Guardian Gold Logo Understanding Weighted Silver: What It Is and How to Identify It

If you’ve ever inherited or acquired silverware, you may have wondered about its purity and weight. Silver has been used for centuries for various objects, household items, and even as currency for trade. However, sometimes silverware may feel heavier than it should, which begs the question: what is weighted silver? In this article, we’ll explore what weighted silver is, why it’s used, and how you can identify it.

An ornate silver teapot
Silver teapot with its weighted non-silver handle removed

What is Weighted Silver and Why is It Used?

Weighted silver has been in fashion for at least a century and is simply the addition of a heavy substance, such as wax or cement, to what is normally a small amount of silver. This process provides balance and structural support to various items such as candlesticks, knives, trophies, bowls and dishes, salt and pepper shakers, and handheld mirrors. Weighted silver items often have wax both in the base and throughout the piece.

However, these items are not often circulated in the present day because their age and silver content make them collectable and, at times, valuable. At times, a weighted object is not valuable for any reason other than the silver content.

Silver candlestick with weight added to it through the substance its been filled with
This damaged candlestick, cut into pieces shows the weighted material inside the entire length.

How Can You Tell if Your Silver is Weighted?

Weighted silver may be difficult to spot at first glance, but there are a few ways to identify it. For instance, knives and handheld mirrors almost always have weighted handles, which are typically solid and heavy. You can tell if the handle is weighted by examining the weight distribution and feeling the weight of the handle.

Candlesticks and dishes with weight at their base are also likely to be weighted. The easiest way to determine if your silver is weighted is by opening it up. While this may be a tedious process, removing the weight from the piece will give you a more exact estimate of its value.

When it comes to precious metals like silver, the value is based on quantity and purity. Therefore, it is essential to determine whether your silver is hollow with weight, hollow without weight, or solid silver to accurately assess its value.

Three sterling silver knife handles with weight and blade removed
Silver knife handles emptied of their non-silver weight

Before you crack open your silver, you might want to do a little research to find out if it has any value as an object because once you damage it, it is only good for its scrap value. 

The Importance of Understanding Weighted Silver

Whether or not silver is weighted, this attribute is critical to understanding its value. If you’re ever buying something for its silver value, make sure that the material used to add weight has been taken into consideration. Weighted silver may come in many shapes and forms, but it is commonly associated with candlesticks and cutlery handles, so be aware of what you’re buying.

If you’re ever unsure about what you have, and are only concerned with the silver value, breaking your piece open and removing the weight is the best choice. Guardian Gold can answer any questions about your weighted silver over the phone or in person. While recommending you remove the weight in your silver pieces before bringing them to us, we can buy your silver regardless.

In conclusion, understanding weighted silver can be valuable knowledge when it comes to assessing the value of your silverware. By following the tips mentioned in this article, you will be able to identify weighted silver with ease and make informed decisions about buying and selling silver items.

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