Can I melt silver at home?
You should avoid melting any silver that you do not need to melt.
We do not recommend that you attempt to melt silver household or industrial objects at your home. Silver can be dangerous to melt. There is a likelihood that silverwork with soldered components such as the handle on a teapot contains hazardous cadmium. Without knowing the composition of a piece, another element you could expose yourself to is lead, which is also dangerous.
Fine silver should be marked – there is no reason to melt it.
Most silver has markings you can use to determine its fineness. A standard mark to look for is a simple – Sterling Silver, .925, or a number saying what fineness it is – 800, 835, 875, 900. These markings are generally found on the base of flatware, tea sets, candlesticks, bowls, or cups. If you cannot find a marking, you can bring it to Guardian International Gold, and we can test it with a quick assay. Note that if there are no markings and if a piece is too big to fit in the spectrograph, a small portion will need to be cut to test the purity.
We do not recommend you melt silverware; we do not melt silver either. At Guardian, we look for markings or assay to determine the purity of the silver we purchase.
So is there any silver that you can melt without risk? Yes, pure. Jewellers often buy pure grain for their projects. As well, you could melt pure bars without a health risk from those soldering/alloy elements.