Among precious metals, the mineral silver continues to be one of the most enduring elements, due to its durability, practical silver value and its abundance.

Despite the fact that only about 25 percent of the world’s silver was mined before 1770, the mining and use of silver can be traced back to ancient civilizations. The Anatolia region of the Mediterranean (modern-day Turkey) is often credited as the first to discover silver. As early as 700 BC, silver was being utilized in jewelry, religious relics, household items and as a means of trade (silver as currency).

While the civilizations of the Near East, Crete and the Greek Isles flourished thanks to their silver craftsmanship, the Athenians and their silver mines at Laurium brought about the hay day of silver. In fact, the silver mined here paid for the Athenian’s famed navy fleet.


When the Spanish discovered the lure of silver, they spread its mining throughout central Europe, and eventually, into the “New World.” The discovery of silver deposits in Bolivia, Peru and Mexico rapidly expanded European settlement of the continents and silver continued to play an integral role until the 20th century. In the United States, silver was used as the country’s coinage until 1965.

Silver can be found pure, but at the consumer level is normally found to be an alloy containing a certain percentage of other metals (copper is the industry standard) to help develop its strength and durability. Silver is normally stamped to help you better determine the purity of the silver you are dealing with:

.999 = 99.9% Pure Silver (Referred to as Fine Silver)

.925 = 92.5% Sterling Silver & 7.5% Copper (Traditionally Used for Jewelry & Silverware)

Coin Silver = 90% Silver and 10% Copper (Most US coins are made of Coin Silver)

Junk Silver = A term used for coins who have no numismatic or collectable value but can be sold or valued by the amount of silver that they contain. For example, Kennedy Half Dollars from 1965 – 1969 contain only 40% silver.

When selling your silver, C.D. Clark & Co. will test each of your silver items to determine their purity and what percentage of silver they contain. We will then weigh all of your pieces and make you a generous offer based on that day’s silver trading market value.

C.D. Clark & Co. specializes in buying all things silver. From jewelry to flatware to tableware, goblets, cutlery, trays, dishes and more! All silver items are unique and thus require us to test and weigh them before we can give you a price for your items. So if your pieces are marked and not silver-plated*, we will gladly pay you top dollar for all of your silver items!

*Note: Silver-plated items have a thin coating of silver around a base metal, which has a lower value than silver. Once plated, the silver cannot easily be removed, so for a refiner, it is of little to no value. But through an antique dealer or silver collector, your pieces could be quite valuable to someone not specializing in precious metal refinery.
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