Frequently asked Questions

Do you buy silver?

Yes we do. We are always in the market for good estate and antique silver. We do need to examine things first hand before we can make an offer.


What condition are your pieces in?

All of the pieces offered on our site are in excellent condition. They have been gently used and well cared for. If there are any issues with condition, however minor, they will be noted in the description. Our estate Birks flatware is refurbished where necessary and is difficult to distinguish from new.


How do you ship your products?

Depending on size, value and destination we will use a courier service or insured airmail. We are experts at packing antique silverware and we will see to it that your purchase arrives in good order.


Do you have a lay away plan?

Yes we do. We would be happy to work out a payment plan for your purchase that is suitable for both parties, please inquire for details.


What is the best way to clean silver?

Please see our silver cleaning tips page for details.


How should I store my silver?

For long term storage you should make sure your silver is clean and dry. Then pack it in clean tissue or cloth and put it inside a sealed plastic bag.


What is sterling silver?

Sterling silver is a metal alloy which contains at least 92.5% silver (925 parts per thousand). The rest of the alloy is usually copper. It is the standard alloy for silverware used in the United Kingdom, North America and many other countries. The word ‘sterling’ has become synonymous with solid silver in the English-speaking world, however it is not the only standard. There are a number of other standards used, particularly in Europe where alloys typically range from 750 to 950 parts per thousand. Pure silver is very soft. By combining it with small amounts of other metals in an alloy it is possible to create a harder, more durable metal without losing any of the beauty or malleability.


What is silver plate?

Silver plate is a base metal such as copper or nickel that is coated with a thin layer of pure silver using electrolytic deposition.


How can I tell the difference between sterling and plate?

Virtually all sterling silver, and other solid silver alloys are stamped with markings that indicate the fineness of the alloy. Pieces made in North America (after about 1860) should be stamped with the word ”sterling”, pieces made in Europe are often marked with a series of symbols, known as hallmarks, that indicate the fineness of their alloy and pieces from other parts of the world are often stamped with numbers such as 900 or 925 indicating the fineness. If there are no marks indicating solid silver it can be very difficult to tell. Weight is not a good indicator. Consult an expert if you are unsure.


What is a troy ounce?

The troy ounce is the traditional unit of measure used to gauge the weight of precious metals. It is equivalent to 31.1g and is approximately 10% heavier than a “regular” or avoirdupois ounce.