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Tuesday, June 30, 2015

The Family Silver

We recently thought we’d sell some old silverware and coins and have a little more cash to do some things this summer, and man! What an education it has been!

First of all, we checked the price of silver. It rockets up and down like a see-saw! A year ago the price was much better, but through all the intervening months it has been generally going down with a bunch of jumps like hiccups or something. So we had to decide, do we go ahead or wait and see what the price does? Well, when you want the cash to “do something,” you usually have already decided, haven’t you!

Second, where do you sell silver? Do you go to a pawn shop? One of those corner markets with a “Cash for gold and silver” sign out front? A jeweler who advertises buying options? We looked around in our area and came up with some ideas. We called and found which one “felt” like the best thing in terms of safety, price, reputation, and so on.

Then comes the experience of actually doing this thing. We found out that we didn’t actually have as much saleable silver as we thought! Did you already know that you can’t sell silver-plate for the value of the silver? It’s only as good as its wear-and-tear-and-appeal to a buyer of a collectible.

Sound the buzzer! We don’t have anything that appealing. It’s all very worn, and it’s nothing classic.

Now, what about sentimental value? Do you imagine your ancestors gathered around the table at dinnertime, using this or that piece or even a set you have inherited? Does it have a monogram on it that still matches your name? Start the wrenching process! You might not be able to sell the family silver if you are attached to objects that tie you to your kinfolk.

Well, it’s done. Now we can advertise to any would-be burglars—No Saleable Valuables Here. Not anymore.

Sniff.

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