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How Much Is Gold-Plated Flatware Worth? 

 April 30, 2022

By  Clark Pawners & Jewelers

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Do you have gold tableware and always wonder, “how much is gold-plated flatware worth?” It depends greatly on the amount of recyclable gold, the purity of that gold, and the metal underneath that gold plating. If you have antique gold plated flatware (1950s or earlier) it contains more recyclable gold and is thus worth more than its silver-plated counterpart.

So, you got your eyes on those gorgeous, posh, and shiny gold plated flatware, and you’re now thinking of purchasing one. But how much is gold-plated flatware worth?  Are they worth more than they look?  Are these gold-plated flatware the same as gold-plated silverware?

a set of goldplated spoons in a chest

Photo from Canva

What is gold-plated flatware?

Goldplated flatware is silverware plated with a layer of gold, which can be anywhere from 14K, 18K gold to 24K. However, the most commonly used is 14K because of its durability compared to 24K, which is too soft for regular use.

Is gold-plated silverware worth more than gold-plated jewelry?

Sets of gold plated jewelry on white background

Photo from Canva

Gold plated silverware is gold over sterling silver.  Yes, you’re right for thinking this is generally worth more than gold-plated jewelry.  Well, at some points, it is.  

The gold plating on Sterling silver used in most silver flatware has more value than a typical base metal like copper or copper alloy often used in gold-plated jewelry.

See, unlike goldplated jewelry items, which are not worth much, goldplated sterling silver flatware is worth more because it is plated on silver sterling.  Also, the cost to refine a gold-plated jewelry item is higher than the cost of a solid gold item which is 10K to 24K. So, why buy gold-plated jewelry items if what you want is a good investment?

What do you need to know about investing in gold-plated flatware?

Shiny gold spoons on res table cloth

Photo from Canva

The commercialization of gold and gold-plated materials has left us confused about how to tell the real ones from the fake.  This sprouting of goldplated flatware depends greatly on the idea that solid-gold items are valued more these days than years ago.  Even sterling silver is being valued more than before.

Not everything that looks like they have gold really has gold in them.  You will see many gold-toned place settings that look gold plated but are stainless and colored to look like gold.  Be meticulous when you are buying gold flatware.  Make sure it contains gold.

Before we give you the tips for detecting the real deal from the fraud, let’s first make things clear.  

Sterling Silver or Silver Plated tableware has two categories:

Pieces of Silverware sets in an open chest

Photo from Canva

  1. Solid sterling silver flatware is valued more and can be sold for high prices considering both the amount of silver used in plating and the cost involved in remelting and refining the silver out of the silverware.  A reputable manufacturer will be credible in identifying the weight of the precious material.
  1. Silver-plated flatware– which contains a lower silver content, is valued less.  This factor is why there are more individual silver-plated knives, spoons, and forks at low prices at yard sales.  More people get practical and buy silverplated flatware.

Now, what about real gold-plated flatware?  

Well, because they are expensive, they are rare.  The more they will be valued at high prices if they already became part of history, like in the case of what they call “collector’s items.”  These have been made by prestigious manufacturers and have undergone time tests.  Some of these kinds of flatware were sold for $10,000 to as much as $20,000 and even more.

How to tell the real deal?

Pieces of Gold jewelry on every part of the photo

Photo from Canva

  1. Look for stampings on it.  Each piece should have a stamp with a hallmark that says, for example, “18K” gold plated.  18K gold jewelry is $60 to $100 per gram. Although 18K gold is just 75% gold, its durability as a piece of jewelry makes it popular.

Or you can find the mark S925 for Sterling Silver.

Mark of s Sterling silver on a ring on white background
  1.  You may also use a gold-testing kit.  This kit contains little bottles of testing fluid and a rubbing stone.
  1. However, this testing kit cannot determine how much gold it contains plated on the material.  The only way to assess the thickness of the gold content is to send it to a credible precious metals testing lab like Clark Pawners, which may help you determine this.
A jeweler inspects jewelry with accessories on the background

How much is gold-plated flatware worth?

Do you know the date it was manufactured, the thickness of the gold plating, and the metal underneath that tableware gold plating tell much about its value?. In some cases, manufacturers plated the gold over sterling silver, making the set worth more than $50 for the silver value.  You have to consider the market price of silver and its weight.

If you have antique gold plated flatware from the 1950s or earlier, it contains more gold than can be recycled and is thus worth more than its silver-plated counterpart.

For example, a 24k gold-plated flatware can sell from $1800 based on today’s gold prices and melt value, or as much as $10000 or more if it is a collector’s item and manufactured by a prestigious manufacturer.

An old golden flatware on brown background

Photo from Flickr

It is not uncommon to find sterling silver or silver-plated tableware in antique shops. While silver-plated flatware is something that has not much market value, solid sterling silverware fetches much more. If you have gold-plated silverware, refer to the information below.

Gold Price in the Market

Refer to the table for gold’s price.  The thicker the gold and its purity significantly affect its value.

Gold-plated ware is commonly over a silver base. Sterling Silver is not the purest of all forms of silver, but it is the one most used as it is not too soft, unlike pure 999 silver.  Sterling Silver is also widely popular because of its capacity to withstand wear and tear compared to other silvers that are too soft.

When sterling silver is used as a base metal for tablewares; the more these items become valuable.

What is gold-plated tableware?

gold plated tableware

Flatware are spoons, forks, and serving implements used at the table.  

Again, gold-plated flatware is silverware plated with a layer of gold, which can be anywhere from 14k gold to 24k gold. However, the most commonly used one is 14k gold because of its durability compared to 24k gold, which is too soft for regular use.

How much are gold-plated jewelry items worth?

How do you know the value of gold-plated jewelry items and flatware? The following factors determine it:

  1. Purity of the recyclable gold
  2. Current price of gold and sterling silver, if used as a base
  3. The actual weight of gold in your flatware.
  4. The thickness of the gold in it
  5. The metal base used, a sterling silver base, is more valuable than just copper or copper alloy.

Gold Plated silverware can have a very thin layer of gold to almost super-thick for the premium. It can fetch as much as $4000 per plate, $20,000 for a setting, and a full gold flatware set can cost about a quarter of a million dollars.

Although 24K gold is the purest gold, it is seldom used as jewelry.  It is used more as an investment, decoration, and medical device. 18K gold is more famous for jewelry because it is stronger when used with other metals.  If you want finer gold, 18K gold is much better than 14K.

If the gold plating has solid sterling silver underneath, this also adds value to your item.

Is gold-plated silverware valuable?

The value of gold-plated silverware depends on the melt value of the recyclable gold on the current gold price in the market. Silverplate flatware doesn’t have a melt value, unlike sterling silverware.  

For example, if your gold plated item contains 10 grams of 24k gold, that has a value of $600.00, based on the gold price as of this posting.

Another thing is the value of the metal base because gold store owners, pawn shops, and even most precious metal refiners only purchase silverware with sterling silver as the metal base.  They will consider the weight depending on the purity of the gold plate.  The more gold is plated into the silverware, the more it becomes valuable.  

Are gold-plated items worth anything?

It will depend on the purity of the gold layer and the actual weight of the recyclable gold in it. You can calculate its value by this formula:

 purity x weight of the gold x price 

And if your metal base is sterling silver…

Purity x weight of gold x price + value of the sterling silver

Some plated items can have thick gold plating and thus be worth more.

It is best to bring your item to a reliable pawnshop to know the worth of your plated items.

How pure is your gold?

Purity of gold

So this means a 14k has 58.% gold in it, with some alloy. 14k is so popular because it can withstand regular use compared to 24k, which is too soft.

Is gold silverware worth anything for scrap?

Man on blue pays for the value of weighted gold jewelry

Photo from Canva

When you want to scrap silverware, take them to a jeweler who buys gold.  It’s up to them if they see it fit to buy it or not. They will weigh it and pay you based on the following:

  • Actual precious metal weight
  • The current silver spot price
  • Their percent of spot price payment factor

When what’s underneath your gold plate is sterling silver, you’ll likely be able to sell your silverware for scrap. With the market price currently running at nearly $35 per ounce, considering the amount of silver used in plating, you can use your silverware with gold plate for fast cash.  Not bad, right?

However, in most cases, when the flatware is plated so thinly, refining it won’t do the buyer any good because it costs more energy and time to remove the gold plate than the gold is worth. Then, the answer is NO.  You won’t be able to scrap it. Take your items to a Jeweler, or We Buy Gold Store.

If it is a gold plate or silver plate on stainless or copper or another metal as a base, better sell them on eBay.

So, who’s interested in buying your silver plate?  Silver dealers.

How to Remove Tarnish from Flatware

Silverware inside warm water with baking soda

Photo from Canva

Dipping goldplated jewelry or plated items into a mixture of two drops of mild soap in warm water with baking soda is an excellent remedy to remove tarnish. To remove dirt, you may also wash gold flatware or silver tableware with hot soapy water.  Then, gently rub a soft cloth to dry them.  This is the best way to clean true gold plating over a silver plate or sterling.

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Taking Care of your Gold Plate Silverware

There are various ways to keep your silverware good as new, from cleaning them first before using them to wiping them dry and not just air-drying them after washing with warm water and mild dish soap. Remove your piece from the warm soapy water and gently rub a soft cloth or, better yet, a polishing cloth to make your plated item shiny.

Trust Clark Pawners to Give You a Competitive Appraisal for Your Gold-Plated Flatware

At Clark Pawners and Jewelers, we give you a competitive appraisal of your precious metal items. Contact us today if you need to turn your gold, silver, or other precious jewelry pieces into quick cash.

Clark Pawners & Jewelers is your trusted pawn shop in Chicago. We buy and sell jewelry, diamonds, gold and more, aside from offering cash loans.

Clark Pawners & Jewelers

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