If you’ve got loose silver, silver jewelry, watches, or other authentic silver items lying around, you might be wondering if you can turn them into quick, safe and convenient cash by pawning or selling them at your local pawn shop. Luckily, silver is always in demand. However, how much you can expect your pawnshop to pay for your silver is subject to many factors. Keep reading to find out what affects the amount of money you can expect, why silver is always in demand, and how to get the most for your silver at your local pawn shop, regardless of if you are selling or pawning.

Two main factors that affect the price of silver

Although silver is undeniably valuable, the amount of money you can expect your local pawn shop to pay for your silver can change wildly. The following factors can affect how much you can expect when you pawn or sell your silver or silver items:

The Open Market – all buyers of silver, from pawn shops to fancy boutiques, use the current market value for silver. Market value consistently fluctuates and is affected by current events, the national and global economy, and supply and demand. To check the market value of silver per ounce, you can visit sites that track the prices of precious metals to get an idea of the current value and see if the value has gone up or down in recent weeks.

Purity and Weight – while the purity of another popular precious metal, gold, is measured in karats, the purity of silver is expressed as a percentage. This means that the higher percentage of pure silver in your item, the greater the weight, and the more you can expect for your items.

How to determine the purity of your silver

For most people, the easiest and most obvious way to determine their silver purity is to look for markings, particularly on jewelry items. Sometimes, these markings may be printed extremely small, so you might need a magnifying glass. Markings usually measure the percentage of silver in the metal mixture of the particular item. For example, a marking that states “Sterling .975” means that the thing is 97.5% silver.

Some people may choose to opt to buy equipment like electronic testers or investing in density tests. Still, it is usually easier and more economical to take it to your local pawnshop. They will have the tools and equipment to find out for sure the purity of your silver. At Central Mega Pawn, we employ an in-house jeweler, one of only a handful of pawnshops nationwide to do so. They will be happy to use their tools, expertise, and experience to tell you what you have.

Why silver is always in demand

Despite the many things that may affect the price of silver, it is almost always in demand. This is because it is considered a “precious metal,” which means that it is inherently rare. Throughout history, silver has been used for a multitude of purposes, such as:

  • Electronics – Silver is an excellent electrical conductor. Also, it is durable and can last for many cycles, which means that nearly all modern electronics have a silver component of some kind. From kid’s toys to microwaves, silver is a vital part of electronic items.
  • Jewelry and decoration – Since ancient times, silver has been used for jewelry, and is still a popular metal for all kinds of jewelry today. Silver is durable, reflective, and malleable, allowing for customization. Although silver may tarnish after wear, it can be polished and cleaned, looking like new all over again for many years to come.
  • Photography – The traditional practice of developing photographs with chemicals depended heavily on the use of silver. Although digital photography has lessened the demand for silver for these purposes, artists and photographers still use silver to develop images.
  • Medical uses – Silver has powerful microbial properties and is used in bandages, creams, and even eye drops. It can help prevent infection in open wounds and can be used to sanitize medical devices that are susceptible to bacterial infection, such as respirators.
  • Currency – Silver has been used for coins and bullion for centuries and still continues today. Silver coins are popular with collectors, and mints worldwide still use silver in their coins today.

How to get the most for your silver at your local pawnshop

Gather as many pieces as you can – if your silver item has certificates of purity, original packaging, or any other accompanying material, bring it with you. This will help your pawnbroker make the best deal possible.

Do your homework – teach yourself some of the basics of how precious metals are appraised and weighed, and remember that the purer the metals, the more valuable they are.

Clean your jewelry – do your best to clean your silver safely. Avoid harsh chemicals or abrasive materials. The cleaner it is, the easier it is for your pawnbroker to appraise the item.

Have realistic expectations – once you have an idea of what you might expect, be prepared to get an offer of a fraction of the value. Your local pawnbroker must make a profit on every item in their shop, so they cannot offer you an even exchange against the actual value of your silver.

Be prepared to negotiate – your pawnbroker will be open to realistic negotiations. The more homework you do, the more knowledgeable you will be. Don’t be afraid to walk away if the offer doesn’t come close to your standards. Unlike many other items that pass through the pawnshop, your jewelry will retain its value, and you will be able to come back another time or visit another shop.

Lastly: get your cash! – at Central Mega Pawn, we get you cash in hand in minutes.

If you live in or around the Inland Empire in Southern California, Central Mega Pawn should be your one-stop shop when you need to sell or pawn your silver. Contact us today to see how we can help you!