bank.
• Photograph or video your silverware in situ, including close-ups of hallmarks and keep these with your valuations.
If you would like to find out more about silver and its history, Joel Langford’s book, Silver - A Practical Guide to Collecting Silverware and Identifying Hallmarks, is a very practical guide that provides uncomplicated answers on all aspects of buying and collecting silver.
Contact us for more details and we will be happy to give you advice.