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Antique gifts from relatives, parents or friends may include precious metal items, gemstones and certain rare items but we may be unaware of the actual worth of such items. Our prized antique can be made up of pure silver or coated, and it creates lots of difference in the value of such items. Silver plating provides a way to get inexpensive but attractive items without paying heavy money. Some copies of real metal plated with the coating look amazing and one may find it difficult to tell the difference between the two. But such items cannot get resale value like the pure element. Those made from fine metal can be sold even if the original structure is destroyed.
Such items can be sold at the silver prices of commodity markets, which can be higher than the original cost of the item.
The antique ones can be truly sterling and not just plating. Such items may be stamped with telltale hallmark where it may include the words like sterling, the numeric value of the coin and the lion hallmark.
A magnet can be used to determine the antique value where a plated product may contain metals having strong magnetic properties but silver has a weak magnetic effect.
The white metal is a good heat conductor and putting ice in it will make it cold immediately, almost in a few seconds but alloys may not get cold fast.
Different marks can provide an idea about the value of the antique. Sometimes silver metal is confused with pewter which is an alloy of copper, tin and lead. Several antiques are made up of pewter that provides a soft metal that can easily be melt and recast into various shapes. Pewter does not tarnish when it comes in contact with air or water and silver metal gets an immediate coating of the oxidization. Mark on the metal piece that is real silver can be .925 and on pewter, it can be 800 or 900. Pewter can be dark and dull in comparison to the real metal.
Those with unrecognized sources may not have a reliable hallmark. The colour of the items can be shiny and the ones with alloys of other metals may be mentioned as silvery - which is a bright colour with a lustre.
In the last few months, the gains in silver prices created a new demand for antique which is gaining at art auctions search engines. The report by the Art Basel and UBS find there has been a change in the way investors are looking at it. The US and China markets had an increase in the art market by 16 per cent and 14 per cent, respectively, and the gain in the UK market was 8 per cent. The market of antiques was struggling from a long time since the downturn and during 2014 when the internal market of art suffered losses. Analysts are supporting the trends saying it is a bargain at current silver prices which can be more than $22 an ounce and this is the beginning of the record sales.
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